Rachel Kahn-Troster


'Zero Dark Thirty' Brings Torture to Big Screen

By Rachel Kahn-Troster

I recently sat in the dark of a movie theater and watched a human being being tortured. This happened at the beginning of Kathryn Bigelow’s new film “Zero Dark Thirty.” The film’s torture scenes begin the narrative arc toward the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, and so “Zero Dark Thirty” has reopened the debate over the necessity and efficacy of America’s use of torture as an intelligence gathering tool in the years since 9/11. The reaction to the film among my colleagues in the human rights community has been mixed, with many coming out of the movie convinced that it drew a straight line between torture and the ultimate capture of Bin Laden and others believing the opposite.Read More


Stop Spying on Muslims

By Rachel Kahn-Troster and Marjorie Dove Kent

Stop Spying on Muslims
What would it look like to have your movements and your friendships tracked simply because of your religion or where you prayed?Read More


Slavery Flourishes in Modern Times

By Rachel Kahn-Troster

Slavery Flourishes in Modern Times
More than 3,000 years after the Exodus, and 150 years after the Civil War, slavery and human trafficking continue to flourish around the world.Read More


A Victory for Tomato Pickers

By Rachel Kahn-Troster

A Victory for Tomato Pickers
On Thursday, Trader Joe’s signed a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, guaranteeing that they will only buy from growers who have signed a Code of Conduct in their fields and ensuring a penny per pound wage increase for the tomato pickers. The Code of Conduct enshrines the rights of workers to shade and water, enforces zero-tolerance policies for violence, wage theft, and sexual harassment, and prevents the conditions that lead to slavery and human trafficking. Trader Joe’s becomes only the second grocery store chain to sign an Agreement, joining Whole Foods, many major fast food chains (such as Taco Bell and Burger King), and major food services companies like Aramark.Read More


Taking Bal Tashchit to the Restaurant

By Rachel Kahn-Troster

Taking Bal Tashchit to the Restaurant
One of the ethical principles on which the Jewish environmental and food movements rest is ba’al tashchit, the commandment not to needlessly waste or destroy. One area of modern life that desperately needs to understand this principle better is our food supply, where over 40% of the food produced for human consumption is thrown away. Food waste begins in the fields, where imperfect produce is left to rot, continues through to stores that throw out expired products and restaurants that dump uneaten servings, and to our homes. With so many Americans going hungry, it is a travesty that so much food (and money) is being thrown in the trash.Read More






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