Back To Home - Dr. Fred R. Kogen, The Bris Mila,
Questions To Ask A Mohel
About Dr. Kogen
Locations and Fees
Letters of Recommendation
Questions To Ask A Mohel
How Do We Book You?
Bris Stuff
Ideas To Enhance Ceremony
Links & Resources
  1. What is your background and training?


    • Rabbi, physician, nurse practitioner, or neither?

      I am a physician trained in Obstetrics & Gynecology. I attended medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and graduated in 1984. I was in General Practice for seven years afterward.

    • Current Medical License?

      I maintain a current medical license in the States of New York, New Jersey, and California.

    • Board certification? Name of Board and what year certified?

      I was trained as a mohel under the auspices of the Berit Milah Board of Reform Judaism and I was certified in 1985.

    • Member of a national organization representing Mohalim/ot?

      I am a 20 year member and past secretary of the National Organization of American Mohalim/ot (NOAM).

    • Attends meetings/lecturer/author of articles?

      Lecturer : Hebrew Union College Practical Rabbinics Class and many temple-based lecture engagements. I attend the biannual meetings of NOAM.

      Published articles in NOAM newsletter & Los Angeles Times.

    • How many years as a mohel/et?

      20 years.

    • Professional or part-time?

      I am a full-time professional mohel and have been so for 13 years.

      I performed as a mohel part-time for seven years prior to 1992.

    • How often does he/she perform Beritot?

      I perform approximately 6 - 7 ceremonies per week.

    • Total number of ceremonies performed?

      I performed my first bris in 1985 and have performed approximately 3000+ ceremonies during my career. This figure represents 25% of the total number of all ceremonies performed in the United States to date by mohalim/ot trained through the Berit Milah Board of Reform Judaism. There are currently 200 mohalim/ot trained in the United States and Canada.

  2.  top

  3. How are the medical instruments sterilized?

    My instruments are autoclave steam sterilized to the standards of top American medical establishments and to the standards of the Public Health Department as well.

  4.  top

  5. Anesthesia, if recommended, what types are used?

    Yes. I recommend the use of pain reducing medications such as LMX cream non prescription anesthetic cream, infant Tylenol, sucrose water, Kosher sweet wine or sweet grape juice and a lidocaine based ointment for aftercare.

    I believe that this recipe of helpful ingredients diminish the baby's discomfort in a rational and reasonable way. I feel the use of injection anesthetics is overly aggressive and exposes the baby to potentially serious complication without
    significant beneficial effect. Injection anesthetic is not considered acceptable under Jewish law in certain Jewish religious circles. I will however, agree to use an injection anesthetic (dorsal block) if a family requests its use.

  6.  top

  7. What technique is used to perform the circumcision?

    Mogen Clamp Technique

    This instrument allows the fastest procedure time and is least traumatic to the baby, in my opinion. It is also a "kosher" method of circumcision, important if the family is observant or if an observant observer will be present at the Bris.

    Circumcision and Device Illustrations

  8.  top

  9. Does the mohel/et perform a "prep" on the baby? If so, exactly what does the prep entail?

    I do not "prep" the baby in anyway, except for the topical application of ELAMAX anesthetic cream.

    The "prep" usually entails strapping the baby on a restraining board, cutting and clamping using the Gomco clamp, then bringing the baby out for the ceremony, strapped and clamped, covered by a blanket so that the device is not visible to the guests. A final cut, necessary with the use of the Gomco Clamp, occurs later during the ceremony.

  10.  top

  11. Is the baby restrained on a board at any time during the ceremony?

    No restraining board...
    unless the parents insist on its use. I feel that the use of a pillow is more traditional, less traumatic to the baby, works equally well and it allows the baby to be held in the comforting arms of loved ones rather than restrained by velcro straps while laying on a cold, hard board. Additionally, the board is inherently abhorrent to many of the guests and family members who watch the procedure being conducted. It scares them to see the baby restrained on a board.

    Picture of Restraining Board

  12.  top

  13. How does the mohel/et integrate the needs of interfaith couples? Is there a role for both men and women in the ceremony? What about non-Jews?

    If a family is interfaith, I incorporate the non-Jewish members equally into the ceremony. I am well recognized for my efforts to educate guests throughout the course of the ceremony. I integrate an explanation with blessings while at the same time directing the participants.

  14.  top

  15. Ask the mohel/et to briefly describe the ceremony he/she performs.

    Please refer to my goals page.

  16.  top

  17. What is your fee structure?

    My professional fee is predicated on the following factors:

    1. Location of the ceremony.
    2. Time of the ceremony. I charge an extra fee of $50.00 for ceremonies that are conducted after 5 p.m..
    3. If a ceremony is postponed until a Sunday. As a professional mohel, I strongly encourage adherence to the eighth day rule, as stated on the "timing for the ceremony page" . If a ceremony is postponed for reasons other than the health of the baby and rescheduled into a Sunday, I charge an extra fee. If the ceremony is rescheduled into any other day of the week, except for Saturday, ---I do not allow rescheduling into the sabbath, i.e. Saturday--- there is NO extra fee.
    4. If an overnight stay is required, a fee for the expense of the overnight accommodation.

    Remember, a Bris is a ceremony, a participatory experience and a surgery, so a mohel functions as a Jewish religious officiant, ceremony director and a surgeon. The fee will generally reflect the experience and professional status of the mohel. Also, a physician mohel has to cover the cost of liability insurance, i.e. medical malpractice insurance, a cost which non-physician mohels do not share. There is no liability insurance available for non-physician mohels. Finally, there may be adjustments for those in need.

  18.  top

  19. What is your usual territory?

    I routinely travel throughout California. But most commonly I perform in Southern California to San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area.

  20.  top

  21. Will you consider travel to a more remote or distant location?

    I am willing to travel internationally.

  22.  top

  23. Can I request a complete list of references and take the time to call a few of them?

    Please contact my office for a complete list of references. Also, review my Letters of Recommendation, from within this web site. Letters of Recommendation