What We’re Up To

2018 Legislative Session of the Indiana General Assembly: The JCRC’s Assistant Director, David Sklar, continues to help lead the statewide effort to pass a Hate Crimes law in Indiana, running point on the bill in the halls of the Indiana State House.  Unfortunately, the bill continues to meet resistance from a small, but vocal, group opposed to the inclusion of “gender identity” in Indiana code.  Grassroots advocacy is in full swing, where every phone call and email helps!  Please take a moment to reach out to your state legislator so Indiana can finally be removed from the list of only 5 states without a bias crimes statute.  For more information and action alerts please follow the JCRCCentral Indiana Alliance Against Hate, and Pass a Hate Crimes Law in Indiana on social media. You can find a list of other legislation being monitored by JCRC here.

Community Outreach: The JCRC’s Programming & Communications Coordinator, Aaron Welcher, is working to increase the Jewish community’s presence out in the community-at-large – both physically and through social media.  Aaron proudly attended the Indianapolis Recorder’s Champions of Diversity Gala, spoke at one of the longest running Martin Luther King Jr. day events which took place at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, and continues to support the JCRC’s efforts at building relationships with members of the Black, Muslim, and LGBTQ+ communities.  Aaron is working on a new strategic communications plan for the JCRC called “Amplifying Our Voice” and is reconstituting our “Community Engagement Committee”.  If you’re interested in learning more or joining, email Aaron.

Engaging Jewish Teens: With the help of local Jewish professionals, educators, and youth group leaders, the JCRC’s new Israel & Antisemitism Education Coordinator, Marla Topiol, has pulled together an impressive group of Jewish High School Juniors & Seniors who will be trained this Sunday (Feb. 4) for the Student to Student program.  Indy was chosen as one of only three cities to pilot this hugely successful program that’s been facilitated by the St. Louis JCRC for over 25 years!  Our local Jewish teens will speak to their peers in central Indiana high schools that have no Jewish presence, sharing what it’s like – and what it means – to be Jewish.  There are a few slots still left if you know a teen who might be interested, email Marla.

Opportunities to Support our Work: The JCRC’s Executive Director, Lindsey Mintz, is thrilled to now have a fully-staffed JCRC “team” working diligently on so many critical initiatives.  We couldn’t do this important work without support from the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign, or from individual donors who are contributing directly to our “Combating Antisemitism Fund”.  We are still raising dollars to support our “Stand Up & Speak Out” basket of programs, which will help young Jews and their families confront antisemitism and engage on Israel.  Please consider making a donation to help support these efforts.  And THANKS everyone who has contributed so far!

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Upcoming Events

Holocaust Remembrance Programs: This Thursday, February 1, there are two opportunities to hear Julie Kohner share her parents’ story through “Voices of Generations”

  • Thursday, February 1 from 1:30-2:30pm at the IUPUI Campus Center Theater
  • Thursday, February 1 from 6:00-8:30pm at the BJE’s Domont Auditorium

Crossing Boundaries: Sunday, February 18 from 3:30-5:00pm in the JCC’s Laikin Auditorium. The program will feature eastern European food, and an impressive panel reflecting on the efforts that brought in and resettled Jews from the Former Soviet Union over 25 years ago.

Village Voices ~ Notes from the Griot: Thursday, February 22 from 7:00-9:00pm in the JCC’s Laikin Auditorium. Organized by the UNITY PROJECT (JCRC is an active partner) this program will consist of a live and interactive artistic experience with musicians, dancers and artists telling their stories and performing works of African Americans.

Engineering Spring Break in Israel: Purdue University is taking a group of engineering students to Israel over spring break to visit the Technion, Haifa, Akko, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Masada. If you know anyone at Purdue who might be interested in participating, please reach out to Aaron.

Internship Opportunity: Every summer JFGI offers internships at our local Jewish agencies.  The program helps interns develop real-world experience and gain an understanding of the Jewish professional world.  The application can be found here. For any questions contact Pam at the Federation.

Save these Dates!

March 8: Battle for Jerusalem film screening at the JCC’s Laikin Auditorium.

March 18: Rabbi Sandy and Rabbi Dennis Sasso will be honored as the “2018 Interfaith Ambassadors of the Year” by the Center for Interfaith Cooperation at its 4th Annual Interfaith Banquet. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets available here!

April 4: 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and Robert Kennedy’s Indianapolis speech. Sponsorship opportunities are available!

April 5: “EVA” Movie Premiere at Butler’s Clowes Hall.