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Petition to Replace Chickens with Money in Kaporos Rituals

This petition had 1,364 supporters

Kaporos ("atonements") is a custom preceding Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement - in which chickens are ritually sacrificed by many Orthodox Jews. The person "swings" the chicken, held by the legs or by pinning the bird's wings backward, around his or her head while chanting about transferring one's sins symbolically onto the bird. The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor. Prior to the ceremony, the chickens are packed in crates, and birds not used have been found abandoned in their crates when the ceremony was over.

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos seeks to replace chickens in kaporos rituals for 3 principal reasons:

The use of chickens as kaporos is cruel. They suffer in being held with their wings pinned backward, in being swung over the heads of practitioners, and in being packed in crates, often for days without food or water leading up to the ritual, which violates tsa'ar ba'alei chaim, the mandate prohibiting cruelty to animals.

The use of chickens is not required by Jewish law. It is not a mitzvah but a custom that originated in the middle ages.

There is an acceptable substitute that not only avoids cruelty but can help reduce hunger and show compassion. Money can be used as a non-animal alternative, and funds raised can be given directly to charities that provide food for the poor and hungry throughout the year, including 13,000 Jewish families living at or below the poverty line in New York City.

If you agree, please sign our petition urging practitioners of kaporos to use money instead of chickens. Thank you for your support.



Rabbi Steven Weil, Chief Executive Officer
11 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
Direct Line: 212-613-8101
Office Phone: 212-563-4000
Website Contact:

Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, President

305 7th Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-807-9000
Fax: 212-727-8452
Email Rabbi Kletenik:
Website Contact:


Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President
136 East 39th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-983-3521
Fax: 212-983-3531
Email Rabbi Potasnik:
Office Email:
Website Contact:

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