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New Greater Miami Jewish Federation Task Force Promoting Awareness About Human Trafficking in Miami-Dade County

Posted on 05/17/2013 @ 01:59 PM

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and Women’s Philanthropy (WP) of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation have formed a new task force to increase public awareness and concern about the dangers and prevalence of human trafficking in Miami-Dade County and Florida.

Organized after discussions with Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Combat Human Trafficking Task Force will provide educational and advocacy services to combat domestic human trafficking, particularly related to sexual exploitation.

The new Task Force was formed following an April 2013 panel discussion presented by JCRC and WP. During the meeting, a panel of experts from law enforcement, government and religious organizations described the shocking realities of human trafficking in the United States, and detailed the frequency and causes of this modern form of slavery, as well as Judaism’s abhorrence of this inhumane crime.

One speaker – Rabbi Steve Gutow, President and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs – spoke to the Jewish soul by referencing some important concepts from history and biblical texts. He reminded participants that it is a Jewish person’s responsibility to act when he or she sees injustices in the world, and discussed the Jewish value of protecting the well-being of foreigners living in a Jewish community.

The U.S. Department of State and the International Labor Organization estimate that worldwide trafficking is a roughly $32 billion-a-year industry. Federal statistics also suggest that between 14,000 and 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the U.S. alone each year, and tens of thousands of youth born in America are at risk of sexual endangerment or exploitation.

The Jewish Community Relations Council was established in 1973 as the public affairs and advocacy arm of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. It is composed of members-at-large selected from the community, as well as representatives from constituent Jewish community-relations organizations, Federation partner agencies and various entities within Federation. For further information about JCRC, email CommunityRelations@JewishMiami.org or call 786.866.8486.

Women’s Philanthropy works to support the Mission of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation to enhance Jewish life and secure a Jewish future by motivating women to devote their time, efforts and financial resources to the local, national and international Jewish communities. WP encourages women to express and perpetuate Jewish ideals and values, to accept the responsibility of tikkun olam (repair of the world) and to maintain the Jewish tradition of tzedakah (social justice). For more information about Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy, email Women@JewishMiami.org or call 786.866.8440.

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