Sex trafficking survivor Katariina “Kat” Rosenblatt will be the keynote speaker at “The Sweet Road to Freedom: A Jewish Women’s Chocolate Seder Raising Awareness about Slavery and Human Trafficking” at Temple Beth El of Boca Raton on April 9. (Submitted photo / March 31, 2014)
The event is being hosted by Temple Beth El of Boca Raton‘s Social Action Committee and Women of Reform Judaism/Sisterhood at 6 p.m. on April 9 at the temple’s main campus (333 S.W. 4th Ave.). More than 100 women are expected to attend.
The traditional Passover seder tells the story of the Jews’ enslavement and liberation (Exodus) from Egypt, recounted through religious readings and a symbolic meal. This chocolate seder will shine a light on both past and current struggles for human justice and freedom.
“Participants will be led on a journey from ignorance to awareness, from awareness to education, to personal action; this will be a powerful evening,” shared TBE’s Rabbi Jessica Spitalnic Brockman. “Here in South Florida, the shocking notion that the slave trade and sex trafficking is at a crisis level needs to be urgently addressed.”
According to Social Action Committee Chairwoman Wendy Walin, the message of freedom from slavery associated with Passover links the powerful significance that slavery and human trafficking is as much a factor in our world today as it was in Biblical times.
Walin said: “Countless victims have lost their freedom to modern-day sex slavery and human trafficking. They have been forced into prostitution or to work in inhumane conditions in a variety of industries that provide popular goods and services to consumers everywhere. We are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the problem. It is an urgent crisis requiring our attention and inspired action.”
According to the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, “Currently, there are approximately 20.9 million people enslaved throughout the world with 2.5 million located in the U.S. Florida has been identified as a hub for human trafficking activity, citing one of the highest incidences in the country.”
Rosenblatt’s story of domestic violence and human trafficking involves attempted murder, drugs and exploitation. It began in Miami Beach in the 1980s, when she was just 13, and lasted until she was 17. Having survived these terrible atrocities, Rosenblatt has devoted her life to work tirelessly to share a message of hope. Rosenblatt explains that “having gone through these terrible experiences and overcome them proves that there is hope for others currently being victimized.”
The messages of freedom from slavery and that there is always hope is one relevant to the observance of Passover. Rosenblatt’s organization provides “Healing, Opportunity, Purpose and Empowerment” to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
According to the book jacket of Rosenblatt’s autobiography, “Stolen,” written with Cecil Murphey: “Sex trafficking is currently a hot news topic, but it is not a new problem or just a problem in ‘other’ countries. Every year, an estimated 300,000 American children are at risk of being lured into the sex trade, some as young as eight years old. It is thought that up to 90 percent of victims are never rescued. … These terrible things could have happened to any child — a neighbor, a niece, a friend, a sister, a daughter. But … there is real hope for the victims of sex trafficking. Stolen is more than a warning. It is a celebration of survival that will inspire.”
The seder includes a buffet dinner followed by a chocolate seder. Reservations are required. Tickets are $18 each (free for high school students). For more information, call 561-391-8900 or visit tbeboca.org.”
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