• JFGI History

Officially organized in 1904, the Jewish community of Indianapolis was one of the first organized Jewish communities in the country. At that time, Indianapolis received a large influx of demand for Jewish services as people immigrated to the area. Shortly after the Bureau of Jewish Education formed in 1911, the Communal Building was built downtown at the heart of the Jewish community in 1923. The Federation used the Communal Building as a base for all of the community activities. In the 1930s, the Jewish Community Relations Council was formed originally as a committee of the Federation. It later became its own agency in 1948 in order to address issues of Jewish communal concern in relation to the general, non-Jewish public. Also in 1948, in response to the ever-changing geography of the Jewish community of Indianapolis, 60 acres of land was bought that the Federation, along with the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Community Relations Council, Bureau of Jewish Education, and Beth-El Zedeck currently reside. Today there are approximately 200 Federations organized like us throughout the U.S. that are involved with Jews in over 60 countries.