February 2019

While many see February as a time for romance, it is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. At first, it may seem a paradoxical connection, but consider: 

  • 1 in 3 girls is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner;
  • One in ten high school students in the U.S. has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend; 
  • And, only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship told anyone about it;
  • In a recent survey of 604 children aged 11 to 18, Between Friends, a domestic violence prevention agency in Chicago, found that less than 25% of respondents reported that their parents or guardians know “a lot” or “everything” about their relationships with others (whether friendships or romantic partners);
  • Although 82% of parents are confident they could recognize the problem, 58% of them could not correctly identify all the warning signs.
Sex trafficking of minors is a traumatic, severe form of child abuse. Teens, who experience sexual abuse as children are more susceptible to experiencing sex trafficking as older teens and adults. It is the commercial aspect of sex trafficking that separates the crime of trafficking from sexual assault and dating violence. When the pattern of abuse begins in adolescence—violent behavior often begins between 12 and 18, the severity of adult intimate partner violence is often greater. Yet, many parents do not know sex trafficking occurs in their community and are unable to identify the warning signs that their teen might be in a violent relationship. 
Steering Committee
JCAST Chicago is an initiative of NCJW Chicago North Shore and 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
Susan Rifas

Steering Committee:
Ronna Ash, Hadassah
Susan Block, Hadassah
Cathy Carmody
Beth Gordon
Donna Gutman
Sara Kalish
Tracy Medansky
Sherry Petlin
Anita Pildes ,SHALVA
Bonnie Ribet
Heather Ross
Stacy Saef
Joan Zahnle
Diane Zidman

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 2019 and beyond. Make your gift on our secure website today!
Celebrate Purim and Support JCAST Chicago
JCAST Chicago is excited to partner with Packed with Purpose to offer special gift baskets for Purim gift giving. With each basket purchased using the “JCAST” code a portion of the revenue will go to combating sex trafficking through JCAST Chicago activities. Purim has a direct connection to sex trafficking since it marks a historic time when Queen Esther stood up to the King who ordered the rounding up and raping of women. Today, teens and women continue to be raped often multiple times a night as part of sex trafficking activities in the US. JCAST hopes you will consider giving these beautiful baskets full of yummy kosher treats to empower your family, friends, and neighbors to not purchase sex or support other industries associated with these activities including pornography.

To order these beautiful baskets and support JCAST Chicago activities, visit Packed with Purpose and make sure you enter “JCAST” in the code section. Thank you and Enjoy!

Combating Human Trafficking: Using Tech to End Modern Day Slavery
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Microsoft, 200 East Randolph Street Suite 200, Chicago
JCAST Staff and Attorney, Gayle Nelson is on the panel for the upcoming: February 27th Program: "Combating Human Trafficking: Using Tech to End Modern Day Slavery"
This free innovative program is being done in collaboration with the Chicago Bar Association's Alliance for Women, PyLadies Chicago, and UN Women Chicago and will take place on 2/27 from 6pm-8:30pm in Microsoft's Office (Aon Center). The panel discussion is on legal and technical strategies employed against human trafficking with the goal of bringing together technologists, researchers, and legal experts to brainstorm what we can do to stop modern day slavery. Light appetizers will be provided. For more information and to register email Katie at   klisslegal@gmail.com
Community Wide Forum with Author Pamela Samuel Young
Saturday, April 4, 2019 at 10am, Evanston
Join JCAST, The Links, Incorporated, NCJW and others for an amazing community-wide forum in Evanston featuring attorney, author and anti-trafficking advocate Pamela Samuels Young. For fifteen years, Pamela served as Managing Counsel for Toyota in Southern California, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of her desire to see women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read.

Her thriller Anybody’s Daughter (2013), a gripping tale of a teen unwittingly drawn into the world of child sex trafficking via a Facebook scam, won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. A frequent speaker on the topics of self-empowerment, sex trafficking and online safety, fiction writing, and pursuing your passion.

More information about this program will be available in 2019 at www.jcastchicago.org.
Save the Date
Immigration, Domestic Violence, and Sex Trafficking
Friday, September 20, Downtown Chicago Location
Other Items and Events of Interest

Israel Prohibits the Consumption of Prostitution
On the last day of 2018, in a step forward for Israeli society, the Knesset unanimously approved the law prohibiting the consumption of prostitution in its second and third readings, enacting it into law. Israel thus becomes only one of a very few nations to adopt “Nordic Law” provisions to reduce demand, the most effective way to confront prostitution and sex trafficking.

For 11 years, the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution worked tirelessly to reach this moment. Our progress results in large part from intensive work and partnerships with the Coalition Against Prostitution, the Coalition of Religious Organizations, past and present Knesset members Zehava Gal-On, Orit Zuaretz, Shuli Mualem-Refaeli, Aliza Lavie and many others, and especially you, activists, supporters and partners who have worked with us these many years.

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.

Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago