The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s New York/New Jersey Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein issued a statement today calling for civility and respect towards the Jewish community in the days leading up to the sacred holiday of Yom Kippur this year.
“New York City is a microcosm of the world where persons of all faiths and backgrounds should be treated with civility, respect and understanding,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “In advance of the sacred holiday of Yom Kippur, we hope all New Yorkers will keep in mind that in our vibrant American democracy all people are free to gather and express their beliefs in a lawful manner, including opinions critical of someone’s religious practices. But criticism of a religious ritual, including the practice of Kapparot if performed in compliance with all applicable laws, should never cross the line into verbal threats, anti-Semitic rhetoric, or physical violence. We are confident that our shared democratic values of freedom of speech and religious liberty can work together to protect the rights of all New Yorkers during the holiday season this year.”
Kapparot is a pre-Yom Kippur ritual practiced by some members of the Jewish community by passing a chicken over one’s head before slaughtering the chicken in accordance with Jewish law, and donating its monetary worth to charity.