August 2018
Last month, JCAST Chicago changed its name to the Jewish Community Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) to better reflect its organization structure and activities. 
JCAST August Blog: Creating a Sex Traffic Free Evanston
Throughout 2018, the Jewish Community Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago has successfully reached out to the Evanston community. These efforts began in January when JCAST Chicago teamed up with the YWCA Evanston/Northshore; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; and Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) to host a capacity crowd of Evanston and Skokie leaders. The half-day program educated nonprofit, school, and government representatives on how sex trafficking is connected to their organizations’ missions and methods of combating it.
In March, JCAST staff, Gayle Nelson, traveled to Evanston High School to facilitate the first of a two part after school program with female students from the Aspire program. Gayle partnered with an African American leader with connections to the program to educate and inspire participants on how pimps manipulate victims to lure them into sex trafficking and how sex trafficking is occurring in their community- including in the luxurious Optima building near Old Orchard Mall . In the second session, the young women reflected on the program and created dignity bags, bags stuffed with toiletries and snacks, for survivors of sex trafficking in the Chicagoland area.

JCAST Chicago’s work continued and at the end of June representatives from our Steering Committee, Susan Rifas, Donna Fishman, and Sara Kalish, with Gayle Nelson met with Representative Gabel. They were joined by North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Inc. leaders. Meeting with Rep. Gabel was an opportunity to increase her awareness of sex trafficking, share current trends, and ask for her assistance with increasing services and decreasing demand through local ordinances and state legislation. JCAST is developing a white paper outlining critical sex trafficking prevention legislation in other communities including Minnesota and Houston

Want to learn more and be part of this critical work? Email gayle at
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

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

Steering Committee:
Ronna Ash, Hadassah
Susan Block, Hadassah
Cathy Carmody, NCJW
B eth Gordon,
Donna Gutman, NCJW, ICJW, CEASE Network 
Sara Kalish, Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University
Tracy Medansky, JWF
Sherry Petlin, NCJW
Anita Pildes ,SHALVA
Bonnie Ribet, NCJW
Heather Ross, NCJW, Hakafa 
Stacy Saef, NCJW 
Joan Zahnle, NCJW CNS
Diane Zidman, Rochelle Zell High School

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!
Upcoming Events
Advocacy and the Arts:
Her Story Theatre Presents Monger
Sunday, September 16, 2018, 2:00 pm
The Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

Written by Her Story Theater Founder and Producing Artistic Director Mary Bonnett, and directed by John Mossman, Co-Founder of The Artistic Home, MONGERS follows a Chicago criminal defense attorney with a secret sex life who deals with his sensitive 16-year-old son’s legal crisis on the day he takes a deposition from the mother of a murdered teenage sex trafficked victim.

Bonnett’s play uncovers the nationwide, anonymous brotherhood of men who use the Internet to find and compare notes on the women and underage girls they pay for sex. It also explores the toxicity of many of the prevailing notions of masculinity and how they contribute to an environment that allows these abuses to exist. Though the characters are composites of people Bonnett interviewed and the plot details are inspired by real-life events in Chicago. Bonnett’s script includes actual posts from online chats among men engaged in this activity along with dialogue she imagined for the characters.

Join NCJW, JCAST and Hadassah for this important show.

Click here for more information and to register.
The Intersection Between Immigration, Domestic Violence, & Sex Trafficking
October 4, 2018, 6:30-8:00 PM
Deerfield Presbyterian Church, 824 Waukegan Rd.

As the political climate continues to heat up. What is going on in our community and what can we do to help? The Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago is excited to partner with the Highland Park/Highwood Legal Clinic, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), and the Links, Inc. to educate and build awareness. Representatives from area service providers will also be available.

Click here for more information and to register.
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 .

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  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.

Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago

JCAST Chicago was initiated in 2014 by NCJW Chicago North Shore