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Kittay House Tenanats Advocate for Victims of Trafficking

Kittay House tenants rallied and encouraged staff, their families and visitors to advocate on behalf of teenage girls and young women who are victims of a crime known as trafficking.


The Kittay community learned about the seriousness of this global issue at its recent in-depth Hot Topics discussion group. Program coordinator Rabbi Bonnie Steinberg brought awareness about this heinous crime to the tenants following a conference she attended on the subject.


She explained, “Trafficking is part of an underground culture worth billion of dollars. Kidnapping 13- and 14-year-old girls and enslaving them into a life of repeated rape is unthinkable, and the traffickers need to be prosecuted.”


Shocked by the exploitation of children, the tenants organized a letter- writing campaign to State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz asking them to advocate for The Trafficking Protection and Justice Act and encourage other legislators who might not otherwise support the bill.

Rhoda Kaufman, a tenant with an activist spirit, stationed herself outside the dining room for daily shifts that recruited her peers to sign letters that shared support of New York State’s response to human trafficking.

She said, “People close their eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist. We hope our letter writing will make an impact with our politicians to aggressively prosecute the traffickers and their accomplices.”