Winter-Spring 2013 Poultry Press NEXT
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Urge Brooklyn Business Owners to Stop Renting Out Their Property

In 2010, United Poultry Concerns and a group of New York City activists formed the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos ( Our purpose is to promote the use of non-animal symbols of atonement instead of the cruel waving and slaughtering of chickens in public ceremonies preceding Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Kaporos “chicken-swinging” is a medieval custom practiced by some Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Jerusalem, and elsewhere. Practitioners transfer their sins and punishment symbolically to the chickens by waving them over their heads, with their wings pinned painfully backward, while reciting verses that basically say: “You suffer and die in my place.”

Prior to the ceremony, thousands of chickens are trucked to urban neighborhoods where they are held in transport crates for days without food, water, or shelter. Birds injured, dying and dead have been observed being thrown into dumpsters in garbage bags during and after the ceremony. More and more Orthodox rabbis are publicly denouncing the Kaporos ritual on grounds of religion, morality, and compassion for animals. In the words of Orthodox Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Kaporos observers “should be cultivating mercy for all those who suffer and not be perpetuating pain on sentient creatures in the name of piety.”

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Please write a letter in your own words to these two Brooklyn business owners. Tell them you recently learned they are renting out their property to people who conduct Kaporos with chickens and that you are shocked. Ask them how they can justify the performance of the ritual and urge them to stop renting out their property for this purpose. Request a response to your letter.

Mr. Joe Cohen
AMR Auto Repairs
502 Avenue P
Brooklyn, NY 11223

Mr. Stanley J. Nieberg
Nieberg Midwood Chapels
1625 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230

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From Carol Guzy's photos of the ritual published in The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2010.
Winter-Spring 2013 Poultry Press NEXT