Recent accomplishments include:
- Partnering with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to eradicate slavery and other labor abuses in the Florida tomato fields. Rabbis and Jewish communities across the United States took action as our coalition persuaded Trader Joe’s and Chipotle to join nine other major retailers in signing Fair Food Agreements. These national corporations pledged to purchase tomatoes only from companies that institute labor protections including zero tolerance for trafficking and slavery, zero tolerance for sexual harassment, safety protections, and minimum wage protections.
- Influencing Policy at the White House in anti-slavery recommendations released by the President’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. These recommendations cite our partnership with CIW as a model for eliminating trafficking in the food supply.
- Mobilizing more than 720 rabbis, cantors, rabbinical students and cantorial students to send letters to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to cease plans for new settlement construction that will obstruct the path to peace. We coordinated this effort with our partners at J Street and Americans for Peace Now. Rabbinical students in our year-in-Israel program delivered the letters to the Prime Minister’s office.
- Halting the eviction of a Palestinian family from East Jerusalem, by mobilizing more than 1600 American Jews to write to the Jewish National Fund, whose subsidiary had gone to court to evict the family and intended to turn over the home to extremist Jewish settlers.
- Standing up to bigotry against our Muslim neighbors. When an anti-Muslim activist placed ads in the New York and DC subway systems suggesting that support for Israel requires viewing Muslims as “savages,” we were the only Jewish organization to respond with ads of our own. These ads invited riders to “choose love,” and made clear that the Jewish community does not support the dehumanization of Muslims in our name. Hundreds of media outlets around the world covered our ad campaign.
- Training more than 60 rabbinical and cantorial students to be future human rights leaders through two programs: The Rabbinical Student Summer Fellowship in Human Rights Leadership, and the Year-in-Israel Program.
- Creating dozens of educational resources and biweekly divrei Torah that apply Jewish learning and wisdom to the moral challenges of our day. These include curricula and lesson plans about the religious, spiritual, and human rights dimensions of Jerusalem; modern-day slavery and trafficking; torture and indefinite detention; African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel; land issues among Bedouin Israeli citizens; and solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
- Transforming more than 130 synagogues into human rights learning and action communities on Human Rights Shabbat.
- Winning accolades including being named to the Slingshot Fund’s list of the most innovative Jewish organizations in 2011 and 2012. Rabbi Jill Jacobs (Executive Director) was named to the Forward 50 in 2011 and to Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in 2012, and Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster (Director of North American Programs) was named to the Jewish Week’s list of 36 under 36 in 2011.