Bris Planning

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Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner

Dec 25, 2005, 12:27:13 PM12/25/05
Dear Andi and Hevreh,
First of all, mazal tov. As we say in Hebrew, b'sha-ah tovah, may the
birth come at the right time, in good health for mother and baby.

2. For the brit milah, I've long suggested that the actual brit milah
ceremony take place in the synagogue. Arrange with your congregation to
use their facility as the first choice. Alternatively, you may also find
a near-by congregation that has kosher facilities and sufficient room
for you and your families and guests. The greatest advantage is that
when the celebration is completed, the immediate family returns to a
quiet, clean, orderly home.

3. Speak with your prospective mohel - or mohalim. They are familiar
with hospitable congregations or venues for a brit milah. Similarly
speak with your Rabbi if your own congregation.

4. If a relative or friend has an unusually appropriate venue, speak
with them. Sometimes it may turn out that they are willing and in return
you can offer them a cleaning service after the celebration as a way of
saying thanks. BTW a good caterer may be worth the investment for
providing a good kosher repast and a staff that will properly clean up
the venue (house or apartment) afterwards to the satisfaction of friend
or family member.

Best wishes


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>Subject: Bris Planning
>From: "Andi" <>
>My husband and I are are expecting our first child, a boy, in late
>January and are looking for appropriate venues for his bris. (Alas,
>our apartment is too small.) Can anyone recommend anywhere in the
>Westchester (NY) area? Thanks!

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Jan 1, 2006, 11:30:31 AM1/1/06
Thank you for you kind wishes! I agree about the synagogue and would
do that if we belonged to a congregation. I worked for a temple when
we were living in Los Angeles earlier this year and, alas(!), that
would have been our perfect solution. However, we just moved to
Westchester three months ago and haven't yet settled on one.
Membership fees would be a real hardship right now so we decided to put
it off until we are able to really "shop around", go to services, talk
to people, etc. Unfortunately our apartment is too small to accomodate
likely guests and homes of relatives are too far of a drive for him
(and us), particularly for a bris anticipated for the last days of
January/the beginning of February. (That sort of planning would almost
certainly guarantee a blizzard, no?) I've recently contacted two
relatively local JCCs and a YMWHA all of which apparently rent space
for simchas. So now, I guess, my only remaining issues are
availability on eight days notice, cost of rental, and catering. And,
of course, a mohel/et, but I think I might already have that covered.
Has anyone ever attended a bris at a JCC or YMWHA? If so, what were
they like? I've only been to them in private homes. While my husband
and I aren't the most conventional people and are quite open to
considering more unusual venues, we can't really think of anywhere else
appropriate for this sort of occasion, particlarly in mid-winter.
Westchester is tough, too.

This is all so complicated, undoubtedly expensive, yet so important. I
feel so fortunate to have had several ultrasounds determining his
gender ahead of time! It's really nice having this head start! We
appreciate any and all suggestions/advice!

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