June 2018
JCAST Chicago June Blog: Volunteering with Selah Freedom
Selah Freedom is a national organization that offers prevention, outreach and safe housing to survivors of sex trafficking. Selah is a Hebrew word which means to pause, rest and reflect. Here in the Chicago area, Selah provides a safe residence for survivors to discover who they are, set goals and re-launch their lives. 

We’ve been volunteering at Selah Freedom for just over a year now. We plan meals and work with the residents to prepare them and we watch movies and do “truth talks” to have meaningful discussions afterwards. We enjoy the connection we have with the residents, learning about their unique gifts. We’re encouraged to see them making such incredible progress. A few of the residents now have their first jobs! Best of all, they support one another like sisters and have created a home for each other. 

We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with these women and discovering other ways to help them realize their life goals. We are grateful to NCJW and JCAST for introducing us to this worthwhile organization where we can interact with the people we are supporting. 

Cheryl Susman
Joan Zahnle
JCAST Chicago June Organizations

The Response Center opened its doors in 1972 providing drug prevention and, outreach programming. Soon after, counseling and sexual health services were added, all provided in a teen-friendly environment that empowers youth to make healthy life choices. As a program of Jewish Child & Family Services, the organization services adolescents, ages twelve through twenty-four, and their families. Located on the border of Chicago’s West Rogers Park and Lincolnwood, staff travels to schools, synagogues, and other locations throughout the region. The Center’s holistic approach offers Licensed Clinicians, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as prevention educators and medical personnel focused on reproductive health care. The organization utilizes a multidisciplinary model offering a safe welcoming space supporting tweens and teens, of all religions, races, identities, sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds.

JCAST Chicago partnered with Response Center staff earlier this year to develop an awareness and educational program for high school female students. The hour and half after school program began with an experiential exercise exploring power and consent leading to a short discussion describing elements of a healthy relationship, defining sex trafficking, and identifying signs and discussing how to support a fellow student who may be in danger of being sex trafficked. After the program, students created dignity bags including toiletries, food and other necessities for survivors of sex trafficking. JCAST is exploring opportunities to replicate this program.

Human Trafficking is the fastest growing global crime affecting every continent and economic structure in the world. It is happening in industries that we interact with on a daily basis.

The purpose of Can You See Me? is to equip the general public to recognize indicators of human trafficking, and report suspected scenarios. An increase in reports will lead to an increase in victim identification.

Can You See Me? exists to bring awareness of the millions of men, women, and children who are currently trapped in slavery across the world. By partnering with law enforcement, governments, businesses, and NGOs, their goal is to turn awareness into action. Visit their website to find out more information.
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 an Action Teams, email  info@jcastchicago.org

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, Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University
Betsy Lazerow, JCFS, JCARES
Rae Luskin, NCJW
Sherry Petlin, NCJW
Bonnie Ribet, NCJW
Heather Ross, NCJW, Hakafa 
Stacy Saef, NCJW 
Joan Zahnle, NCJW CNS
Rochel Ray & Samantha Spolter, SHALVA 

Gayle Nelson, Engagement and Development Director
Ensure there is a Chicago Jewish voice against sex trafficking and that we are able to continue our important work throughout 2018 and beyond. Make your gift on our secure website today!
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:
Hadassah Thrift Shop,  405 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield
Hadassah Office, 60 Revere Dr #800, Northbrook

If you or your organization would consider organizing a collection drive or a packing program, please contact Donna Fishman at  donna@jcastchicago.org .

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 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.

shampoo  liquid body soap dove soap deodorant  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 Chicago secure speaking "gigs" at Jewish organizations. Contact Donna at  info@jcastchicago.org  with names and contacts at synagogues, chavurot, and other Jewish organizations. 
Take Action!

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

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 instructions and samples.

* 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, Siddharth Kara
  • Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World where Girls are not for Sale, Rachel Lloyd
  • The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy it, Victor Malarek 
  • The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade, Victor Malarek
  • Women Hold up Half the Sky: Turing Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, 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.

The Truth About
Since #FOSTA #SESTA passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law, there’s been a lot of confusion about what the law says and does.

In short, if you are a website or online platform that KNOWINGLY facilitates #sextrafficking or the promotion of pimping online, FOSTA-SESTA targets you. That's the scope of the law.

To clarify further, here's an easy #infographic to help you know if this federal anti-online sex trafficking law applies to you

Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago

JCAST Chicago was initiated in 2014 by NCJW Chicago North Shore