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Survey of State Statutes, re: Jewish Issues

Survey of State Statutes, re: Jewish Issues

Compiled by Jeremy Lustman, Georgetown Law Center

  1. Alabama:
    Special tax exemptions for the Jewish Community Center; ALA. CODE 40-9-12 (1975).
  2. Alaska:
    No Laws
  3. Arizona:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. 3-2016 (1990).
  4. Arkansas:
    No Laws
  5. California:
    a) credit given for foreign languages in secondary schools includes Yiddish; CAL. EDUC. CODE 51244 (West 1989).

    b) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; CAL. AGRIC. CODE 19501 (West 1986).

    c) kosher meats and meat preparations; sale and labeling regulations; false representations; punishment; kosher defined; CAL PENAL CODE 383b (West 1988).

  6. Colorado:
    No Laws
  7. Connecticut:
    Fraudulent sale of kosher meat, meat products, and other food; punishment; law defines "kosher" through supervision by "the orthodox Hebrew religious requirements."; CONN. GEN. STAT. ANN. 53-317 (West 1994).
  8. Delaware:
    No Laws
  9. District of Columbia:
    No Laws
  10. Florida:
    No Laws
  11. Georgia:
    a) communications to clergyman privileged: every communication made to any Jewish rabbi, "professing religious faith, seeking spiritual guidance, or seeking counseling" shall be deemed privileged; GA. CODE ANN. 24-9-22 (1986).

    b) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; GA. CODE ANN. 26-2-110.1 (1981).

  12. Hawaii:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; HAW. REV. STAT. ANN. 159-21 (Michie 19 ).
  13. Idaho:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; IDAHO CODE 37-1903 (1969).
  14. Illinois:
    a) kosher kitchen and food services: Dept. of Public Aid may develop in its rate structure for nursing homes an accommodation for fully kosher kitchen and food service operations, rabbinically approved on an annual basis. The rate structure may provide for an additional payment to such a facility not to exceed 50 cents per resident per day if 60 % or more of the residents request kosher foods. 305 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 5/5-5.5a (West 1967).

    b) kosher food products: fraudulent sale of kosher meat, meat products, and other food; punishment; 410 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 645/1 (West 1997).

    c) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; 510 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 75/2 West 1993).

  15. Indiana:
    Visitation guidelines of children for divorced parents: "holiday visitation guidelines for the Jewish faith exist and can be requested by the Court." IND. CODE. ANN. Appendix B (West 1996).
  16. Iowa:
    Methods of humane slaughtering: includes ritual requirements of the Jewish faith that "prescribes and requires a method whereby slaughter becomes effected by severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument." IOWA CODE ANN. 189A.18 (West 1965).
  17. Kansas:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; KAN. STAT. ANN. 47-1402 (1996).
  18. Kentucky:
    No Laws
  19. Louisiana:
    Fraudulent sale of kosher meat, meat products, and other food; punishment; law defines "kosher" through supervision by "the orthodox Hebrew religious requirements."; LA. REV. STAT. ANN. 608.2 (West 1992).
  20. Maine:
    No Laws
  21. Maryland:
    a) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; MD. CODE. ANN. AGRIC. 4-123.1 (1998).

    b) consumer protection provisions: definitions of "kosher," "mezuzah," and "tefillin."; MD. CODE. ANN. COM. LAW I 14-901 (1998).

  22. Massachusetts:
    a) obscene literature control commission: a commission of seven people, appointed by the governor, should contain one representative of the Jewish faith; MASS. GEN. LAWS. ANN. ch. 6, 101 (West 1996).

    b) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; MASS. GEN. LAWS. ANN. ch. 94, 139C (West 1997).

    c) fraudulent sale of kosher meat, meat products, and other food; labeling; sale and display; civil penalties; law defines "kosher" in accordance with "orthodox Jewish religious standards."; MASS. GEN. LAWS. ANN. ch. 94, 156 (West 1997).

    d) situs: a marriage may be solemnized in any place in the state by a "duly ordained rabbi of the Jewish faith."; MASS. GEN. LAWS. ANN. ch. 207, 38 (West 1997).

  23. Michigan:
    No Laws
  24. Minnesota:
    a) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; MINN. STAT. ANN. 31.59 (West 1998).

    b) definition of Jewish Community Center; MINN. STAT. ANN. 315.51 (West 1997).

  25. Mississippi:
    No Laws
  26. Missouri:
    No Laws
  27. Montana:
    No Laws
  28. Nebraska:
    No Laws
  29. New Hampshire:
    a) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; N.H. REV. STAT. ANN. 427:33 (1996).

    b) Jewish rabbis are allowed to solemnize marriages, in the way usually practiced by them, throughout the state; N.H. REV. STAT. ANN. 457:37 (1996).

  30. New Jersey:
    a) definition of Kosher: prepared and maintained in strict compliance with the laws and customs of the Orthodox Jewish religion and includes foods prepared for Passover. N.J. STAT. ANN. 2C: 21-7.2 (West 1997).

    b) false representation by oral or written statement to make person believe non-kosher food is kosher; "it shall be a complete defense to a prosecution under this act that the defendant relied in good faith upon the representations of a slaughterhouse, manufacturer, processor, packer or distributor, or any person or organization which certifies or represents any food at issue to be kosher." N.J. STAT. ANN. 2C: 21- 7.3-7.4 (West 1997).

    c) legislative findings and declaration: the importance for the current generation of Americans and residents of the State to remember the brutality of Kristallnacht, and its importance as the beginning of the Holocaust. N.J. STAT. ANN. 36:1-12 (West 1997).

    d) designation of Holocaust Remembrance Day: all citizens of the State, as well as public and private organizations are urged to recognize the day by appropriate observances. N.J. STAT. ANN. 36:2-22 (West 1997).

  31. New Mexico:
    No Laws
  32. New York:
    a) fraudulent sale of kosher meat, meat products, and other food to consumers; labeling; sale and display; civil penalties; N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW 201-a (McKinney 1991).

    b) fraudulent sale of kosher meat, meat products, and other food to hotels and restaurants; labeling; sale and display; civil penalties; N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW 201-b (McKinney 1991).

    c) observant consumer protection laws: 1) no person selling mezuzahs or tefillin, which, to the seller's knowledge, does not satisfy orthodox Hebrew ritual requirements, shall represent, by direct or implied oral or written statement, that such items are kosher or meets the necessary requirements; 2) a manufacturer, fabricator, or importer of mezuzahs or tefillin, shall only sell these items if truthful consumer information is attached (name/address of seller, and whether the product is "kosher"); 3) definitions of mezuzah and tefillin; N.Y. GEN. BUS. LAW 349-a (McKinney 1988).

    d) cemetery duties: grave markers--no cemetery corporation, which provides Jewish burials, shall promulgate a rule prohibiting the use of cement beds as a means of demarcating a specific grave area. Such corporations shall provide this service to Jews requesting this method of marking a grave, assuming they are members of certain organizations; N.Y. NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORP. LAW 1510 (McKinney 1998).

    e) number of trustees of Jewish congregations and voting by proxy at certain meetings; N.Y. RELIG. CORP. LAW 207 (McKinney 1990).

    f) consolidation: any two or more Jewish religious corporations may enter into an agreement for the consolidation of such corporations; N.Y. RELIG. CORP. LAW 208 (McKinney 1990).

  33. North Carolina:
    a) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; N.C. GEN. STAT. 106-549.17 (1998).
  34. North Dakota:
    No Laws
  35. Ohio:
    a) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; OHIO REV. CODE. ANN. 945.01 (West 1998).

    b) misrepresentation in sale of kosher foods; warning before prosecution; OHIO REV. CODE. ANN. 1329.29 (West 1998).

  36. Oklahoma:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; OKLA. STAT. ANN. tit. 2, 6-183 (West 1993).
  37. Oregon:
    No Laws
  38. Pennsylvania:
    a) definition of ritual slaughter: "a humane method of slaughter which is in accordance with the ritual requirement of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; 3 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. 2303 (West 1998).

    b) deception relating to kosher food products; offense defined; definition of "Kosher" (maintained in accordance with "traditional" law); 18 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. 4107.1 (West 1983)

  39. Rhode Island:
    a) methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; R.I. GEN. LAWS 4-17-2 (1956).

    b) marriages of kindred allowed by Jewish religion; R.I. GEN. LAWS 15-1-4 (1956).

    c) marriages according to Jewish rites; R.I. GEN. LAWS 15-3-6 (1956).

    d) neglect of duty by person performing marriage ceremony; fine shall not exceed $100; R.I. GEN. LAWS 15-3-14 (1956).

    e) Abraham Touro fund: fund used to support the Touro synagogue in the Newport; R.I. GEN. LAWS 35-9-1 (1956).

  40. South Carolina:
    a) Jewish rabbis are authorized to administer marriage ceremonies in the State. S.C. CODE ANN. 20-1-20 (Law. Co-op. 1976).
  41. South Dakota:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; S.D. CODIFIED LAWS 39-5-23.2 (Michie 1981).
  42. Tennessee:
    Jewish rabbis are authorized to solemnize a marriage ceremony in the State, so long as they are over 18 years of age, and "having the care of souls." TENN. CODE ANN. 36-3-301 (1998).
  43. Texas:
    a) definition of Kosher: "prepared and served in conformity with Orthodox Jewish religious requirements." TEX. BUS. & COM. CODE ANN. 17.821 (West 1987).

    b) Jewish rabbi can conduct wedding ceremony in the State. TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. 2.202 (West 1998).

  44. Utah:
    No Laws
  45. Vermont:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 6, 3131 (1968).
  46. Virginia:
    a) nonprofit civic and community service tax exemptions: includes organizations who: 1) maintain links with Jewish people; 2) enrich the life of the Jewish community; 3) raising funds to support Jewish needs; 4) provide central planning, coordination, administration, and delivery of local Jewish communal services; 5) distributing funds for charitable, educational, and religious purposes; 6) assisting non-Jewish agencies with similar charitable and educational purposes; 7) maintaining and supporting a positive Jewish Community Center. VA. CODE ANN. 58.1-609.8 (Michie 1950).

    b) nonprofit cultural organization exemptions: includes: 1) an organization promoting the best interests and welfare of the Jewish community; 2) enriching and furthering an appreciation of values of Judaism as they apply to the Jewish way of life in America; 3) promoting fellowship, harmony, and rapport among Americans of the Jewish faith and among all citizens at large. VA. CODE ANN. 58.1-609.9 (Michie 1950).

  47. Washington:
    a) malicious harassment finding: legislature finds that hate crimes in America are increasing, and this includes those against Jews, such as displaying Nazi swastikas in Jewish areas. WASH. REV. CODE. ANN. 9A.36.078 (West 1997).

    b) definition of Kosher: "food product which has been prepared, processed, manufactured, maintained, and sold in accordance with the requisites of traditional Jewish dietary law." WASH. REV. CODE. ANN. 69.90.010 (West 1997).

  48. West Virginia:
    Methods of slaughtering which are humane: includes "slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith...whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument."; W.VA. CODE 19-2E-5 (1966).
  49. Wisconsin:
    Deception relating to kosher meat products; offense defined; definition of "Kosher" (maintained in accordance with orthodox religious requirements); WIS. STAT. ANN. 97.56 (West 1998).
  50. Wyoming:
    No Laws

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