Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence
How to plan a bris efficiently
For families needing to plan a bris, the stress piles on from the moment that baby is born. If it wasn't hard enough to have a new member in the family, the minute he is born, the clock starts to tick towards the 8th day of his life, the day of his bris. For families living in NYC and the surrounding areas, it could be overwhelming to start figuring out all the logistics for the bris, because of the many options available. Here are some tips to skip the headache and make a meaningful experience for baby and guests.
1) Figure out the Mohel in advance: I cannot tell you the amount of times people are scrambling in hospitals to find the right Mohel after the baby is born. While you cannot plan the actual day of the bris unless it is a C section, knowing the Mohel you want to use and connecting with him prior in advance could help smooth the process after baby is born. When I know that a baby is due, I pencil them into my calendar based on their due date, and I know to expect a call from the parents to solidify the date and time once he has arrived.
2) Set a time that works for people: While some communities have the custom of doing a bris in the morning, the entire day is perfectly Kosher for a bris, as long as it is before sunset.
3) Find a venue: This is a little trickier to do in advance, but most synagogues are able to accommodate the short notice nature of a bris. Other places to do a bris could be in the backroom of a Kosher restaurant, or in your own home!
4) Arrange for food: No bris is complete without a celebratory meal, or in Hebrew, the seudat mitzvah. This can be as simple as Bagels and lox or as extravagant as a multicourse meal. As long as it is done in honor of the bris, it counts! There are a lot of Kosher caterers who can can do platters just for the number of people are your celebration, and like the synagogues, they are accustomed to the last minute nature.