Rabbi Saperstein: "We welcome Judge Giorgi's ruling, and vow to oppose similar measures in the future with the same vigor our people have fought to defend our rights as Jews for millennia."
WASHINGTON D.C., July 29, 2011 - In response to yesterday's ruling by a California judge, ordering that a proposed ban on circumcision be removed from the San Francisco ballot, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
We welcome yesterday's ruling removing a proposed ban on circumcision from the ballot in San Francisco. We know, as the Court recognized yesterday, that the ban would have violated the free exercise of religion, a right afforded to all Americans in the Constitution. We further welcome Judge Loretta M. Giorgi's ruling that "the evidence presented is overwhelmingly persuasive that circumcision is a widely practiced medical procedure."
As Jews, the tradition of circumcision is essential as our longest standing ritual, symbolizing the covenant between God and Abraham. As Americans, circumcision represents free exercise of religion and parental choice, rights on which we are unwilling to compromise.
The Union for Reform Judaism has long affirmed the rite of circumcision, most recently in a June resolution passed by our Board of Trustees stating a clear opposition to this and other similar ballot measures. We welcome Judge Giorgi's ruling, and vow to oppose similar measures in the future with the same vigor our people has fought to defend our rights as Jews for millennia.