For Immediate Release


Dear Members of the Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals:

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the public affairs, community relations, and interfaith relations arm of the organized Jewish community in central Indiana.  We are writing to express our strong support in principle for the building of an Islamic Life Center in Carmel, Indiana.

The City of Carmel has become a national leader in embracing the diversity of its citizens, and supporting the many cultures and religious practices that they bring to the community.  Carmel’s commitment to religious diversity and inclusion is beautifully on display by being home to dozens of houses of worship, including Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the Indianapolis Indiana Mormon Temple, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, College Park Church, and the soon to be completed St. Mary & St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church.

With respect to the current petition before you, we are confident that you, the members of the Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals, will fairly consider the application of the Al Salaam Foundation, and will appropriately balance the needs of Carmel’s Muslim community against any legitimate remonstrance received by the BZA from the citizens affected by the proposed center in a manner consistent with Carmel’s culture of religious tolerance and inclusion.

The Jewish community of central Indiana is proud of the longstanding relationship we have built cooperatively with our Muslim neighbors in Carmel and other communities in central Indiana through joint programming, learning, and social action.  We believe that an Islamic Life Center would be a great addition to the City of Carmel and a source of pride for its residents.

Thank you for your consideration.