BERLIN – The representative assembly of Berlin’s Jewish community objected on
Thursday to an administrative order issued by the Berlin senator for justice and
consumer protection outlining stringent new conditions for
Sen. Thomas Heilmann from the Christian Democratic Union
party posted his directive on the city’s website, including the specification
that Jewish ritual be performed by a doctor rather than a mohel.
Jewish assembly of the 10,500-strong community wrote in a statement that it
“took notice” of Heilmann’s decree and slammed the decision as a “flagrant
intervention in the over-3,000-year tradition of Judaism.”
said it “unanimously rejected the statement of the Senate for justice and
consumer protection administration.”
Berlin, which is both the capital
city of Germany and a federal state, will continue to criminalize circumcision
unless it is performed by a doctor and the state advises the parents of the risk
associated with male circumcision.
According to Berlin’s government, the
local authorities are waiting for national legislation to remedy the uncertain
The Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-
Semitism announced a September 9 rally with a broad-based coalition of groups to
protest for “religious freedom and the decriminalization of
The JFDA said Muslims, Christians and Jews are slated to
attend, including Kenan Kolat, the national head of the Turkish community in
Germany. Berlin’s Orthodox rabbi, Yitzchak Ehrenberg will also be
The prosecutor’s office recently dismissed a complaint against
Ehrenberg based on his advocacy of circumcision.
The rally is planned to
take place in Bebelplatz in the district of Mitte in east Berlin.