The Anti-Circumcision Activists of San Francisco are NOT Giving Up: Check Out “Jews for the Rights of the Child”

Those “Jews for the Rights of the Child,” you know, part of the crowd behind the unconstitutional* effort to ban circumcision in the 415, are not giving up, despite, you know, their recent setback.

I say that because this oddly-worded poster in the Western Addition has just been replaced with two much better looking posters that transmit pretty much the same message.

Click to expand

Anyway, this effort has not ended – you’ve been warned.

Welcome to our new organization, Jews for the Rights of the Child.
We have been Jewish Intactivists for many years, passionately working to educate people on the harms of circumcision. For example, we encourage people to replace the harsh Brit Milah with a peaceful naming ceremony such as Brit Shalom.
When the San Francisco MGM Bill was proposed, we both realized that we too would like to see the circumcision of unconsenting minors actually OUTLAWED — yes, even for Jews (and Muslims etc).
We realize this is a radical position.
We will be writing about how and why we each came to this position, and what we are doing about it.
Meanwhile check out Beyond the Bris and other Jewish Intactivist sites.
Check back soon!
Brian Levitt
Tina Kimmel
July 2011″

On It Goes…

*IMO. See Comments.

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18 Responses to “The Anti-Circumcision Activists of San Francisco are NOT Giving Up: Check Out “Jews for the Rights of the Child””

  1. GG says:

    Oh jeez. They need to just stop.

  2. Sam says:

    Repeat after me: your constitutional rights end where the child’s penis begins. Forcibly operating on a child in the name of “religion” is **NOT** a constitutional right.

    Either you say that the laws don’t apply to a child; or you ban circumcision. There is no middle ground.

  3. RByR says:

    I’m going to stick with my suggestion: religious people who believe that their deity wants some prepuce can have a ceremony when the baby is born. It can be as elaborate and solemn or as simple and modest as they want. A contract can be drawn up that states that when the male dies, his foreskin will be cut off and offered up; the covenant is met, and everybody wins.
    Seriously, the days of desert nomads and poor hygiene due to water scarcity are a thing of the past, so that argument can’t be used. And the foreskin can still be “presented”.

    BTW: what happens to all those little foreskins? Are they saved? Burned? Buried?

    If you think that a deity gave men foreskins just to watch babies writhe and scream, you’ve got other issues to address.

  4. Anon says:

    As for religious circumcisions, they are sometimes kept as a family keepsake. (Look sonny, this is the other half of your sexuality.)
    As for hospital circumcision, they are soled and used for skincare products.

  5. South Africa is way more progressive and civilized than San Francisco. Who knew?

    “South African Medical Association’s Human Rights, Law & Ethics Committee stated that it was unethical and illegal to perform circumcision on infant boys. The Committee expressed serious concern not enough scientifically-based evidence was available to confirm circumcisions prevented HIV contraction and the public at large was influenced by incorrect and misrepresented information.”

  6. I want my foreskin back says:

    Many Jews are questioning circumcision and more and more are abandoning it. For those who think that all real Jews think circumcision
    is wonderful, please watch the acclaimed documentary “CUT: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision” by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon. Eli interviewed people in Chicago (and a few others) about circumcision.
    You can watch the film online at

  7. As an East-coast Jew, I’m glad to see that this public debate has emboldened more individuals to be vocal about this controversial issue.

  8. Brian Levitt says:

    That window belongs to this Jew. And you are right I’m not going away. It is time for society to have a serioud discussion about what circumcision takes away phisically, sexually and in terms of civel rights of the CHILD. Brian Levitt. San Francisco.

  9. David Pinckney says:

    INVOLUNTARY circumcision is religious compulsion, not freedom, if these words are to have any serious meaning at all. If by religious freedom we could mean someone else chooses for you, we need to ask (religious freedom as apposed to what? Why even bother speaking in terms religious freedom, if we can’t coherently distinguish it from anything?) It’s worth not losing sight of the fact that religious freedom is not a religious concept, but an extremely novel, secular one; which empowers INDIVIDUALS by restricting religion itself. If anything about the deity of western mono theism is clear, at all, it is that he despises nothing more than the idea that humans should be able to make religious decisions for themselves. We rightfully couldn’t care less that you can cite chapter & verse permitting you to kill your neighbors for victimless theological thought crimes, like apostasy, blasphemy, not observing the Sabbath, witchcraft, idle worship, basically what we would nowadays describe as exercising one’s religious freedom.
    The point of religious freedom is not to allow you to do anything to other people, that some religion deems acceptable, but rather, to protect you from CAPRICIOUS infringements upon your religious practice. The state already intervenes when parents harm their children for religious reasons. We just haven’t yet acknowledged that circumcision is an example of this. On the proxy consent forms that are presented to parents at the hospital, one of the listed “risks” is “damage to the penis!” Just let that one marinate in your mind for a minute. If this were any other body part, or if we weren’t socially conditioned to think about the penis this way, we would immediately acknowledge the obvious.
    Judaism has, thankfully, already changed quite a bit. Jews are no longer executing their wives for cheating on them, or their children for talking back to them. This is obviously in the interest of being humane, civilized, & compassionate. Not to mention being obedient to the law of the land, and raising one’s ethical standards above those of the bronze age. In principle, the circumcising of infants could go the way of refusing to touch a woman, unless you know that she isn’t currently menstruating. Once your child is grown, their religious business is no longer your business. Circumcision is permanent. It is not even primarily a child’s rights issue, but a human’s rights issue in general. It is men who are being denied the ability to decide whether or not to be circumcised. I am an adult. It is none of my parents business how much of my penis I have left. They would not be permitted to have it done to me now, and yet, that’s effectively what they’ve done. When other people were determining whether I would be allowed to keep a part of myself, it was THEY who were not minding their own business! I am a human being, it isn’t right for anyone to treat me like a mere piece of property, for others to do with as they please. I don’t deserve to be razor-rapped, and disfigured for life, to satisfy someone else’s preferences. If you like circumcision than fine, go do it to yourself. But leave me alone! Or you’ll never hear the end of it.

  10. Candid Calum says:

    Your blog post is incorrect; the proposed circumcision ban is not unconstitutional. Some professor’s opinion is not fact. I realise that neither is mine, but when considering both decency and religious freedom, banning routine infant circumcision is not unconstitutional. Stoning is banned even though the Bible states that misbehaving children should be stoned; do you also believe that banning that was unconstitutional due to how it infringes on religious freedom? Stoning was banned because it harms people who don’t deserve to be harmed; likewise, routine infant circumcision should be banned because it harms people who don’t deserve to be harmed.

  11. Hugh7 says:

    Putting an age restriction (it never was a ban) on non-therapeutic male circumcision would protect
    1) his First Amendment right to practise the religion of his choice as an adult without having had one not of his choice pre-emptively practised on him before he could resist,
    2) His Fourth Amendment right to security of his person from unreasonable seizures and
    3) his Fourteenth Amendment right to equality under the law, which now federally prohibits all non-therapeutic genital cutting of non-consenting females, no matter how minor (not just the horrors of tribal Africa).

    So it is thoroughly Constitutional.

  12. pchas says:

    It’s not about the Constitution. The judge’s ruling said that the City and County of San Francisco is pre-empted from banning circumcision because medical procedures are regulated by the Business and Professions Code; so the intactivists need to circulate an initiative to change the B&P Code. Then it will be thrown out on Constitutional grounds.

  13. Chad R. says:

    Sexual torture and genital mutilation (circumcision) needs to come to a complete worldwide end. No one should have to suffer from unnecessary, unethical, painful, harmful and sometimes fatal genital mutilation. ALL girls and boys should be protected by the law. No longer can any myths be used as an excuse for genital mutilation of children.

  14. roger desmoulins says:

    The controversy is not over circumcision per se, but over who decides whether a given penis shall be circumcised: the parents of a male when he is a few days old, or the male himself when he is past his 18th or 21st birthday, and can appreciate the religious, cultural, and historical meaning of being circumcised.

    I have no difficulty with a state legislature enacting a prohibition of routine infant circumcision, on the grounds that parents do not have the right to alter the most sexual part of a man’s body without a compelling therapeutic reason. The law should also require that any circumcisions that do take place should be done under anesthesia. The 100 million routine infant circumcision performed last century in the USA and Canada were nearly always done without effective pain reduction. This was totally barbaric and unethical.

    The controversy in SF has given rise to the impression that intactivism primarily seeks to outlaw circumcision. That impression is mistaken. Intactivism is first about furthering the sexual education of Americans of child bearing age and younger, so that they have no desire to alter the bodies of their infant sons in this fashion.

    Ms Kimmel, I am glad to see you involved in this. You are an undervalued part of our movement.
    Mr Levitt, I salute yet another Jewish intactivist.

  15. I’m Jewish, I oppose circumcision. I resent being circumcised by a moyel. I supported the SF circumcision referendum, and I think circumcision should be criminalized.

  16. Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity

    Jews Against Circumcision

    Bris Shalom Officiants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D.

    Beyond the Bris: Jewish Parenting Blog

    Jewish mom: Circumcision spiritually wounds, breaks bonds and trust

    The Kindest Un-Cut: Feminism, Judaism, and My Son’s Foreskin

  17. Gold Standard Whey…

    The Anti-Circumcision Activists of San Francisco are NOT Giving Up: Check Out “Jews for the Rights of the Child” « San Francisco Citizen…

  18. There are intellectual grounds for Judaism to abolish circumcision. This movement deserves to be considered on human rights grounds.

    Jewish Voices: The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1

    Jewish Voices: The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 2

    Jewish Voices: The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 3

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