Government & Domestic Affairs
Our Government & Domestic Affairs committee serves as the bridge between the Jewish community and public policy leaders, particularly elected officials at the local, state and federal levels. Through our deliberative process, we build consensus on public policy issues and then develop an advocacy strategy on legislation before the Indiana General Assembly. For over 30 years, the JCRC has been the consistent and respected voice in the halls of government that communicates the concerns of the Jewish community with integrity. JCRC is proud to serve as the liaison between our elected representatives and policy leaders, and members of Jewish communities throughout Indiana as we work to tackle some of Indiana’s most pressing issues.
In recent years JCRC has taken a leading role in many of our state’s most high profile policy debates.
- We were a principle organizer of the Cover Indiana campaign which helped urge Indiana to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
- We were active participants in efforts to defeat a stringent marriage amendment to the Indiana constitution and worked against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in order to prevent discrimination against minority religious groups and the LGBTQ community.
- We worked with coalition partners to pass the state’s first comprehensive anti-bullying legislation and the first state funded pre-k pilot program.
- On the federal level we have worked with our members of Congress advocating on a range of domestic issues including comprehensive immigration reform and child nutrition and hunger, as well as international issues including military aid to Israel, Iron Dome funding and keeping them up to date on our community’s concerns with the Iran Deal.
2018 – 2019 Legislative Goals
- Passage of an Indiana bias crimes statute
Israel & International Affairs
JCRC Program Director Lauren Morgan introduces Amir Dajani, Deputy Managing Director of Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city, on the JCPA Leadership Mission in 2016.
Our Israel and International Affairs committee works to educate and mobilize the local community in support of the Jewish and democratic State of Israel, while advocating for a negotiated two-state solution that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live as neighbors in peace and security. We believe that education is the key to peace. We work to inform the community about Israel and to counter assaults on Israel’s legitimacy and its right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.
In recent years, Indiana has seen a significant increase in anti-Israel activity (particularly on college campuses), and the JCRC is a statewide leader in combatting the delegitimization of Israel proliferated by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. We believe the BDS movement is detrimental to the prospect of peace between Israelis and Palestinians and threatens the very existence of the State of Israel. We oppose the BDS movement and actively work to educate others about its damaging effects and to combat BDS efforts locally.
- We hosted an “Israel on Campus Roundtable” series for college students home for the summer to provide education and training to take back to their respective campuses.
- We launched the “Israel Talks” series with the Federation’s Shlicha to provide community members with a forum to learn about and discuss a wide-range of issues related to Israel.
- We supported the passage of anti-BDS legislation in the Indiana Statehouse.
- We encourage greater economic ties between Israel and Indiana, believing that investment rather than divestment is the right approach for our state.
- We participated in the Community Impact Project of the Israel Action Network, a joint project of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The project allowed us to train 30 lay leaders on best practices for community engagement and combating delegitimization.
- We hosted the Midwest Regional NextGen Conference on Israel that included nearly 100 participants from 5 different states.
A contingency of students from the University of Indianapolis, IUPUI, and IU are joined by JCRC staff and lay leaders to voice their opposition to the BDS resolution presented to the University of Indianapolis’ Student Senate in 2016.
Community Engagement & Intergroup Affairs
Event commemorating Nostra Aetate marking 50 years of Jewish-Catholic relations
Coalition building is one of our strengths – it also might be our most important task. Our work is grounded in building strong relationships with people of faith, human rights advocates, political and civic leaders, and friends and neighbors in our communities. We fight for civil rights and justice for all people. We work with community partners to combat the issues that divide us – Antisemitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and political and religious extremism.
As the interfaith and intergroup arm of the Jewish community, the JCRC looks to build bridges wherever possible. When we educate the community-at-large about ourselves – and when we take the time to learn about other communities – we foster understanding, respect, and ultimately a more secure environment for Jewish living. Building coalitions, seeking partnerships, and encouraging dialogue are indispensable investments in creating a tolerant society around us, and in creating informed advocates among us.
- We spearheaded the response to antisemitic incidents on Indiana campuses and in communities across the state
- We organized the Jewish community’s participation in the Indianapolis Festival of Faiths
- We provided resources to Indiana schools to ensure accurate curriculum about Jews, Judaism, and Israel is available to all Indiana students
- We organized the Jewish community’s annual Holocaust observance at the Indiana Statehouse and the first official IUPUI-sponsored Holocaust observance on campus
- We participated in the IndyPride parade
- We worked with synagogues, agencies, and law enforcement to ensure the Jewish community in Indianapolis and its institutions are safe and secure
- We raised awareness about the Syrian refugee crisis
- We spoke out against Islamophobia and the desecration of area mosques
The Jewish community participates in the Indianapolis Festival of Faiths