To see a yearly archive of CHILD USA in the news, click a year from below


Why Non-Jews Are Choosing Jewish Circumcision Ceremonies

Jessica Alpert | June 23, 2015

Finch isn’t the only non-Jew who has felt a connection to the religious elements of the procedure. Nationwide, circumcisions have decreased over the last few decades—from 64.5 percent of newborn boys in 1979 to 58.3 percent in 2010, according to Centers for Disease Control data—but among those opting to circumcise their sons, some non-Jews are forgoing the hospital or doctor’s office and requesting Jewish mohels for reasons both practical and religious. (Reliable statistics on religious circumcisions are hard to come by, but several mohels I talked to said they’ve noticed an uptick in their popularity in recent years.) Mohels, who typically perform circumcisions in private homes, can be doctors, but some are simply devout Jews—often, but not always, members of the clergy—who undergo technical training in order to learn how to perform the procedure. All mohels, including health professionals, are also trained in the ritual aspects of circumcision.

Vaccinations Are States’ Call

Denise Grady | February 16, 2015

Henning Jacobson just said no. Even though Massachusetts required it, he did not want to be vaccinated. He had had a bad reaction to a vaccine, and he opposed vaccination in general.

Refusing to back down, he fought the state law all the way to the Supreme Court. And Mr. Jacobson, a minister in Cambridge, lost.

He was not forcibly immunized, but he did have to pay a $5 fine for turning down the vaccine against smallpox.