I first want to start by saying thank you all for your beautiful comments and support with regards to our film. I have received messages from all around the globe and it warms our hearts to know that Penelope’s story is making an impact. Duncan Skiles did an amazing job and we are so grateful for his dedication to this project.
We had high hopes that shortly after the film was released, the use of chickens in Kaporos would be a thing of the past (or at least in the public streets of brooklyn) due to a lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court to issue an injunction against Hasidic rabbis and synagogues in Brooklyn. Unfortuantley the judge denied the claim and 50,000 chickens will lose their lives in this practice between now and tuesday morning 9/22. In some locations, the chickens arrived last night.
“Supreme Court Judge Debra James, dodging the claimed conflict between religious rights and public health, ruled that city officials had discretion to decide whether to enforce sanitary codes, and private parties couldn’t sue over an alleged “public nuisance.” To read the full Newsday article click here.
As you can imagine we are devastated and shocked that the judge would deny our claim when 15 laws with regard to public health are being broken each year. Here is a statement from The Alliance to End Chickens As Kaporos. It is appalling that a judge would allow 50,000 chickens to be slaughtered on the streets, especially when there is an avian flu outbreak. There are feathers, feces and blood from these birds all over the sidewalk and people get that on their shoes and track it onto the subways and into their homes. There is a reason why there are laws in place that state that you can’t have a public slaughterhouse within a certain amount of feet from a residence. Potentially these diseases could spread all over New York so this is much more than just a Borough Park/ Williamsburg/Crown Heights issue. Last year there was a dead pile that was left on the street for a week that you could smell from blocks away. The police and sanitation department were notified and there wasn’t anything done about it. This year we really need the public support.
What You Can Do:
- Sign this petition.
- If you are in the NYC area, please consider attending the protests that are happening on sunday and monday evening in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Please click on the link for more details.
- Contact the police department and 311 asking them to enforce the laws with regard to public health. Document your calls!
- If you witness the practice, document it by taking photos and video
- Share Penelope’s documentary with your family and friends! The most common comment that we have received is that people have never heard of this ritual. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llFZmcy5Whw
Thank you for your support!