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Reform Jewish Leader Applauds Attorney General for Increased Funding to Combat Human Trafficking

  Saperstein: It is our responsibility as free citizens in a democracy to ensure that sufficient time, attention, and funds are focused on ensuring that principles of freedom and liberty for which this country proudly stands are supported.

     Contact: Allison Grossman or Rachel Slomovitz
                         202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, DC, October 5, 2006 – - In response to yesterday’s announcement by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales of nearly $8 million in additional funding to combat human trafficking in the United States, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Yesterday, Attorney General Gonzales announced an important increase in funding to facilitate the partnerships of law enforcement agencies and service organizations in aiding victims of human trafficking and apprehending and prosecuting offenders.  The almost $8 million in extra funds will be used to create ten new Trafficking Task Forces around the nation to add to the 32 forces already operating. In fiscal year 2006, these task forces, in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, charged 111 defendants in 32 cases involving human trafficking, resulting in 79 convictions, more than double the convictions made in 2005.  We laud both the Attorney General for his leadership on this issue, as well as the entire Department of Justice for ensuring that combating human trafficking remains a national priority.

Trafficking robs victims of their dignity and independence, leaving them vulnerable to brute violence and intimidation; it is our responsibility as free citizens in a democracy to ensure that sufficient time, attention, and funds are focused on ensuring that principles of freedom and liberty for which this country proudly stands are supported.

Jewish tradition teaches "one who destroys one life, it is as if he destroys an entire world, and one who saves one life, it is as if he saves an entire world." By maintaining a firm commitment to eliminate human trafficking, the United States protects human life and demonstrates fundamental respect to the divine spark within each individual.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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