Open letter to Jewish religious leaders

summer 2019

Public debate on the conditions for consent to circumcision

To the attention of:
Haïm Korsia, Chief Rabbi of France
Delphine Horvilleur, Floriane Chinsky, Yann Boissière – rabbis of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France

cc: Central Israelite Consistory of France


Droit au Corps has just sent the French government an appeal titled « To open a public debate on the conditions of consent to circumcision ». We wanted to inform you as early as possible. We believe that it is in everyone’s interest that such a debate be initiated in a calm atmosphere and within the framework of a shared ethic that gives priority to alleviating suffering in the world.


  • that the symposium on the future of circumcision organized in 2015 by the “Association des Médecins Israélites de France” (Association of Jewish Doctors of France) and the “Fonds Social Juif Unifié” (United Jewish Social Fund) paved the way for such a debate, recognizing that the circumcision of newborns causes inevitable pain and a risk of complications, and that it must be postponed in certain situations
  • that circumcision is not mentioned in the Koran and is not one of the conditions for becoming a Muslim;

it seems to us that the conditions are in place for a public debate on the conditions for consent to circumcision, which would allow a consensus to be reached among all parties, a balance point that can alleviate as much suffering as possible.

We draw your attention to the fact that this appeal targets particularly the circumcision of newborns, an age when effective anesthesia entails a higher risk of death. We ask you to call for an end to a religious practice particularly harmful at this age, and to consider, for example, an evolution to the alternative ritual of Brit Shalom, which can be celebrated at 8 days, in accordance with tradition but without risk or pain. This would be to your great credit and would in no way call into question the principle of circumcision delayed until the age of consent, a practice that is compatible with Judaism.

We are at your disposal for any further information.

With kind regards,

Droit au Corps