What We Do
JCRC mobilizes the Jewish community on critical issues and amplifies its voice in the public sphere. We foster meaningful relationships among diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and interest groups, building coalitions based on mutual concerns. JCRC is a trusted resource for our community and political and faith-based partners, providing nuanced consultations on sensitive community and government relations matters.
We work tirelessly behind the scenes and on the frontlines to ensure that the organized Jewish community’s interests are addressed. Our positions are formed based on consensus and civility, creating a broad tent for our community’s diversity.
Government & Domestic Affairs
The JCRC’s 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. 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.
Through our deliberative process, we build consensus on public policy issues and then develop an advocacy strategy on legislation before the Indiana General Assembly. JCRC is proud to serve as the liaison between our public policy leaders and members of Jewish communities throughout the State of Indiana, as we create relationships with elected officials on both sides of the aisle. In recent years JCRC the JCRC has:
David Sklar, Assistant Director, meets civil rights icon, Representative John Lewis.
Jewish community members represent the Jewish community at the Annual Festival of Faiths in 2019!
Community Engagement & Intergroup Affairs
Coalition building is one of our strengths and maybe the JCRC’s most important task. Our work is grounded in cultivating relationships and seeking partnerships with faith & ethnic communities, human rights & social justice advocates, and civic, education & law enforcement leaders. JCRC is proud to work with community & intergroup partners on issues of shared concern, united by our common pursuit of a just society, and our commitment to standing together in the face of those issues that could divide us, including bigotry, antisemitism, systemic racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and political & religious extremism. The JCRC’s Community Engagement Committee helps members of the Jewish community become stronger allies to members of marginalized or minority groups and movements. Importantly, Community Engagement Committee members not only amplify the Jewish community’s concerns but also convey the concerns of other groups back into the Jewish community.
Israel & International Affairs
JCRC engages with people from diverse backgrounds to build support for a strong U.S. – Israel relationship based on shared values. We support Israel as the Jewish and democratic homeland of the Jewish people. JCRC advocates for a negotiated two-state solution allowing Israelis and Palestinians to live as neighbors in peace, security, and dignity. We educate the community about the complexity of the conflict and model respectful discourse through our speakers and discussions.
JCRC leads our community and works with allies, to actively counter campaigns to delegitimize Israel. As part of our “Stand Up! Speak Out!” initiative, JCRC offers a prestigious Israel Engagement Fellowship for Jewish teens eager to engage thoughtfully on Israel by delving into the region’s history and contemporary challenges. The JCRC’s Israel Committee researches and compiles a range of articles for our monthly “Israel in Depth” newsletter, and crafts statements or Letters to the Editor as necessary.
JCRC Staff with Governor Holcomb & Israel Consul General to the Midwest Aviv Ezra
JCRC proactively combats antisemitism through our “Stand Up! Speak Out!” initiative, which involves several programs designed to reduce bigotry against, and ignorance of, Jews and the Jewish community. We serve as a resource and partner to schools, employers, and Jewish families as they navigate anti-Jewish incidents.
Serving As an Educational Resource
We serve as a resource and a partner to schools, employers, elected officials, industries, other faith communities, Jewish educators & families on the Jewish community and confronting antisemitism. JCRC distributes a 7-year calendar of major Jewish holidays to help raise awareness and minimize conflicts. We promote accurate education about Jews, Judaism, Jewish history, the Holocaust, and Israel in schools throughout Indiana by encouraging teachers to use common-core-aligned curricular materials they can trust in their classrooms. JCRC believes that education and constructive dialogue are the most effective ways to minimize hate and reduce division between communities.
Racial Justice & Equity
On June 18, 2020, the Board of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), which includes its affiliated Jewish communal agencies, synagogues, and organizations, adopted the following Principles on Racial Justice and Equity. These Principles are more than a statement of solidarity. They are our public commitment to act. These Principles will enable us to launch a Racial Justice Initiative that will be a sustained effort to help guide the Jewish community on ways we can more constructively engage in the hard work of pursuing and securing racial equity and justice through listening, learning, engagement, allyship, and advocacy.