Boot camp for mohels

“For 19 years, Dr. Bob Levenson, 60, was one of the most sought-after mohels in Greater Boston,” the Boston Globe reports. “But now he is retired and his shoes have not been easy to fill.”

The solution?

A boot camp for mohels.

Last weekend, 21 students from across the country – mostly pediatricians, urologists, and obstetricians – converged for an intense three-day certification course on how to become a mohel. The first Boston-area training session in 20 years, the workshop was an attempt to replenish the dwindling number of mohels in the region and enliven the connection between Jews and the ancient ritual that symbolizes the Jewish covenant with God.

With just two dozen or so active mohels serving Eastern Massachusetts, many young parents seeking a traditional berit mila – religious circumcision in accordance with Jewish law – describe a frantic and stressful search to book a mohel in the days following their newborn’s birth. To increase the numbers requires lobbying an already busy group of men and women to take on a time-consuming and important religious responsibility.

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