Since 2011, T’ruah has brought more than 80 rabbis and 15 lay people to visit the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a farmworker organization that is transforming the Florida tomato fields from ground zero for modern day slavery to some of the best workplaces in U.S. agriculture. The #tomatorabbis, as members of the rabbinic delegations call themselves, have gone home to involve members of their own communities in asking major corporations to join the coalition’s Fair Food Program, which raises the wages of tomato workers and ensures fair, regulated working conditions in the fields to end the conditions that have led to widespread labor trafficking and slavery.
T’ruah has worked with the coalition to bring Trader Joe’s, Ahold (Stop & Shop/Giant), and Chipotle into the Fair Food Program. We are currently organizing Jewish communities to ask Wendy’s to join 14 major corporations in doing the same, and are partnering with the coalition to expand the Fair Food Program into additional states and crops.
“The students in my 10th-grade Prophets class decided to sign T’ruah’s letter asking Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program, to deliver this letter to the local Wendy’s and to speak with the manager there. The students felt powerful and proud of themselves as they connected the biblical words of the prophets with working for justice today.”
—Rabbi Rachel Brown, American Hebrew Academy
December 24, 2018
T’ruah Deputy Director Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster said: “The Jewish journey begins with the story of slavery to freedom But today, in order to make freedom possible for the millions of people held in forced labor–including thousands here in the United States–we need comprehensive laws to fight human trafficking that put survivors at the center and combat the root causes of why people are enslaved. I am proud that T’ruah has been part of the coalition efforts that once again ensured that the United States will lead in this critical fight for human rights.”
October 8, 2018
“T’ruah is thrilled to be invited to be a member of ATEST, our nation’s premier coalition dedicated to supporting those vulnerable to trafficking,” said T’ruah Deputy Director Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster. “We are especially excited to be ATEST’s first member directly representing the Jewish community, and we’re looking forward to bringing the moral voices of our network of more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors to supporting critically needed federal legislation to prevent forced labor and support social services for survivors.”
November 16, 2016
Instead of joining the Fair Food Program and supporting human rights for farmworkers, Wendy’s has shifted its tomato supply from Florida to a supplier in Mexico that was prosecuted for severe human rights violations.