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Nation’s Largest Jewish Organization Praises Passage of Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Bethany Gotkin, Danielle Hirsch or Rachel Orkand, (202) 387-2800

Saperstein: "Violence against any person, arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, greed or hatred is inconsistent with our tradition's mandate that every human be treated with dignity and respect.

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2000 Reacting to the Senate's passage on Wednesday of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (H.R. 3272), which included the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate lived up to the great promise of the United States and its novel experiment of declaring liberty and justice for all. By passing essential human trafficking legislation and re-affirming the necessity of eradicating domestic violence, the Senate has followed the House in declaring the importance of human rights for everyone. These pieces of legislation will protect the nearly two million women who are captured, trafficked, and enslaved each year throughout the world, and will protect the nearly one in three women who are victims of domestic violence during their adult years.

Our tradition teaches us that mental anguish and moral degradation are the equivalent of physical murder. We read in the Talmud that "One person was created to teach us the sanctity and importance of every life, for 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." Violence against any person, arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, greed or hatred is inconsistent with our tradition's mandate that every human be treated with dignity and respect.

Last night, the Senate took an important step in affirming the worth of every human life. We urge the President to sign into law the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) whose membership includes over 1700 Reform rabbis.



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