An Illegal Massacre Performed Annually in NYC Streets


“Kapparot or kaparos, meaning “atonements,” is a custom in which a chicken or money may be used. Kapparot using chickens is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. First, selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 are recited. Then a rooster (for a man) or a hen (for a woman) is held above the person’s head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: “This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace.” The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor for food.


Kapparot is not mentioned in the Torah or the Talmud. It was first discussed by certain Jewish scholars in the ninth century who claimed that since the Hebrew word gever meant both “man” and “rooster,” punishment of the bird could be substituted for that of a human. According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, other Jewish scholars strongly opposed kapparot. The 13th-century scholar Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet considered kapparot a heathen superstition. Rabbi Joseph Caro called it a “foolish custom.” Others have pointed out that kapparot does not remove sins, and if it could, what would be the need for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement?” (from

The manner in which Kaporos is currently performed in NYC is not only exceptionally cruel and an abomination that violates many Jewish principles, it also violates at least 15 city and state laws. More than half of these laws are part of or refer to health codes; in fact, Kaporos with chickens in NYC has been determined to be an epidemic waiting to happen according to a comprehensive toxicology report.” The reason these communities can violate the laws with impunity is because they represent a concentrated and powerful voting bloc. City agencies aid and abet this practice in order to curry favor with the orthodox communities and guarantee their political support. That is corruption, and it is wrong.


The campaign to end the use of chickens as Kaporos is not a campaign waged against any religion; we are not opposed to an atonement ritual. We are opposed to the cruel use of chickens for said ritual when the viable and widely used substitution of money may be used. As of 2018, we have evolved into a multi-faceted and fully year-round campaign. We also shifted our presence at the Kaporos rituals to chicken care vigils rather than protest. A live broadcast at the bottom of this page shows one such chicken care vigil at a Kaporos site in high heat. This change in tactic allowed us more access to the victims themselves and allowed us to facilitate a better interaction with NYPD while reducing the impression or incidence of anti-Semitism. An incredible coalition also formed between the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, The Save Movement, and Jewish Veg, with the continued support of

Kaporos with chickens in NYC is cruel, corrupt, and poses a major public health hazard. That is unacceptable. For more detailed info and background, please visit and

Animal activists provide water and food to thousands of baby chickens left neglected in industrial crates for days at a time. september, 2018

Animal activists provide water and food to thousands of baby chickens left neglected in industrial crates for days at a time. september, 2018