August 2017
Unity Against Hate Must Start at the Top
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) and JCAST Chicago denounce the hate-filled gathering in Charlottesville, VA, and death and injuries it spawned. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
"...That we have always had bigots and haters among us, we know all too well. That they feel emboldened by the tough guy rhetoric of the president of the United States is new in modern times. President Trump's condemnation of 'hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, many sides' was an obtuse failure to stand forthrightly against white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Stronger statements issued later from the White House and Ivanka Trump, among others, but none attributed to Trump himself, do little to fill the vacuum of leadership apparent on Saturday.
"Marchers asserted that they were 'tired of seeing white people pushed around' and chanted 'Jews will not replace us.' There are not 'many sides' to such a confrontation, but two sides - the anti-racist, anti-fascist side and the un-American, white supremacist side. Everyone must be crystal clear about that, beginning with the president of the Unites States..."

JCAST Chicago August Blog

Celebrating Birthdays at Selah Freedom
By: Diane Zidman

About a year ago the Social Action Committee at Lakeside Congregation invited Donna Fishman, a current Co-Chair of The Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking, JCAST Chicago, and a founding member of the Coalition, to speak at our monthly meeting. She introduced us to the advocacy and education work JCAST Chicago supporters are organizing. When I heard the overwhelming number of children sexually exploited in the greater Chicagoland area, I knew I needed to take action. After attending many training classes, I received a certificate of training in Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
I also became involved with Selah Freedom, a safe house located on the North Shore providing a holistic approach for women leaving sex trafficking. The house opened earlier this year and provides safety and housing for survivors.
On Sunday, August 13th, I volunteered to help host a birthday celebration for a sex trafficking survivor at Selah Freedom. Thanks to a team of volunteers who cooked, baked and decorated, the birthday girl had her favorite Mexican food and to end the meal, a piñata full of candy!  Selah is a Hebrew word meaning to pause, rest and reflect. Those words were never more evident than during this event. It was a time for me to reflect on the commitment I have made to volunteer and give someone a chance to feel loved and celebrated.
At the house, every evening after dinner, everyone forms a circle and shares a few words of encouragement, hope and strength through inspirational messages. Being a part of the circle after the birthday celebration was a very emotional moment for me.
"If I can change one life, I feel that I have succeeded."
New Report Analyzes 32,000 Human Trafficking cases
Polaris Project Report: The Typology of Modern Slavery  analyzed more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking documented between December 2007 and December 2016 through its operation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline-the largest data set on human trafficking in the United States ever compiled and publicly analyzed. Polaris's research team analyzed the data and developed a classification system that identifies 25 types of human trafficking in the United States. Each has its own business model, trafficker profiles, recruitment strategies, victim profiles, and methods of control that facilitate human trafficking.

Updates and Information

JCAST Chicago is continuing its partnership with Selah Freedom to build and maintain vegetable and flower gardens at the Selah Freedom house serving sex trafficking survivors on the North Shore.
You can help by donating supplies and volunteering to work with survivors to maintain the garden. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Donna at
To volunteer RSVP at: 
Upcoming Events*

A Victim Centered Approach to Human Trafficking
When: Thursday, September 7
Registration: 9:45           Program: 10 am - 12:30 pm
Where: JCFS/Abe and Ida Cooper Center
6639 N. Kedzie, Chicago
About this event:
This interactive session will provide a comprehensive overview of human trafficking, its prevalence and the current efforts happening in Cook County to address it.  Case examples will be explored as well as guidelines for reporting incidents of human trafficking.  We will examine power and control dynamics associated with human trafficking and outline indicators that social service providers should be aware of when serving clients. Finally, the presenters will discuss the utilization of a victim-centered approach when working with those whose lives include experiences of trafficking.  
Summar Ghias, The Salvation Army STOP-IT Program
Jennifer Greene, Life Span
Fee:  $20 for program.  Payment is at the door.
2.5 CEUs: ( No additional CEU fee for Social Work/Counseling)
$5 additional fee for Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professionals (ICDVP) through our partnership with Between Friends.

Selah Freedom Events

Care Team Training
When: Wednesday, September 13th from 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Where: Willow Creek North Shore (4th & 5th Grade Room)
2200 Shermer Rd. Glenview
About this event:  Volunteer opportunities with survivors include teaching life skills, tutoring, cooking meals, leading AA or NA groups, arts/crafts activities, fitness group, game/movie nights, decorating for special birthdays and holidays and more.
Core Values Training
Thursday, September 28th from 6:30 - 7:30 PM
About this event:  Core Value Training is important for all volunteers to attend in order to create a strong united support for the survivors served at Selah Freedom. This training will be presented by Laurie Swink, VP of Culture and Co-Founder of Selah Freedom. It is a one time mandatory training for all volunteers.  This training will be hosted via Zoom Video Chat and a link will be provided.
Volunteer Connect Meeting (City)
When: Saturday, October 21st from 9:30 - 10:30 AM
Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 E. Chestnut Street (at Michigan Avenue) Chicago
About this Event:  This is an optional but highly encouraged meeting that gives you an opportunity to meet staff, ask questions and learn more about all of the volunteer opportunities at Selah Freedom.
RSVP for Selah Freedom meetings and trainings at:

Other Events of Interest:

Circles of Safety Chicago: Children's Advocacy Center Symposium 2017 
When: Wednesday, September 20 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E Chicago Ave., 11th Floor Conference Room, Chicago, IL 60611
About this event:  Protecting children from sexual abuse means understanding healthy sexuality across all stages of childhood. Through this training, you'll learn about sexual development in children and youth so that you can better discern expected and potentially concerning behaviors. We as providers, parents and caregivers are better able to foster safety and prevent child sexual abuse with this important knowledge.

*Please note that not all of these events are sponsored or hosted by JCAST Chicago but are listed here as a convenience to those who might be interested.
We have received a special request from Traffick Free for the following items needed at their drop-in center for sex trafficking survivors.   
  • brand new makeup
  • vaginal wipes or wash
  • deodorant (we never have enough of these)
  • face moisturizer
  • Q-tips
  • baby wipes
  • hair spray
  • hair serum
  • dry shampoo
  • brand new underwear in all sizes (we never seem to have enough of these either)
If you can donate, please contact Donna Fishman at
Toiletry and Gift Card Donations Needed Year-round to support young women trafficked in Chicago that are helped by the Dreamcatcher Foundation.
Donation Drop off locations:
Encore & More: 1107 Central Ave, Wilmette
Hadassah Thrift Shop, 405 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield
Hadassah Office, 60 Revere Dr #800, Northbrook
Temple Sholom, 3480 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago
If you or your organization would consider organizing a collection drive or a packing program, please contact Stacy Saef at
Street Dignity Bag Packing List:
These items are needed in small, travel sizes. One of each item will be packed in a gallon ziploc "street survival" bag. These items may be packed in ziploc or other small tote bag, or donated in bulk. (You might even ask your local businesses if they have items to donate and share this list.)
Toothbrush and toothpaste (*ask your dentist!)
Hand sanitizer
Hand lotion
Granola or power bar
Pack of tissues
Gallon Ziploc Bags
$5 McDonald's Gift Cards
Prevention Bag Packing List:
The Dreamcatcher Foundation regularly visits girls living in at risk communities, including teen-aged single mothers. These items may be packed in a tote bag and donated in bulk.
Liquid body soap
Dove soap
Lotion or moisturizer
Perfumed body spray
Gift or tote bags
*Bulk items, hotel toiletries and gift cards to McDonalds ($5), Target, Dollar Store, CVS or Walgreens (any amount) are always welcome*
JCAST Chicago on the Move
JCAST Chicago has been busy giving presentations across the Chicago Metropolitan area, for Jewish and secular groups.  Please help JCAST secure speaking "gigs" at Jewish organizations.  Contact Donna at  with names and contacts at synagogues, chavurot, and other Jewish organizations. 

Upcoming JCAST Chicago Presentations
January 21, 2018 (Sunday), 2:00-5PM -SAVE THE DATE- Showing of I am Jane Doe and speaker round table at the Northbrook Public Library, sponsored by  JCAST Chicago, NCJW Chicago North Shore  and the Northbrook Public Library.

Sex Trafficking in the News:
More and more our news feeds are filled with stories about sex trafficking - some positive and some negative. Here are a few article links that may be of interest.

Support JCAST Chicago

Click here to donate to JCAST to help subsidize the cost of Dignity Bags or our other projects. Thank you for your support.
Steering Committee
JCAST Chicago is governed by a Steering Committee of dedicated individuals. If you would be interested in serving on the steering committee or one of our Action Teams, email

Steering Committee Co-Chairs:
Donna Fishman, NCJW
Susan Rifas, JUF, JWF

Steering Committee:
Ronna Ash, Hadassah
Susan Block, Hadassah
Cathy Carmody, NCJW
Donna Gutman, NCJW, ICJW,  CEASE Network 
Sara Kalish, Chicago Parks Foundation
Betsy Lazerow, JCFS,  JCARES
Carole Levine, NCJW 
Rae Luskin, NCJW
Sherry Petlin, NCJW
Bonnie Ribet, NCJW
Heather Ross, NCJW, Hakafa 
Mara Ruff, JUF 
Stacy Saef, NCJW 
Joan Zahnle, NCJW CNS
Deborah Zionts, NCJW,  SHALVA 

Gayle Nelson, Engagement and Development Director

Eliana Fleischer, Intern
Haley Braun, Newsletter Copy Editor

Featured Organization

Isha L'Isha-Haifa Feminist Center
Established in 1983, Isha L'Isha-Haifa Feminist Center is the oldest grassroots feminist organization in Israel and one of the leading voices of women's rights in the country. Isha L'Isha is based in Haifa and works primarily in the northern part of Israel. However, many of their projects-past and present-focus on implementing system-wide solutions to problems faced by women. As a result, Isha L'Isha has a national influence, reaching target audiences throughout the country. 

C urrently, Isha L'Isha's main areas of activity include Fighting Against Trafficking in Women and Prostitution; Women and Medical Technologies; and Building an Empowered Community of Women. They are active in raising issues onto the public agenda that affect the lives of women through conferences, public awareness campaigns, demonstrations, and coalition work. 

This organization provides a platform for discussion of and action on issues such as feminism and women's rights, violence against women, reproductive rights, discrimination in work and society, sexual orientation, the economy, ecological and environmental issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and healthcare.
Isha L'Isha-Haifa Feminist Center is a 2017 NCJW Israel grant recipient for their "Fighting Against Trafficking in Women and Prostitution" project.  This grant has allowed Isha L'Isha to continue running a sex trafficking hotline, providing mentorship and training to survivors, as well as fund recreational activities for survivors.

Take Action
Take Action!

Here are some things you can do today to take action against Sex Trafficking: 

* Sign up for Action Alerts
Visit our website to keep up-todate with the issues most relevant to you. Sign up for JCAST Chicago, NCJW or Sex Trafficking Action Alerts today! 

* Send a Letter
Send a letter calling on local leaders and law enforcement to enforce laws and end demand. Visit our website to print out constructions and a sample letter.

* Hang a Flyer
Victims may visit bus stations, grocery stores, currency exchanges, and gas stations. Hang a poster featuring the hotline for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. and help them escape to safety! Visit our website for more information and to print flyers.

* Write a Letter to the Editor
Write a letter to the editor when you learn publicly about arrests of perpetrators of sex trafficking. Commending the media, the police departments involved, and local authorities keeps sex trafficking in the news and encourages more enforcement. Visit our website for a sample letter to the editor. 

Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara

Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World where Girls are not for Sale by Rachel Lloyd

The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy it by Victor Malarek

The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade by Victor Malarek

Women Hold up Half the Sky: Turing Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Sheryl Wudunn and Nicholas Kristof

IN PLAIN SIGHT Podcast  to End Human Trafficking Each week, the IN PLAIN SIGHT Podcast features a an inspiring speaker who may educate you in your work to end human trafficking around the globe.  Click here  for a link to the website.

Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago
847-853-8889 *

JCAST Chicago is supported by the Jewish Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.