Group to Appeal Dismissal of Kapporos Lawsuit

from the JTA:

An animal rights group will appeal the decision of a federal judge in California which dismissed a lawsuit against a synagogue for holding a kapparot ceremony, a pre-Yom Kippur ritual in which a chicken is swung by its legs and then slaughtered.

Los Angeles District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. earlier this month ruled in favor of a request by Chabad of Irvine to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it in late September by animal rights activists.

The suit on behalf of the Virginia-based United Poultry Concerns claimed that the practice violates the state’s unfair competition law. But Birotte wrote in his decision that the kapparot ceremony is a religious ritual supported by donations, not a “business act” covered by the unfair competition law.

The case will now go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.

Click here to continue reading at the JTA.


  • 1. 32y wrote:

    Ive seen this guy in a picture before, related to this issue. He looks like he really found a meaningful project……
    picking on Jews who won’t do anything dangerous to him.
    He should get a life

  • 3. Milhouse wrote:

    Remember that the only issue being appealed is whether religious ceremonies supported by donations count under California law as commercial activities. If they were selling the chickens then it would be commercial, even though it’s for a religious purpose. But the court said that since they’re merely asking for donations it’s not commercial. The plaintiffs disagree, and are hoping the appeals court says it is commercial.

    But even if they win this appeal they’d still have to address Chabad’s first amendment arguments.

    Chabad could also counter-appeal the judge’s earlier findings against it, such as allowing the plaintiffs to add up the alleged gross proceeds for ten years in order to put the total over $75,000, and allowing them to consider their choice to divert resources to protesting Chabad’s actions as damage caused to them by Chabad. Those are very questionable decisions that only go to show how the judge bent over backwards to be fair to them, until he reached one claim that he just couldn’t swallow.

    And even if they prevail on all counts, that doesn’t mean they win, it just means they get to make their case. If it ever gets that far they’ll have to prove all their patently false assertions, which at this stage have to be taken as true.

  • 4. "Swing by the legs????!!!" wrote:

    I guess those people who want to hand over their BMW keys to chickens (after all it’s not fair chickens have to walk everywhere!). – have never seen a kapporus ceremony. Either chickens are gently held by their wings or put in an open box and circled around the head. This isn’t the Wild West!!!!

    • 5. Milhouse wrote:

      Oh, their complaint is full of lies, including that the chickens are discarded after use, and that Chabad of Irvine goes through 300 chickens every erev yom kippur (halevai), which is how they came up with the figure of $81,000 over ten years (300 * 27 * 10) in order to get it into federal court (they also assume that the $27 is kulo revach, when in fact the program often runs at a loss). But at this stage in the process all their claims must be accepted as true. The defendant can’t challenge them with facts, only with legal arguments. If it ever gets as far as depositions and pre-trial motions, that will be the time to expose their lies.

    • 7. Milhouse wrote:

      That’s a fair summary of where the case stood at the time it was written. There has been some progress since, but the religious liberty question has not been reached, and may never be reached.

  • 8. The kangeroo wrote:

    The chickens are anti-semites.The roosters make noise early in the morning.


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