As Passover approaches, I think about the meaning of the Exodus story and the dramatic journey from slavery to freedom and independence. I think about all the people who are not free and do not experience the opportunities we have enjoyed. I think about the women and children who suffer from human trafficking, forced marriage, violence, poverty, and other social problems that exist in our community.
Today we live in an environment of fear, uncertainty, and a lack of civility and tolerance. Rights are at risk, and too many women and their families are not safe and financially secure. JWF fights against these injustices, empowering women and finding solutions to create a more caring and tolerant society, both here in the U.S. and in Israel.
- Jewish tradition commands us to ask questions. This Passover, let’s reflect on our own stories and ask these important questions:
- How do I strive to improve the world?
- How am I making a difference?
- How can I fight injustice like the brave women in the Exodus story, Yocheved, Shifra and Puah, Miriam, and Batya?
You have already been resolute and generous as JWF has grown its reach and impact. With your continued help, JWF will expand our vital work to protect rights and ensure women and their families are healthy, safe, and successful.
Fact: 1 in 4 women are victims of severe violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
JWF response: Education and advocacy to address root causes of violence against women and girls, change attitudes and behaviors and prevent future abuse.
Fact: Women still earn less than men for the same work.
JWF response: Funded a study on poverty and women in Florida and found that closing the gender wage gap will decrease overall poverty by 60%.
Fact: Nearly a quarter-million children as young as 12 were married in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010. Some 77% of the children wed were minor girls married to adult men.
JWF response: Support advocacy work to end child marriage in the U.S.
Fact: Women, children, and disabled women are sold as sex slaves in the U.S. as victims of sex trafficking.
JWF response: Educate and raise community awareness, support advocacy for victims and sue traffickers for damages.
Despite many challenges, we can be optimistic, and we can make a difference. As Gloria Steinem said, “Yes, I’m optimistic. But I also know nothing will happen automatically. Change depends on what you and I do every day.”
We are counting on you. Be a social change agent and invest with us in women and girls.to make a gift to JWF’s Imagine the Possibilities campaign to help us reach our goals.
On behalf of the entire JWF community, I thank you for your support and wish you a sweet and meaningful Passover.
Tami Baldinger, CEO