(JTA) — An animal rights group will appeal the decision of a federal judge in California which dismissed a lawsuit against a synagogue for holding a kapparot ceremony, a pre-Yom Kippur ritual in which a chicken is swung by its legs and then slaughtered.
Los Angeles District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. earlier this month ruled in favor of a request by Chabad of Irvine to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it in late September by animal rights activists.
The suit on behalf of the Virginia-based United Poultry Concerns claimed that the practice violates the state’s unfair competition law. But Birotte wrote in his decision that the kapparot ceremony is a religious ritual supported by donations, not a “business act” covered by the unfair competition law.
The case will now go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.
Chabad typically accepts donations of $18 from those who participate in the kapparot ritual, according to the Jewish Journal. The group reportedly had not donated the chickens to the poor as is customary, instead hiring someone to dispose of the carcasses.