Reform Cantors Oppose Proposal to Ban Practice of Male Circumcision

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Reform Cantors Oppose Proposal to Ban Practice of Male Circumcision

Boston, MA (June 29, 2011) The American Conference of Cantors (ACC), representing over 450
Reform Jewish Cantors, along with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), opposes the proposal
to ban the practice of male circumcision. This proposal is slated for the ballot in San Francisco
this fall and expected elsewhere. Circumcision of male children is a mitzvah for Jewish parents,
signifying the covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish people. Anti-circumcision
initiatives are an affront to civil liberties, including the freedom of religion guaranteed by our
Constitution. We further condemn undercurrents of anti-Semitism found in the “intactivist”
movement, which seeks to make male circumcision unlawful for anyone 17 or younger. The URJ
“Resolution On Anti-Circumcision Initiatives”
http://urj.org/about/union/pr/2011/?syspage=article&item_id=68660 was adopted by the URJ
Board of Trustees at its meeting in Brooklyn, NY, on June 13, 2011. Chair of the URJ Board Peter
Weidhorn stated that, “The circumcision ban in San Francisco threatens to restrict the right to
exercise a ritual that has been part of Jewish and Muslim culture for thousands of years.” The
leadership of the ACC affirms this sentiment through its support of the URJ resolution.

About the American Conference of Cantors
Founded in 1953, the American Conference of Cantors is the pre-eminent professional
organization of Cantors in North America, currently representing over 450 cantors in North
America and around the world. As clergy committed to Judaism and Jewish Music, the
membership of the ACC serves the diverse needs of the Jewish people. As an affiliate of the
Union for Reform Judaism, the ACC supports its members in their sacred calling as emissaries
for Judaism and for Jewish music, providing a unique and dynamic vision of programs and
initiatives that respond to the needs of the greater Reform community. For more information,
please visit the ACC’s website at www.accantors.org.