"The Conference of European Rabbis has today announced the creation of The Union of Mohalim in Europe (UME). Based upon the model of the UK's Initiation Society, the UME will unite approved mohalim across Europe under a single banner, ensuring that all communities can be assured of the high level of training and regulation of the mohalim that they use.…"
CER ANNOUNCES THE CREATION OF THE UNION OF MOHELIM IN EUROPE
24th July - The Conference of European Rabbis has today announced the creation of The Union of Mohalim in Europe (UME). Based upon the model of the UK's Initiation Society, the UME will unite approved mohalim across Europe under a single banner, ensuring that all communities can be assured of the high level of training and regulation of the mohalim that they use.
The Union has been constituted as an independent legal body and will be run by a committee under the patronage of Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, President of the European Beth Din.
The board includes members from four different countries. Its spokesmen are Mr. Shimon Cohen from London and Prof. Herman Loonstein from Amsterdam. Dr. Joseph Spitzer from London is the medical director, ensuring the UME's meets the highest medical standards.
Over the coming weeks, the officers of the Union will consult Rabbinical authorities across Europe and compile a list of all fully certified mohalim. In addition, potential members will be offered opportunities to review halachic, medical and legal issues and receive full certification.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis commenting on the announcement said: "I am delighted that months of hard work have finally come to fruition and the group can formally take shape. Recent events in Poland have demonstrated how European Jewry, now more than ever, needs to show a united front when a crisis looms large."
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister of Vienna, President of the Union of Mohalim in Europe said, "The Union enables us to approve qualified European Mohelim and to promote best practice in an area where we know our opponents will seize upon any opportunity to challenge us. The ongoing debates about infant circumcision in Europe mean that this additional layer of protection could not come at a more important time."
The union was formed to deal with the blowback caused when a Chabad rabbi in Germany, who had metzitzah b'peh (MBP; the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis-sucking done by many haredi mohels after removing the baby's foreskin) done on his baby earlier this year after previously making statements to German political leaders that would have contradicted performing it – especially since MBP appears to be illegal under German law.
Shimon Cohen is the man who headed Shechita UK's public campaign and made many statements about the humaneness of shechita that were simply false.
Lets hope he does not repeat his tactics again here.