Dr. Sarah Grope was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Magna Cum Laude, and majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a minor in Biochemistry. In her junior year, she studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland and was the President of the Jewish Society and very active in the Jewish community there. When she returned to Boulder, Dr. Grope served as the co-president of Hillel.
In 1996, Dr. Grope began medical school at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. She was active in many community service organizations and graduated Alpha Omega Alpha in June of 2000. Dr. Grope completed her pediatric residency at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2003.
Dr. Grope is currently a pediatric Hospitalist with Peditarix Medical Group. She serves as the clinical medical director and has performed hundreds of hospital-based circumcisions since starting her career as a hospital-based pediatrician.
Dr. Grope's growing interest in Jewish ritual life led her to train to become a certified Mohelet of the Brit Milah Board of Reform Judaism. In 2009 she trained under the auspices of the Hebrew Union College, Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. The training program included both medical and ritual instruction. She is currently a member of the National Organization of American Mohalim.
"I am the mother of three sons. I personally understand the joy of bringing your son into the community of the Jewish people, as well as the strong emotion that this ritual evokes. I also know how deeply spiritual it is to feel connected with the generations that have come before us and with Jewish people across the globe.
I feel incredibly privileged to help families fulfill the Mitzvah of Brit Milah, and enter our community through this beautiful ritual."
-Dr. Sarah Grope
I believe that families of all dimensions should be given the right to welcome their sons into the Jewish covenant through the ritual of Brit Milah. This ceremony is an opportunity to remind people of the beauty of Judaism and the importance of keeping our community close. It is a chance to provide families with a welcoming, relevant ceremony that reminds us of how important community is.
The origin of ritual circumcision dates back to biblical times. In Genesis 17 God told Abraham, (known at that time as Abram) "And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you." Abraham took this commandment very seriously. After his conversation with God, he circumcised himself and his entire household. God renewed this covenant with Moses in Sinai saying, "If a woman bear a man-child…on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised" Leviticus 12:1-3). Since then it has been incumbent upon Jews to circumcise their male children on day eight of life.
In today's world, the reasons for performing Brit Milah surpass biblical law. We all want to feel included in something bigger and more important than ourselves. To start a child off with a ceremony that gives him a visible reminder of what and who he belongs to is very powerful. It sets him up for a future of community and belonging. By performing Brit Milah, we honor the Jewish community, tradition and our ancestors.
In contemporary society, many families struggle to find their place in the Jewish community. Some find it overwhelming and so they don't try, while others may not feel welcome because they do not match the traditional definition of a Jewish family. I work closely with families to craft a ceremony that includes people they wish to honor and readings which are meaningful to them. By performing a Brit Milah ritual that families can identify with, I hope to provide them with a wonderful experience as part of their Jewish journey. The Brit Milah is the link to a practice performed for thousands of years with a power that is difficult to describe. The tradition of formally welcoming a child into our society and blessing them publicly is a very special and powerful thing. It gives parents a sense of how important their job is in regards to raising their children with the richness and depth of our past. Honoring what our ancestors have done is a good place to start in teaching our children how to honor and respect parents and elders.
I am honored to help welcome children into the covenant of Judaism. I strive to provide an experience which is warm, spiritual and inclusive.