Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Tuesday,
Jul 22nd

Dr. Sarah Grope: Denver’s first and only mohelet

E-mail Print PDF

Joe and Rachel Greengard Galt, daughter Jasmine and Rachel’s grandmother Helen Bernstein recite blessings as mohelet Dr. Sarah Grope gently holds Jay at his brit milah.Placing an eight-day-old male into a stranger’s arms for a brit milah, the ritual of circumcision that binds men to the Jewish covenant, can be a tremulous act of faith.

Dr. Sarah Grope, a Denver pediatrician and first practicing Reform mohelet (ritual circumciser) in Denver, understands.

One of about 50 Reform women certified to perform brit milah in the US, Grope also is the mother of three sons.

The fusion of personal insight and professional skill gives her an unusual perspective on the age-old Jewish ritual.

“I have done of hundreds of circumcisions in the hospital, but then my first son Avi was born,” she says. “Dr. Kenneth Katz was our mohel. It was so emotional I cried through the whole thing.

“New moms feel their babies are perfect, precious beings. To willingly accept that someone is going to use a knife on them is extremely difficult.”

As a doctor, Grope is well acquainted with the benefits of circumcision. “I had all the reasons in the world for doing this. But rationalization doesn’t ameliorate the emotional piece of being a new mom.

“Eight days after the birth is still a volatile time for us. There are hormonal fluctuations; emotional mood swings — so many things are going on.”

Grope always had strong ties to Judaism and even contemplated being a rabbi at one point. “It’s hard to consider which way to go in life,” she says. “But I’ve always loved medicine, so I followed my first passion.”

She majored in molecular, cellular and developmental biology at CU as an undergrad and matriculated magna cum laude. But wherever she went, a persistent passion for Judaism accompanied her like a familiar melody.

The rest of this article is available in the March 14, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our new online e-Edition.

 

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Kibitzing with Alan Dershowitz at the Chilmark General Store

Anthony Weiss The famed attorney and other machers schmooze at a low-key spot on Martha’s Vineyard. ... [Link]

After Harvard, Alan Dershowitz plans an active — and combative — retirement

Anthony Weiss The famed attorney has retired from Harvard Law School, but he is not planning a quiet life. ... [Link]

Arab-Israelis, police clash at protest

Marcy Oster Arab-Israeli protesters clashed with police at a demonstration in Nazareth against Israel’s military operation in Gaza. ... [Link]

AIPAC rues added relief for Iran in talks extension

Ron Kampeas AIPAC said it was “deeply disappointed” in the terms extending the Iran nuclear talks for four months. ... [Link]

Belfast synagogue vandalized on back-to-back days

Julie Wiener A window was smashed on successive days at a synagogue in Belfast, Ireland. ... [Link]

From grizzly bears to Gaza rockets: Alaskan olim head for Israel

Uriel Heilman A family that used to catch 55 pounds of their own wild salmon every year is relocating to Haifa. They’re among several Alaskan Jews moving to Israel. ... [Link]

Obama tells Kerry to broker ‘immediate’ cease-fire in Gaza

Ron Kampeas President Obama told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to push for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. ... [Link]

Brooklyn man, extradited from Israel, arraigned in ’08 beating death

Julie Wiener A former Hasidic community watch group member in Brooklyn was arraigned in New York in a 2008 beating death after being extradited from Israel. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com