January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York joined 29 Jewish organizations around the country to issue a statement of guiding values on ending human trafficking—also known as modern-day slavery—throughout the U.S. and abroad.
For the final eight days of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month we invite you to read our series of blog posts highlighting each of the Jewish values included in the statement and how they motivate us to work toward the end of slavery and human trafficking.
Value 3: The fight to end human trafficking must be rooted in both justice (tzedek) and compassion (chesed).
We must commit to adequately funding services for survivors of trafficking, including shelter, mental health and trauma services, job and financial literacy training, and ongoing support for material needs as they rebuild their lives. These services must be available to survivors regardless of race, age, immigration status, ability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
by Miriam Libove
In Jewish tradition, the concept of justice, tzedek, which is often accompanied by the value of chesed, compassion, compels us to bring fairness to those who are disempowered. This is the kind of justice that we should be continuing to advocate for as we near the end of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Filmmaker and JWFNY grantee, Pearl Gluck, is doing just that. In her powerful, feature-length film, The Turn Out, based on documented accounts of trafficking victims, Gluck tells the story of a high-school girl who is forced into prostitution by her mother’s boyfriend. She has no choice but to continue sex work in order to save her younger sister from being trafficked as well. You can learn more about The Turn Out in the film’s trailer below.
Human trafficking is in direct opposition to the Jewish values of tzedek and chesed. JFWNY stands with the Jewish Coalition Against Trafficking in its imperative to end this horrendous injustice.