Milah UK to protect Jewish circumcision in Britain

By Sandy Rashty, November 2, 2012
A circumcision at a synagogue in Berlin (Photo: AP)

A circumcision at a synagogue in Berlin (Photo: AP)

A new group, Milah UK, has been launched to promote the practice of Jewish circumcision in the UK.

The new group will serve all members of the community, from strictly Orthodox to Liberal Judaism.

Milah UK is jointly chaired by Dr Simon Hochhauser, former president of the United Synagogue and Prof David Katz, from the defence division at the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Dr Hochhauser said: “There is a growing opposition both in the UK and abroad to our community’s accepted and age-old practice of milah.

“When the issue came to a head in Europe earlier this year, there was no strategy and no one to take a lead on the response.

“We will now be able to draw on all sections of our community to respond to this increasing and perennial threat to our core religious practice.”

The circumcision issue captured Europe's attention when three rabbis were arrested in Germany for performing a brit. A regional court, supported by the German Medical Association, ruled that circumcision of newborn boys by Jewish and Muslim communities amounted to assault against the child.

German parliamentarians have since supported new legislation to provide legal clarity on the issue of circumcision, which is expected to pass at the end of the year.

The new UK group's model is the successful campaign group Shechita UK, and will consolidate all Jewish circumcision matters in Britain.

Last updated: 4:29pm, November 7 2012