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Does Judaism have any tradition resembling the Christian practice of assigning godparents? Godparents are a man and a woman entrusted by the birth parents to take care of their child spiritually and materially should the child become orphaned. Is there any equivalent role in Judaism? Who takes care of a child who has lost his parents?

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This is a legal issue, not a religious one. – Seth J Mar 11 '12 at 16:46
@SethJ what's the difference from a Jewish perspective? – yoel Mar 11 '12 at 18:16
Others who downvoted or voted to close, please do comment and explain why. I don't think there is anything wrong with my question, but if there is, I'd like to correct it. – SAH Mar 12 '12 at 5:12
@SAH - I think it's a great question. I was actually just about to ask something very similar to this. I'm the "godfather" to the son of my best friend, who is Jewish. It's a strictly honorary title, and if he and the child's mother died, one of the two sets of grandparents would take custody of him, but I was wondering whether godparents are a thing in Judaism. – Wad Cheber Aug 24 '15 at 4:02
up vote 8 down vote accepted

There is a custom in Ashkenazic communities to have a married couple act as kvatter for newborn sons during the bris. It is their role to carry the boy from the mother to the father before the circumcision takes place. While the term may be a corruption of the German "godfather", I am not aware of any specific responsibility conferred after their role is fulfilled.

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