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Measles Outbreak Triggers Kaporos Protest at NYC Dept. of Health

May 30, 2019 by Leave a Comment

The News

Public health and animal welfare advocates staged a protest in the lobby of the New York City Department of Health, pleading with City health officials to shut down Kaporos, an illegal mass animal sacrifice that takes place in the same Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods stricken by the measles outbreak.

During Kaporos, an annual atonement ritual, practitioners kill an estimated 60,000 chickens in open-air slaughterhouses erected without permits and contaminate the streets of Williamsburg and other Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods with blood, feces and body parts. Seven health codes are violated during the ritual.

According to a toxicologist who studied fecal and blood samples taken during Kaporos, the ritual “constitutes a dangerous condition” and “poses a significant public health hazard.” In recent years, several New Yorkers who did not partake in the ritual contracted E. coli and campylobacter after coming into contact with these contaminants. Advocates believe that many Kaporos practitioners have also gotten sick but that the insular Hasidic communities would not report the illnesses to the Department of Health.

During the protest, which took place on May 23rd, advocates distributed hundreds of handouts to DOH employees, drawing their attention to the measles outbreak and asking them to enforce the laws violated during Kaporos in order to prevent the outbreak of other infectious diseases, such as avian flu. While many DOH employees were dismissive of the advocates, dozens expressed their support with a discreet thumbs up or a brief remark in passing. Several employees said that they could not express their support of the advocates’ concerns with their supervisors for fear of retribution.

On April 9th, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the Health Commissioner, held a press conference to announce a public health emergency due to the measles outbreak. Many advocates campaigning against the mass animal sacrifice believed that the measles emergency would serve as a “wake up call,” compelling her to take measures to prevent the potential outbreak of other diseases in the same Hasidic Jewish communities affected by measles. However, during a public health forum held at the City University of New York on April 1st, 2019, Dr. Barbot stated that she would continue to allow the sacrifice to take place. “In our work addressing public health issues in a number of different communities, we take an approach that matches the intervention to the degree that people are getting sick,” said Dr. Barbot. “I don’t see us making any change in our current practice in that area.” 

Tens of thousands of chickens used in the ritual sacrifice Kaporos are bled out into traffic cones after their throats are sliced in open air slaughterhouses erected without permits on public streets. (photo: Unparalleled Suffering Photography)

An attorney advising the advocates believes that Dr. Barbot’s decision to ignore the health code violations exposes the city to liability. “Apart from the extraordinary risk at which the Mayor and Health Commissioner are placing New York’s residents, the City faces enormous liability should someone become sick or even die as a result of Kaporos,” said Bonnie Klapper, a former federal prosecutor. “The financial cost, which would be borne by all New Yorkers in the event of a money judgement, should certainly compel the City to enforce its own health laws.”

Public health and animal welfare advocates protest NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot over her refusal to enforce the 7 health codes violated during the mass ritual animal sacrifice Kaporos

Advocates say that the Health Commissioner turns a blind eye to the health code violations because the Hasidic Jewish practitioners of Kaporos comprise a powerful voting bloc for her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for president. 

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Chickens do not carry measles. Salmonella maybe, but not measles. Linking these two unrelated things is blatant sensationalism. The anti-vaxx movement is not based on Torah or Hasidism. It is based on bad research claiming the MMR vaccine causes autism. This was picked up by Autism Speaks, a crappy org that uses a lot of scare tactics about autism (and which a lot of autistic people hate, but that’s another story.) This myth has since debunked by real science, and Autism Speaks eventually posted a retraction, but the damagevis done. Like the proverbial pillow ful! of feathers, the rumor had spread everywhere and keeps circulating. Lots of people, including many ultra-secular ones, have bought into it. (And BTW, I am autistic, so I know a *lot* about this issue. Vaccines did not cause my autism.)

    Yes, I read the article and I get that you are comparing actions by the Health Dept, but that’s not what the headline does. It implies that Orthodox Jews are dirty, ignorant, primitive people who are causing a public health danger to everyone else. It feeds into a lot of antisemitic stereotypes that “other” the Jewish community. And it does nothing to help the chickens. There are people like myself within the Orthodox community who also oppose using chickens, but when you pull a stunt like this, you make it very hard, if not impossible, to stand with you.

  2. Jose Cohen says:

    How Measles and Kaparot have anything to do with one another is beyond me. This article is just a hate on Orthodox Jewish Customs. No wonder why so many Jews in Brooklyn are getting beat up.

  3. Joel Stein says:

    Are you a rabbi? Or are you a lowlife piece of drek? For your obnoxious attitude. For your acid tongue. And for your disgusting uncivil demeanor you will be reported. You can go #$% yourself, you lousy excuse for a human. A shonda on you! Last post.

  4. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Your father must have lowered his standards too to mate with a donkey to get whatever you are called? Donkey-Human?. You agree you are a moron so let’s see how much of a moron you are? Do you know how to keep a moron in suspense?

  5. Joel Stein says:

    Yeshiva University must have lowered their standards considerably in 1980. I didn’t realize that they adopted affirmative action. What did you do there, clean the toilets? If it was up to me, I’d put you on the front lines in S’drot … where one of my friends is now. You sound like one of the idiot pupils I once taught many years ago. Maybe you should take mail-order refresher courses to learn civil discourse. And, for once, I have to agree … I too am a moron. I have to be one to continue this senseless discussion.

  6. Rabbi Glickman says:

    So you can slander someone else but when someone does it to you you call foul (pun intended)? I think the groundhog has more of a brain capacity then you. I went a Yeshiva in Jerusalem in 1980. Where did you get your education? Satan University? University of No Brains? I bet you are a BDS supporter too. Sad how far liberal Jews like you have strayed. Oy Vey.

  7. Joel Stein says:

    Now the true vitriol comes out. You never addressed what seminary you went to. Maybe you’re an anti-semite posing as a rabbi. You certainly don’t sound like a rabbi. Title or not my issue is ‘kaparot’. And speaking of maybe’s … maybe they should substitute you for one of the innocent chickens; put you in a crammed crate without water on a scorching day, go through a senseless ritual … then throw you away like the garbage you are.

  8. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Wow you are blind? Read the article. You don’t see the title? You don’t read the Measles Karapot Public Corruption? And the videos on YouTube? The hate messages being posted? Why would I expect you too though; a hater doesn’t see his own hate. Maybe I do agree with abortion; you parents should have done it when you were in the womb; Jews of all kind as well as non-jews would be better off.

  9. Joel Stein says:

    Besides a visit to the psychiatrist maybe you should see an optometrist. Measles never entered into my discussion. It was all about the animal abuse…period. You are a fool with a title. And a nasty fool at that. From the tenor of this conservation I can see that you are in no way a caring or kindly man … which also lends to your advocacy of ‘kaparot’. What seminary accepted you? Or did you get your degree by mail order. Your label of ‘Jew’ or ‘non-Jew’ has no credence with me. You are a ‘non-Rabbi’.

  10. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Obviously reading comprehension isn’t your strong point. I could care less if you use a chicken or coins or if you feel it’s animal abuse; it’s your right. My argument is comparing the spread of measles with Kaparot which you continue to ignore. Get your facts straight and read. As far as you being a Jew I highly doubtful. If you are you are among the Liberal streams and explains your ignorance.

  11. Joel Stein says:

    What kind of moron are you? I thought rabbi’s were supposed to be well educated and intelligent people.The whole discussion was centered on animal cruelty. And you try to defend your vile actions by calling someone a bigot. You resort to the old ‘Mein Kauf’ cliche, but you have no logical or reasonable defense for your loathsome, inhumane treatment of chickens. I know that you and others like you will never be convinced to stop the horrid torture known as ‘kaporas’. It will take PETA and many other organizations to do that. And, when they do, I will proudly be among them.

    Regretfully, good Jewish citizens are often stereotyped by the shameful actions of people like yourself. And, oftentimes we must bear the brunt of your indefensible behavior. I, as a Jew, do not consider you to be one of my people. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. But, to me, you represent the very worst of us … and that is a shame.

  12. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Thanks for proving your Bigotry and all readers like the ADL will see that. I guess black people have endured racist people because they were born black? It’s their fault? Blaming Jews for the Anti-semetic attitudes against them is pure stupidity and ignorant. Always the victims fault….LMAO!

    Seriously do something better with you life besides hating; try water sports or something.

  13. Joel Stein says:

    Thank you for demonstrating why much of the spews hatred against your kind. There are many good psychiatrists in NYC, I suggest you see. Don’t bother with another idiotic rebuke. I’m done. The readers of these comments can judge for themselves. You brought a plague on your community.

  14. Rabbi Glickman says:

    You are against Anti-semetism but you clearly are spreading it. You get upset at name calling but it’s ok for you to Label Orthodox Jews as child Preditors? Do you even read what you write or do you just copy and paste from Mein Kampf. Claiming you experienced Anti-semetic attitudes and then you make a comment blaming Jews for the Anti-semetic people against them? Are you serious or delusional? You got to be one of the dumbest Anti-semetic people out there. Either way like Germany in WW2 hate doesn’t last and your movement will find itself dead in a bunker with it’s leaders. Hope you have clean underwear.

  15. Joel Stein says:

    As I thought, when you have no further argument you resort to name calling. Unlike your diatribe, my comments are based on facts and court cases. I’m but one voice, in the future you will be dealing with humane organizations from all over the globe. If anyone lends to anti-semitism it is you. My mother suffered through pogroms, the Russian Revolution, as well as having a large portion of her family was wiped out in the Holocaust. Likewise, my father’s family dealt with anti-semitism and the Holocaust in Hungary. I also experienced anti-semitism, and I’ve spent most of my life fighting against it. Tather than perpetuating it, as you do. Your words speak clearly of ignorance and intolerance. It is no wonder you are demonized by other groups; secular and non-secular.

  16. Rabbi Glickman says:

    ” Child Preditors from our flock?” Your obviously a piece of trash and just added to my proof your an Anti-semetic freak and the type of people this movement brings.

    Well Stein I can’t change your hatred of the Jews who practice this ritual. You have a right to be Anti-semetic because that’s what God made you to be for his reasons. You can lead an anti-Semite to water to help fix his thirst for Bigotry but can’t make him drink it. You will eventually die of dehydration though.

    Donny I thought you guys weren’t Anti-semetic? Now your followers saying Jews are child Preditors? This is the hatred you bring here. מזל טוב

  17. Joel Stein says:

    In our modern society what you are doing is out and out animal cruelty. There is no reason or rationale for it, Glickman. Leaving birds in sweltering heat, crammed in filthy crates, throwing half-dead chickens in garbage bags … is that your idea of humane kosher laws. I’m hopeful that civil law will catch up with your archaic and vile practice just as it did with polygamy. Maybe you’d be better off policing the child predators among your flock than killing and torturing innocent animals.

    I think all people have a right to believe as they wish but when that ‘right’ is twisted and distorted to cruelty and abuse I will intervene, just as I have on behalf of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community when black panthers and neo-nazis threatened.

  18. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Excatly my point Stein. Jews have a choice if they want to use coins or not. Those that chose chickens should not be verbally harrassed and made to look like they are in cahoots with the Government or spreading diseases like measles. You don’t see people who use Chickens yell at a verbally harass those that use coins before Yom Kippur. As far as cruelty to animals yes; that’s why we have kosher slaughter; to effect the less pain to the animals. This however does not rule out animal sacrifice as that’s permitted; anyone who Jew or who doesn’t see that had a poor education as it’s all over scripture. You can’t hide the Anti-semetic Proproganda here no matter how you want to twist it around.

  19. Joel Stein says:

    Bring your argument to the dozens of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Rabbi’s that disagree with you. Bring your argument to the vast amount of Jews in Israel and throughout the world regarding animal sacrifice.

    * Tza’ar ba’alei hayim, kindness to animals: Judaism teaches us to put the needs of our animals even before our own. It starts with pets and domesticated animals, but can also include wildlife. Today this and related values might even suggest vegetarianism (see Arthur Green, Seek My Face, Speak My Name).

  20. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Sorry but God is the judge not you. If you knew anything about Judaism you would know God is against Human Sacrifices so your comparison is a moot point and moronic. Our Torah lists animal sacrifices as proper and when the 3rd Temple gets built it will be back. So maybe you should bring your hatred of Orthodox Jews to God and tell him what you think about his laws; I am sure the outcome the outcome will be in his favor.

    Comparing a measles outbreak with Orthodox Jews practicing their religion is pure Anti-semetism. You will pay for your sins against Jews like the rest of the Nations and people who have tried to destroy us. Good luck; you will need it.

  21. Joel Stein says:

    The sad thing is that you will continue to wallow in your ignorance and, because we live in a ‘free society’, you are allowed perpetuate inhumane acts. My conscience is clear. and I am in no need of your sentiments about my soul. If anyone is in need of repentance, it is you … for the untold harm you do and the harm you perpetuate. According your ‘reasoning’, the ‘religious’ practice of human sacrifice by certain groups would still be allowed. It’s good thing that most of the world became civil and such practices were eventually outlawed. Just as ‘foie gras’ was banned in your state, hopefully, in my lifetime, kiporas will be banned. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to ban ignorance and superstition.

  22. Rabbi Glickman says:

    You don’t need to support it or follow it; again….. your choice Nobody is forcing you to be Jewish or practice Jewish rituals or come to a Jewish neighborhood. Nobody knocks on your door asking you to participate. It’s a God given right to practice what you want… You have that right why not others? If you don’t like it’s your issue and you need to adapt. The supreme Court ruled… will have to wait your day in court but as of now you are seen as a radical liberal fringe group placing your views others and that’s not what makes America a democracy.. If you don’t see the Anti-semetic Proproganda in this article by comparing a measles outbreak with Jewish practices then you are only part of the problem not the solution. May God have mercy on your soul.

  23. Joel Stein says:

    Again … assumptions based on ignorance. Glickman, you know nothing about my political or apolitical leanings and yet you make a comment about ‘tearing babies from wombs’. Supreme Court decisions have not always been just or ethical. And, even though you say they ruled in your favor, you do not have the right to injure or maim animals. You are blind to acts of kindness. You lack true ethics, and I feel sorry for you. I suppose that you will continue to repent for your sins by torturing innocent sentient beings. But know this, I will never tolerate it. And I look forward to the day the Supreme Court rules against it.

  24. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Just because you see it as animal torture doesn’t mean it is; just like people who want to wear fur. If you don’t like the US Supreme Court and State Courts decisions on this you don’t have to live in America. Your views Don’t erase others freedoms.

  25. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Joel; you have the freedom to choose using coins or use chickens. However That freedom doesn’t give you or anyone else the freedom to harass others and post Proproganda articles for what they choose and which is their right. Instead of spending money on Proproganda campaigns against freedom of choice YOU could give and support the poor too or stop people from ripping live babies out of mothers wombs. That’s what you choose to Educate your children on that’s your choice. A bigot is a Bigot and it’s obvious to all; you can’t hide.

  26. Joel Stein says:

    You will notice that Glickman never addresses the animal abuse issue.Instead he continues to use ‘antisemitism’ in much the same way the political left weaponizes ‘racism’. It is a tool used to accuse and justify actions; to defend the indefensible. Mine is simply an argument against animal cruelty in any form. And I, for one, would be against anyone subjecting chickens to torture whether they be Jewish, Christian, Moslem, Hindu, or atheist. If I err, I err on the side of kindness. And you will never convince me that kiporos is a true or viable practice of Judaism.

  27. Rabbi Glickman says:

    As long as you continue your hatred of Orthodox Jews you will be exposed in all places. You are a shame to the Jewish community as a whole. The Heatlh Department has already concluded there is nothing wrong but you continue with your hatred…why? The fact you blame the Anti-semetic rhetoric you help spread on Orthodox Jews has exposed your bigotry. You are obviously not a Jew in any capacity. You are a Modern 21st Century Bigot like and probably love “The Squad”. Your no different than the BDS movement that seeks to destroy Israel. I hope you have a good answer for God on why you have and continue to harrass the Orthodox. When they come for you; nobody will be there to help you because you have destroyed everyone else.

  28. Joel Stein says:

    There should be no further discussion about kiporos. The torture and maltreatment of innocent creatures speaks for itself. It is out and out brutality and animal cruelty. Kiporos could be also be considered a form of child abuse for the children who are forced to participate. They witness the horror of a young chicken in writhing in agony, bleeding to death, and thrown away like a piece of garbage. Is that what consider a good lesson? That’s what you want them to see. What does that teach them, besides the stupidity of cruel acts; acts that the adult perpetrators should be indicted for. Cruelty by any other name, religious or otherwise, is cruelty and has no place in civil society. I am ashamed; ashamed to be associated with people like Glickman who throw around the term ‘bigot’ to justify cruelty and ignorance. I thought he Age of Ignorance was over. Glickman has assured me that it is not. I have a suggestion. If you have to swing something around your head to repent for your sins, swing a bag of coins. And when you’re done, distribute them to the poor. Practice kindness. It is better for you, for your children, and for the innocent chickens so cruelly sacrificed.

  29. Donny Moss says:

    We will continue to shine a spotlight on the horrific abuses you inflict on God’s creatures, and we will continue to protest the City for placing politics ahead of public health by not enforcing the health codes. We protest and expose ALL people who commit crimes against animals, not just ultra-Orthodox Jews, and we will never give anyone a free pass to engage in terror. As long as you subject innocent animals to a slow and painful death by starvation, thirst, intensive confinement, heat prostration, and physical abuse, we will speak out and do what we can to alleviate the suffering.

  30. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Yes I have been there and there is nothing wrong with what’s going on as the courts and health Department agrees. It’s because YOU and the rest of your cult followers don’t believe in it but that doesn’t give you a free pass to harass us. I think abortion and gay marriage is atrocious but the law of the land is the law of the land. US courts as well as state courts have rules consistently against you. If you don’t like freedom take your hatred somewhere else. I highly doubt you are a Jew because to post public articles like this is not what a Jew would do? You want to change things? Great; but don’t bring hatred to your own kind. I highly doubt the Anti-semetic people out there care what Jews do on Yom Kippur. Why don’t you harass Reform and Conservative Jews? Sorry but your bias and Bigotry is showing loud and clear… No wonder why the NYPD needs to barricade the area; to prevent attacks from you and your gang. You encourage hate of Orthodox Jews….there is no way around it.

  31. Donny Moss says:

    Instead of blaming advocates for any anti-Semitism caused by speaking out against these crimes against animals, why not just stop committing them in the first place and use coins instead of live animals? As an aside, when we hear NYers who see the abuse on Eastern Parkway making anti-Semetic remarks, we reprimand them and point out that the vast majority of Jews do not engage in abusive ritual sacrifice. Nonetheless, the abuse reflects poorly on all Jews.

  32. Donny Moss says:

    Are the ultra-Orthodox rabbis who have spoken out against the use of chickens as Kaporos in modern-day times also motivated by anti-Semitism? Or, is it possible that they, like us, are motivated by a desire to protect animals from some of the worst abuses we have ever encountered. Have you personally seen the crates of chickens (the living mixed with the dead) with steam coming out of them because of the extreme heat? Have you personally provided waters to the chickens stacked up in crates who are so thirsty that they can’t drink it quickly enough? Have you seen chickens being swung in the air by broken wings? Do you really expect advocates to give a free pass to people who are abusing animals just because they are Jewish? Do you honestly believe that God would want his creatures being subjected to a slow death by starvation, thirst, intensive confinement, exposure to extreme heat and physical abuse?

  33. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Your article is no different then the Propaganda spread in WW2 about Jews. If you are a Jew I bet your ancestors are rolling over in their graves at the length you are going to marginalize a minority. The Health Department didn’t find anything wrong so your bias toxic report is meaningless. Being a Jew doesn’t exempt you from being a Bigot. How you treat and speak about other Jews does. Come during this years festivities. You need to absolve yourself of your sins against your own people. Do what you know is right and stop your bigotry against the Orthodox. You have created more hate as we can see from your commentators. You do nothing for the Jewish community by trying to destroy it.

  34. Donny Moss says:

    This article is about the City’s refusal to enforce the seven health codes violated during Kaporos, a ritual that not only jeopardizes the public health, according to a toxicologist who studied fecal and blood samples taken from the streets during Kaporos but also subject tens of thousands of animals to starvation, thirst, intensive confinement and physical abuse before they are slaughtered. Many of the people protesting the Dept. of Health, including me, are Jewish. As you well know, God would not want his creatures to be subjected to abuse in his name. Please do what you know is the right thing by using coins instead of live animals. The industrialization of Kaporos has made it impossible for this ritual to be conducted humanely.

  35. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Spreading Propaganda about Jews and their charges of “Political Corruption” is what fuels Antisemitism; not participating in a Ritual. When Jews become too secular and assimilate into society Jews turn on other Jews like this article does and what Joel Stein says. You all be ashamed of yourselves supporting hatred like this.

  36. Joel Stein says:

    Cruelty with ignorance at its core only fuels anti-semitism. There is no reason for kiporos; historic or religious.This is coming from a proud Jew who does not want to be associated with despicable and abusive practices such as kiporos. I look forward to the day when it is internationally banned and those who continue to practice it are arrested. DeBlasio will never get my vote.

  37. Rabbi Grossman says:

    Thank you Donny Moss for spreading more Anti-antisemitism in NYC. Hope to see you at the Kaporos Ceremony this year. I have a chicken for you that will absolve you of yours sins of Jew hate.

  38. Great protest May 23rd at the NYC Department of Health! Glad to know several DOH employees expressed support for the issues your protest raised. Thank you for keeping up the heat.

    For the birds,

    Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns & The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos

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