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Federation Sheds Light on Modern-Day Slavery With Freedom Seder

Federation’s Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking held its 5th Annual Freedom Seder to shed light on modern-day slavery last week. Representatives of numerous civic and interfaith organizations came together to discuss the societal problem of domestic sex trafficking of minors. Every year, the seder is scheduled to precede the Jewish holiday of Passover, which focuses on the ancient Israelites' liberation from slavery in Egypt and celebrates the concept of freedom. JCRC Chair Nancy Zaretsky, said, "Passover highlights our mandate to retell the story of slavery and redemption to all of our children, honor those who have passed before us and never take our freedom for granted. It also underscores our responsibility to act for those who are unable to find their own voices."

Participants also included members of the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade’s Freedom from Violence Coalition, a countywide group of nonprofit, civic and government organizations that share concerns about the issue of human trafficking, along with members of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board. Additionally, groups of local teens and college students--from BBYO and the Miami Beach JCC, and Florida Memorial College and University of Miami, respectively--participated by donating toiletries and household items to Glory House of Miami, a nonprofit organization devoted to healing and restoring the lives of survivors of human trafficking.

The Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking is a collaborative initiative created in 2013 by Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). The purpose of the Task Force is to raise public awareness of the prevalence and dangers of human trafficking in Miami-Dade County and Florida, and to advocate to strengthen state statutes regarding domestic sex trafficking of minors through collaborative efforts across nonprofit, private and government sectors.

According to the International Labor Organization, worldwide human trafficking earns $150 billion annually for traffickers. Miami is considered to be a major center for minors trafficked in the United States, ranking third in the nation behind New York and California. Young adults escaping the foster system as runaways are drawn to Miami in particular, thanks to the warm weather.

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