Regulatory Board of Brit Mila starts its work

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Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and the Johannesburg Beth Din this week announced the establishment of “The Regulatory Board of Brit Mila in SA”, following last year’s inquiry after a 2014 bris in Johannesburg led to irreparable damage for a baby boy.
by ANT KATZ | Mar 02, 2016

See pic below

The mandate of the Board is to oversee and govern the practice of brit mila, including the registration and accreditation of all practising mohalim, “as well as setting the norms and standards to ensure that the practice of brit mila is conducted with the highest standards of professionalism, health and safety,” the Chief Rabbi told Jewish Report this week, announcing the news of the committee.  

The botched bris made international Jewish media headlines in June 2014 and had prompted the Chief Rabbi and the Av Beth Din to establish a commission of inquiry headed by retired Justice Phillip Levinsohn, a former Deputy Judge President of KwaZulu-Natal, to investigate the incident and make recommendations.

The commission reported back to the community in November last year, by which time it had been established that the boy had suffered serious and irreparable damage. Levinsohn recommended the establishment of the Board and also recommended that the mohel concerned no longer perform circumcisions.

The community is “privileged to have four such outstanding people to take on the task of the Regulatory Board of Brit Mila,” said Rabbi Goldstein. “Each of them brings a wealth of experience and expertise from their professional life.”

The board members are Dr Richard Friedland, CEO of Netcare; Advocate Natie Segal, a highly regarded legal counsel; Rabbi Dr Pinhas Zekry, who has served as rabbi of the Durban Jewish community for more than 30 years and is also a qualified mohel; and Rabbi Anton Klein, a director of the Beth Din.

“We are all grateful to them for undertaking this important responsibility,” said Rabbi Goldstein.

Briss Board

Pictured, from left: Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, Dr Richard Friedland, Advocate Natie Segal, Rabbi Anton Klein, Rabbi Dr Pinhas Zekry and Av Beth Din Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag. The four in the centre constitute the first The Regulatory Board of Brit Mila in South Africa

Related reads on this website

  • Jewish Report Online’s original story, published on 14 July 2014, went viral globally: BOTCHED BRIS LEADS TO INVESTIGATION was the headline. “A recent circumcision in Johannesburg ‘which resulted in injury to the baby’, has prompted the Chief Rabbi and the Av Beth Din to establish a commission of enquiry, headed by a retired justice, to investigate this case. A media statement issued jointly by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and Rosh Beth Din Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag, said the commission of enquiry would be headed by retired Justice Phillip Levinsohn, former Deputy Judge President of KwaZulu-Natal.”
  • BRIS FINDINGS LEAVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS published in November 2015 was taken up by even more of the world Jewish media. Our story said that “the commission of inquiry following the serious injury to a local baby at his brith milah in Sandton in June last year has recommended the mohel no longer perform circumcisions.” In fact, the November story made JR Online’s Top News series as BOTCHED BRIS LED TO 2015'S MOST VIRAL STORY after it got 1,229 reads within 24 hours of its November 11 publication (and 2,199 in the first week) “and was also retold by international Jewish publications and the Sunday Times in South Africa.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Dion R 02 Mar
    Great. Very quick to announce things, but never actually does anything. Still waiting for feedback on the big public announcement about the Brozin chicken investigation. Lots of hype, no feedback. Window dressing.


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