Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago
JCAST Chicago Public Policy Updates

President Signs Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

On May 29, the President signed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S 178) into law. Critically, the legislation provides millions of dollars for services and programs for domestic victims of trafficking and exploitation in the US. In addition, the bill designates child sex trafficking as a form of abuse and neglect under federal child protection laws, and elevates survivor voices and expertise by creating a survivor council to advise the US Government on trafficking policies and initiatives. However, NCJW is dismayed that trafficking survivors who seek health care through a federal program will be denied comprehensive coverage of abortion due to Hyde Amendment language included in the bill.


Send a Letter - 10,000 Supporters Needed!

Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor legislation to protect youth today.  In communities across the U.S., homeless and runaway youths are at greater risk for sexual exploitation and trafficking. Reauthorizing the bipartisan Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act would help provide critical updates to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, which expired in September 2013. New measures include increasing the range of family intervention and reunification services offered and improving services for youths who have been victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation. Click here to take part and take action.

Upcoming Events in the Chicago Metro Area 

For information, visit

June 22; 7 pm: Film Screening: The Hunting Ground

AMC Showplace Village Crossing, 7000 Carpenter Road, Skokie

The Hunting Ground is a startling expos? of sexual assault on U.S. college campuses, institutional coverups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. The film captures survivors who are taking matters into their own hands-ingeniously employing Title IX legal strategy to fight back and sharing their knowledge among a growing, unstoppable network of young women who will no longer be silent. A brief panel discussion follows the film. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited.  Click here to RSVP. (Registration has re-opened for this amazing film - don't miss out!)

June 28, noon (meet at 11:15)
46th Annual Pride Parade

Join your fellow Jewish organizations and congregations at the Chicago Pride Parade. As the crowd comes together to celebrate the vibrant colors of the LGBT community, we'll send the message that we believe everyone should be accepted for who they are and whom they love!  Congregation Or Chadash has ordered a trolley so that those who are not able to walk long distances or prefer to be out of the sun can still participate.  Click here to register.


June 25; 7 pm: Film Screening: Dreamcatcher

Sponsored by CAASE

Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N Wabash, Chicago, IL 60601
Doors open at 6:30 pm; film begins promptly at 7pm.

Dreamcatcher explores the cycle of neglect, violence and exploitation which each year leaves thousands upon thousands of girls and women feeling that prostitution is their only option to survive. By following the very charming, charismatic and truly empathic Brenda Myers-Powell, we enter the lives of young women and see in footage their realities from their points of view. Post-film discussion with Brenda Myers-Powell (Dreamcatcher Foundation) and CAASE's Executive Director Kaethe Morris Hoffer. Click here for tickets and for more information.


JCAST Chicago Legislative Updates

Join JCAST Chicago and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) for a legislative update provided by CAASE Policy Director Lynne Johnson! As CAASE's Policy Director, Lynne leads the End Demand Illinois statewide campaign. $10 covers light refreshments and food gift cards for sex trafficked survivors. Click the date below to RSVP.

City Location:

July 29; 12 - 1 pm:

JUF, 30 S. Wells Street, Room 3133
***Attendees may bring in food and drinks. Please reserve your spot by July 22 so you name can be provided to building security personnel.

Suburban location:

July 31; 10:30 - 11:30 am:

Curt's Cafe, 2922 Central St, Evanston 


October 1, 11:30-1:20: Immigration Lunch and Learn

Temple Jeremiah, Northfield

Join us for an information and education program covering an overview of immigration: Federal laws, definition of immigrants and refugees, how people come to the United States, special concerns about women and children, and the connection of immigration to sex trafficking.  Presented by Amy Stern, JD, and co-sponsored by NCJW Chicago North Shore and Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking Chicago.  For more information, call 847-853-8889 or email

JCAST Chicago has a new website: Check it out and become an inaugural member of JCAST Chicago. First year is free!! Also sign up to join one of our Action Teams at   We need your voice and your help to make JCAST Chicago a successful coalition.


The award winning documentary Dreamcatcher is a powerful look into sex trafficking in the Chicago area.  JCAST Chicago is hoping to schedule a screening of the film, but in the meantime, you can attend the June 25 showing sponsored by CAASE (see Upcoming Events above).


Brenda Myers-Powell was a drug-addicted teen prostitute until a violent encounter with a 'john,' caused her to change her life. Today she dedicates her life to helping women and girls who want to change their own lives. Dreamcatcher is not to be missed.  Click here for the trailer and an overview of the film.

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.

US flight attendants seek mandatory training to spot human trafficking
Dominique Strauss-Kahn acquitted in pimping trial (trigger warning - portions of the article are  graphic)
The Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force is pleased to host the 5th Annual Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force Conference on August 6th and 7th, 2015 in partnership with IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. The two-day conference includes insightful and informative presentations from local and national experts on human trafficking. View our full agenda and register  at



URI North America (United Religions Initiative) has some wonderful resources on sex trafficking available. Click here
to visit their website.


youthSpark works to end child sex trafficking through prevention, early intervention, and youth-empowered education. youthSpark has produced PSAs with tips on how to talk to youth about trafficking. Click here to view.

8 Facts About the U.S. Sex Economy, a study published by the URBAN Institute discusses the underground economies of sex, drugs, and guns in eight cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.   Click here for the study, and click here for an article about the study in the Atlantic magazine.

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.

Take Action

Take Action

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

* Like our Facebook Page
Click here to like us on Facebook
* Follow us on Twitter
Click here to follow us on Twitter

* Sign up for Action Alerts
Visit our website to keep up-to-date 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.

Support JCAST Chicago

Click here to donate to JCAST to help subsidize the cost of Dignity Bags or our other projects.  Please indicate on the form where you'd like the donation to be directed - i.e., JCAST Chicago.  Thank you for your support.
Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago