Stephen H. Livingston, M.D.
Palm Beach Obstetrics & Gynecological Associates
July 12, 2004
I was put in touch with Rabbi Atkins approximately four years ago with regard to becoming a Conservative Mohel. As an ob/gyn physician, I had a number of years of experience in the surgical aspect of circumcision and therefore sought the religious knowledge and qualification.
At that time, Rabbi Atkins became my preceptor and gave me all the necessary instruction in the laws and tradition of the Brit Milah. I believe the course of study was very well organized and the learning took place from a breadth of sources. His sources used included Talmud, textbooks, journal articles, rabbinical committee opinions, and the Internet. During our one-on-one sessions, we also studied a number of practical questions and philosophical issues that arise for the Mohel. We read from Conservative, and also from Orthodox and Reform sources to gain an understanding of each.
Rabbi Atkins also supplied videotape of how he conducts the Bris ceremony which was very helpful. He has been kind enough to remain my mentor, and made himself very available over the years should issues arise.
I have been blessed to receive a great deal of positive feedback from the Bris ceremonies I have performed and would like to acknowledge Rabbi Atkins for helping to supply the knowledge and training to make this possible.
Dr. Stephen H. Livingston, Mohel
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.