The WorldBrit Association

The WorldBrit Association

“In 2004, after experiencing the moving and surprising experience of being a sandak for a young adolescent, I decided to get involved in the field of adult Brit Milot. I then organized conferences in France, Canada, Switzerland, Morocco… to introduce French speakers to this little-known phenomenon and to raise awareness on this subject, with the aim of helping to finance these private interventions for all the new applicants who had emigrated to Erets Israel. It was then that I was stunned to discover that many people came to talk to me about cases of uncircumcised Jews in their family or circle of friends. But this time, the reason did not originate from pogroms or totalitarian political regimes; the main reason that kept coming up was: intermarriage!

However, when I contacted these young people directly, I discovered that they were willing to listen and often showed a real desire to break the chains of a ball and chain that they had been dragging for too many years. Moreover, they did not choose this situation, but – incredibly – they still feel a lack, without being able to define it! In order to find out if these are only special cases or if it is a larger phenomenon, I managed to get a report on France2 on Josy Eisenberg’s very popular program “La Source de Vie”. In the hours which follow our passage on the air the results are not made wait and they are not less than seventeen requests of Brit Milah which stream in from all France! Josy Eisenberg’s assistant will also confess to me that they have rarely had such an important feedback on the show, the viewers congratulating them for this initiative which is both concrete and so necessary. People call me eagerly, their message uniform: “Please help us save these kids from assimilation, they are not responsible, they are good guys, but we now realize how guilty we are for not giving them a minimum of Jewish education… »

A little disoriented by the extent of the phenomenon, I turned to the great Rabbanim of Israel, in particular to Rabbi David Abou’hatséra who will become, until today, our privileged master and adviser. He recommended that I organize myself by focusing on teenagers and adults, as quickly as possible. We are at the end of 2008, the WorldBrit Association is born… »
circoncision wordbrit, brit milah

« Give credit for saving these young people from assimilation, they are not responsible … »

Les Cliniques

The emotion during these interventions is extraordinary, to the point that even the (non-Jewish) medical staff feels it – without being able to explain it. Being alongside these young people throughout their entire journey, from the first contact to the surgical intervention, is also a point on which the Association will focus. Everything is organized so that they can concentrate on this unique moment in their lives where sensations are so strong. Some burst into tears – of joy – others realize that a new soul has entered them, still others feel that their ancestors are very close to them and that they played a big part in this journey… However, these are always strong sensations felt by both young and older individuals. Their message is unanimous:: «An inner liberation has occurred e », and they are proud and happy about it.

The question that arose was to centralize everything in Paris, but this solution, although much less costly, was not chosen. First of all, because many of these young people are reluctant to undergo surgery far from home. Our objective is not to destabilize the patient so that we can act as quickly as possible. But also because each of our interventions in the different cities of France generates many reactions in the respective communities. Thus, new people will contact us after our visits, having realized the scope of our action. The solution of centralization is therefore discarded… Thus, in order to be able to respond as professionally and as quickly as possible to these requests, WorldBrit has set up an international network. A whole team of competent and experienced surgeons in this field has been assembled, each one operating in his respective clinic in the four corners of France, in Europe and even in Canada.

… each time, very strong sensations felt by these young people. Their message is unanimous: «An inner liberation occurred», and they are proud and happy about it …

Brit Milahh pour adulte : association offrant la possibilité à tout juif dans le monde et à tout âge, de réaliser sa circoncision

Beyond the Brit Milah...

Over the years, we realize within WorldBrit that the community need for our action must quickly extend well beyond circumcision… Indeed, in front of the number of requests or cases found, a particular organization will be necessary. It will now be necessary to act on three axes:
  • Upstream: we spread our action to the communities, on social networks, in the press, on the radio… in order to find a maximum of young people who would need our help.
  • By technically organizing the circumcision: obtaining the certificate of Jewishness, medical tests attesting to the patient’s good health, booking the operating room and surgical staff, organizing the Se’oudat Mitsva, purchasing the Tefilin (if the patient wishes)…
  • Downstream: the WorldBrit team takes care of the patient’s post-operative medical follow-up, but also – and above all – the psychological follow-up to help answer all his questions and expectations. Then WorldBrit concretely helps him to integrate into the community: some will wish to attend a youth movement, others will learn to read Hebrew in order to no longer appear as ̋strangers ̋ in a synagogue, or even finally discover the Torah and its Wisdom. For others, their desire will be above all to be able to finally visit Israel, this land that they now feel is part of themselves…
Brit Milahh pour adulte : association offrant la possibilité à tout juif dans le monde et à tout âge, de réaliser sa circoncision

WorldBrit allows all these young people to proudly return to the community…

In search of uncircumcised Jews: you too can participate!

Let’s look at the problem again: thousands of young Jews from mixed marriages are scattered all over Europe. How to know them in order to get in touch with them? This is precisely where everyone should be concerned. After more than 15 years of action in the field, we note that it is very rare to meet faithful members of the community who do not know, from near or far, Jewish people concerned by this problem of Brit Milah. If we had a close family member who was concerned about the problem and knew how serious it was, wouldn’t we do everything in our power to help them solve it? But isn’t every Jew our brother?

First of all, in terms of Halacha, it is interesting to note that one of the only laws for which Hashem requires us to do everything is that of Brit Milah. Indeed, the Shulchan Arukh (Yore De’a 261,1) explicitly states that it is strictly forbidden to leave a Jew uncircumcised! Thus, if the father did not respond to his order to circumcise his son, this obligation will fall on the Beth-Din. And if the latter is overruled (for example, if he was not aware of the case, or for any other such reason), it will be incumbent upon anyone who knows an uncircumcised Jew to circumcise him himself! The intention here is to guide him by putting him in the hands of competent people in this field. All of this is to emphasize that remaining uncircumcised, even for a single day, is inconceivable in the eyes of the Creator… Secondly, everyone must realize that many of these uncircumcised young people would like to be reached out to in order to help them begin this process, which is often psychologically difficult to overcome alone. It is a real liberation for them when they realize that they are not the only ones in this situation, and that there is an organization capable of helping them throughout this difficult process.

That is why, dear Internet users, we ask you to use all your knowledge, community influences and means of communication to help us find these people and reach out to them. We don’t ask you to talk to them about it and especially not to try to convince them. This requires a lot of experience and diplomacy. Let us do that. However, only you can give us these contacts. Our message is simple: we must all realize that it is our responsibility to help these young people by pooling our strengths, our availability, and our skills. Realize, too, that every young person whom we succeed, together, in ̋training ̋ towards community – making him or her fully aware of his or her identity – is a young person who will succeed in founding a Jewish home. Which means we will get the credit for ̋saving ̋ her children, her grandchildren, and even her great-grandchildren! Therefore, do we have the right to leave all these young people in such a dead end?

…Thousands of young Jews from mixed marriages are scattered throughout Europe. They did not choose their status…

Brit Milahh pour adulte : association offrant la possibilité à tout juif dans le monde et à tout âge, de réaliser sa circoncision

A delicate approach...

Seeing a young person smile, during the meal organized in his honor following his circumcision… Feeling him satisfied to have ̋finally ̋ passed the milestone after a procedure that finally lasted only a few minutes – and that was much less painful than he thought… That is our greatest satisfaction. And yet, no one can imagine the work that had to be done beforehand to achieve such results. Nevertheless, everyone can easily understand that it is not easy to motivate a young person of 20 years, 30 years or more, to practice his circumcision.
Indeed, there are many barriers that we must break down throughout this process which will allow us, with G-d’s help, to achieve this gratifying result: that the person chooses, of his own free will, to be circumcised in a hospital setting. Intervention that everyone is apprehensive about – which is understandable – to perform in such a symbolic place of the body. We propose here to enlighten the Internet user in order to better understand the different steps necessary to perform circumcision on an adult.

The Barriers

Family barriers

Before contacting our patient, it is essential to obtain as much information as possible about his or her family background – sometimes going back several generations – because we are sometimes faced with young people who are second or even third generation mixed marriages. Thus, they carry on their shoulders a whole past filled with hardships and sufferings, which, very often, will never be confessed by their parents or grandparents. For those from Ashkenazi or Eastern European families, the leitmotif is always the same: indelible traces of a Shoah which, in the cruelest way, annihilated the vast majority of their relatives. A memory that they would like to bury but which, too often, catches up with them on a daily basis. They have tried everything to erase all traces of their Jewish identity: abandonment of all practices, geographical distance, and of course union with a non-Jew to bury forever this painful past. But nothing can be done, the memory remains omnipresent. Conscience tugs at the core of their being, because they know they are not on the right path in life. Of course, it would be foolish – and even cruel – to judge them, for who could have the strength to remain faithful after having gone through such horrors? On the contrary, it is compassion and a lot of pain that we feel when we open these files, and especially when the grandmothers, or great-grandmothers, start talking…

In Sephardic families, the pattern is somewhat different: it is the opening up to the big metropolises, with the aim of settling and studying there in order to guarantee a better economic future, that has caused an unsuspected shift. Who would have thought that the simple fact of moving from the Mellah (Jewish quarter) of North Africa to Europe or America would have resulted in such a rapid and profound loss of our thousand-year-old traditions, after only one or two generations! However, the facts are there: the orthodox grandfather, and sometimes even rabbi, finds his granddaughter living with a non-Jew… Here again, there will be no question of judging these families or these Jewish mothers who, obviously, did not realize the scope and consequences of such unions. And even less the sufferings that these last ones were going to involve on their offspring. These women often found themselves physically removed from their families and detached from the way of life in which they had grown up…. When these mothers meet their son after the operation, they discover that all their reluctance was in fact only due to the apprehension of seeing their son undergo a psychologically difficult surgical procedure; and this while their conscience was telling them, during all these years, that at the age of 8 days, it would have been much easier… In any case, it is always an immense satisfaction and a great relief that illuminates the face of all these young people… and their mothers.

Psychological barriers: fear of pain

The most important obstacle for these young people who wish to be circumcised remains, unanimously, the fear of pain. This criterion alone could delay their decision to contact us for several years! There are two main reasons for this: first, the psychological apprehension of post-operative pain on an extremely sensitive limb. Second, web-based forums falsely supporting the ̋atrocious ̋ pain that such an intervention causes.
We are here to explain to them that this is not the case, since everything is done in a sterile hospital environment, under local anesthesia and therefore completely painless. Another method will also be adopted: all those who have already performed the Brit Milah through us will become our ambassadors. Thus, video testimonies at the time of the intervention, or just after, are recorded and made available on our site so that everyone realizes that these interventions are done in the optimal conditions that we have described.

View video testimonials from Jews who made their Brit Milah with Worldbrit.

Physical barriers: the apprehension of the "after".

Another obstacle – and not the least – is the apprehension of the “after”. Indeed, our patients often ask: what will it look like? Just like a person who would hesitate to undergo a cosmetic surgery for which apprehension remains, accompanied by a feeling of “no return”. But what will hold our young people back the most will be the apprehension of physical sensations during their future intimate relations. And even if the two barriers previously mentioned are, all in all, legitimate among young teenagers or adults, they are nevertheless highly disproportionate, and once again fueled by our “public enemy number one”: Internet forums. In fact, the latter abound on this subject and strongly discriminate against adult circumcision through slander or unfounded assertions. Unfortunately, these forums will be the first readings of any person seeking information, who will never try to consult real medical sites specialized in urology whose authors deny the nonsense conveyed by these forums.

Here too, we will sometimes ask the most reluctant young people, and who are still hesitant to take the step, to get in touch directly with our ̋WorldBriters ̋. As we can easily understand, they will be much more comfortable to discuss with them, asking them the most intimate questions that bother them. We find them, after these discussions, obviously reassured and relieved, these two obstacles having been overcome.

Medical barriers

Before proceeding with any surgical procedure, we ensure that the patient is in good health and that the procedure is feasible. Even if this act is first and foremost a way to enter the Alliance of Avraham, there is no question of skimping on the medical and professional side of this operation.
Indeed, we have repeatedly found that some patients try to hide certain pathologies that are undeniably problematic in the context of a surgical procedure. Let’s mention the case of people with hemophilia or even… AIDS! And although we were able to perform these circumcisions, the operating conditions were obviously adapted to protect both the patient and the caregiver as much as possible.

Financial barriers

This is an extremely sensitive issue with young people, who represent the vast majority of our candidates. As we have seen, since this type of intervention is psychologically difficult to perform, the slightest additional hindrance would be enough to obtain a withdrawal from the patient. Thus, asking the sum of 1000 € (average cost of such an act in France) to these young people in order to carry out their circumcision would result in 99% of the cases in… a refusal and an abandonment.
We will propose to them to carry out, for all those which do not have the means of it, to take the Brit Milah with our load so as to remove this preponderant brake, and to thus release the patient from this expenditure often for them exorbitant. It is of course thanks to the help of generous donors that the Association will be able to function to a great extent. We will offer them, by the way, ̋in compensation ̋ a huge merit: that of being Sandak of a young person who performs his Brit Milah…

Brit Milahh pour adulte : association offrant la possibilité à tout juif dans le monde et à tout âge, de réaliser sa circoncision

WorldBrit pays 100% of most of these procedures and all related costs. Without your support, we could not intervene to save these Jews…

Financing the session

Everyone can therefore better realize all the costs involved in organizing such Brit Milot sessions for adults. In addition to the clinical and physician costs, WorldBrit will also have to cover the travel and accommodation costs of our team member(s), and often those of the patient as well: how many times have we found ourselves in situations where the young person cancelled his circumcision even though he seemed motivated, until we discovered that he did not, in fact, have the means to pay for his travel to the city where the session was being held…!
And all this without counting the communication costs, necessary to find these young people and allow them, finally, to realize the step they were waiting to take for so many years…

Faire une Brit Mila

Partout dans le globe, pour vous ou pour un proche, à n’importe quel âge, WorldBrit vous envoie un Mohel.

Aider un juif

Donnez une chance à un de nos frères juifs de rentrer dans l’Alliance en soutenant sa Brit Mila.

Besoin d'une Brit Mila ?

Pour vous, pour un proche, pour un bébé de huit jours ou pour un adulte, contactez WordlBrit pour faire venir un Mohel n’importe où dans le globe

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