- What is your
background and training?
physician, nurse practitioner or
I am a physician trained in Obstetrics &
Gynecology. I attended medical school at the
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and graduated in 1984.
I was in General Practice for seven years afterward.
- Current Medical
I maintain a current medical license in the States of California only.
certification? Name of Board and what year
I was trained as a mohel under the auspices of the
Berit Milah Board of Reform Judaism and I was
certified in 1985.
- Member of a
national organization representing
I am a 21 year member and past secretary of the
National Organization of American Mohalim/ot
meetings/lecturer/author of articles?
Lecturer : Hebrew Union College Practical Rabbinics
Class and many temple-based lecture engagements. I
attend the biannual meetings of NOAM.
Published articles in NOAM newsletter and Los
- How many years
as a mohel/et?
- Professional or
I am a full-time professional mohel and have been
so since 1992.
I performed as a mohel part-time for seven years prior
- How often does
he/she perform Beritot?
I perform approximately 6 - 7 ceremonies per
- Total number of
I performed my first bris in 1985 and have
performed approximately 6000+ ceremonies during my
career. This figure represents 25% of the total number
of all ceremonies performed in the United States to
date by mohalim/ot trained through the Berit Milah
Board of Reform Judaism. There are currently 350
mohalim/ot trained in the United States and
- How are the
medical instruments sterilized?
My instruments are autoclave steam sterilized to the
standards of top American medical establishments and to
the standards of the Public Health Department as
- Anesthesia, if
recommended, what types are used?
Yes. I recommend the use of pain reducing
medications such as elamax cream non prescription anesthetic cream, infant
Tylenol, sucrose water, Kosher sweet wine or sweet grape juice and a
lidocaine based ointment for aftercare.
I believe that this recipe of helpful ingredients
diminish the baby's discomfort in a rational and
reasonable way. I feel the use of injection anesthetics
is overly aggressive and exposes the baby to potentially
serious complication without
significant beneficial effect. Injection anesthetic is
not considered acceptable under Jewish law in certain
Jewish religious circles. I will however, agree to use an
injection anesthetic (dorsal block) if a family requests
- What technique is
used to perform the circumcision?
Mogen Clamp Technique
This instrument allows the fastest procedure time and is
least traumatic to the baby, in my opinion. It is also a
"kosher" method of circumcision, important if the family
is observant or if an observant observer will be present
at the Bris.
Circumcision and Device
- Does the mohel/et
perform a "prep" on the baby? If so, exactly what does
the prep entail?
I do not "prep" the baby in anyway, except
for the topical application of ELAMAX anesthetic cream.
The "prep" usually entails strapping the baby on a
restraining board, cutting and clamping using the Gomco
clamp, then bringing the baby out for the ceremony,
strapped and clamped, covered by a blanket so that the
device is not visible to the guests. A final cut,
necessary with the use of the Gomco Clamp, occurs later
during the ceremony.
- Is the baby
restrained on a board at any time during the
No restraining board...
unless the parents insist on its use. I feel that the use
of a pillow is more traditional, less traumatic to the
baby, works equally well and it allows the baby to be
held in the comforting arms of loved ones rather than
restrained by velcro straps while laying on a cold, hard
board. Additionally, the board is inherently abhorrent to
many of the guests and family members who watch the
procedure being conducted. It scares them to see the baby
restrained on a board.
Picture of Restraining Board
- How does the
mohel/et integrate the needs of interfaith couples? Is
there a role for both men and women in the ceremony? What
If a family is interfaith, I incorporate the
non-Jewish members equally into the ceremony. I am well recognized for my efforts to educate guests throughout the course of the ceremony. I integrate an explanation with blessings while at the same time directing the participants.
- Ask the mohel/et
to briefly describe the ceremony he/she performs.
Please refer to my goals
- What is your fee
My professional fee is predicated on the following factors:
- Location of the ceremony.
- Time of the ceremony.
I charge an extra fee of $100.00 for ceremonies that are conducted after 5 p.m..
- If a ceremony is postponed until a Sunday.
As a professional mohel, I strongly encourage adherence to the eighth day rule, as stated on the "Timing for the Ceremony" page. If a ceremony is postponed and rescheduled into a Sunday, I charge an extra fee, approximately $100+. If the ceremony is rescheduled into any other day of the week, except for Saturday, --- I do not allow rescheduling into the Sabbath, i.e. Saturday --- there is NO extra fee.
- To reiterate, I will only perform a bris on a Saturday IF THE BABY IS BORN ON A SATURDAY.
- I DO NOT CHARGE an extra fee for a Sunday bris IF THE BABY IS BORN ON A SUNDAY.
- I encourage adherence to the eighth day rule.
- If an overnight stay is required, a fee is assessed for the expense of the overnight accommodation at a motel.
Remember, a Bris is a ceremony, a participatory experience and a surgery, so a mohel
functions as a Jewish religious officiant, ceremony
director and a surgeon. The fee will generally reflect
the experience and professional status of the mohel. Also, a physician mohel has to
cover the cost of liability insurance, i.e. medical malpractice insurance, a cost which
non-physician mohels do not share. There is no liability
insurance available for non-physician mohels. Finally,
there may be adjustments for those in need.
- What is your usual
I routinely travel
throughout California. But most commonly I
perform in Southern California to San Diego and the
San Francisco Bay area.
- Will you consider
travel to a more remote or distant location?
I am willing to travel internationally.
- Can I request a
complete list of references and take the time to call a
few of them?
Please contact my office for a complete list of
references. Also, review my Letters of Recommendation,
from within this web site. Letters