Jewish Education Initiatives

 

These butterflies decorate the walls of the JFGI Education Center lobby

We envision a vibrant network of Jewish educational opportunities throughout Greater Indianapolis that are learner-centered, community-focused, and forward-thinking in their approach.

 

  • Learner-centered: Jewish education in our community should address the needs of diverse populations and support learners at all stages of their lives and at all points along their Jewish journeys.
     

  • Community-focused: We recognize the power of education to both build and sustain our community; therefore, we must make investments in current Jewish educational institutions as well as develop new ways to utilize educational endeavors to build connections across our community and between the Jewish community and other communities in Greater Indianapolis.
     

  • Forward-thinking: We not only need to address current learning needs in our community but also look toward future learners and leaders as well as be vision-driven in our practice.

 

JFGI is committed to investing resources to support and build momentum for the continued growth of a robust network of Jewish learning in our community. Our investment in Jewish education focuses on capacity building, community building, and bridge building.

JFGI is committed to supporting all of our communal partners who are engaged in the critical work of Jewish education. Mechanisms for building capacity in our existing programs include:

Innovation Grants: Funding for innovative, learner-centered Jewish educational programs.

Teacher Professional Development: Learning seminars for teachers in day schools, supplementary schools, and ECE programs.

Jewish Literacy Learning: Opportunities for those who work in Jewish organizations to learn more about Jewish culture and for community members to strengthen basic knowledge in Hebrew and Jewish traditions.

Madrichim Training: Training programs and continuing Jewish education for teens who work in congregational schools and camp settings.

Board and Committee Development: Workshops for boards and committees invested in supporting Jewish education.

Grinspoon Teacher Excellence Award: Annual award that recognizes an outstanding teacher in our community.

Ongoing Consultation: Access to trained Jewish educators to support program visioning, development, and assessment.



JFGI aims to optimize educational experiences as a tool to strengthen community ties, promote collaboration, and build new connections among community members. To support shared learning experiences JFGI offers:

Organizational Partnerships: Nurturing partnerships among congregations, schools, agencies, and youth groups through joint projects and convening educational leaders to better meet communal needs.

Collaboration Grants: Funding for programs that bring two or more organizations together in creating engaging educational experiences for the community.

YoPhI (Youth Philanthropy Indy) Initiative: Connecting Jewish values and action through a teen philanthropy board, community service projects, and learning experiences open to all Jewish youth.

Chai Mitzvah: Creating Jewish learning circles in various community locations to deepen knowledge and connection.

PJ Library: Books, educational resources, and programming for Jewish youth and parents.

Jewish Parenting Programs: Gatherings for parents to discuss challenges, share experiences, and draw upon Jewish sources for guidance.

Community Learning Programs: Programs that bring the entire community together to celebrate and engage in Jewish learning.



JFGI recognizes the role of education as a way to build bridges with others outside of or currently not engaged with the Jewish community. By providing educational resources and accessible learning opportunities we can help build these bridges. Ways we are invested in these efforts include:

Holocaust Education Center Programs and Speakers Bureau: Resources to both the Jewish and broader community to support Holocaust education and remembrance.

Israel and Antisemitism Programming: Partnering with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to proactively prepare youth for evolving 21st century challenges..

Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Speakers: Access to speakers to support interfaith dialogue and enrich world religions school curricula.

Interfaith and Outreach Programs: Programs design to open new pathways to connect with the Jewish community.

Jewish Resource Sharing: Providing resources through the BJE Library and staff expertise to broaden access to Jewish content and build bridges to tradition.





  • Chai Mitzvah Learning Circles

    Monthly, informal Jewish learning circles at various locations around the community. Engage in social action opportunities and find new (or renewed) meaning in Jewish rituals.

  • PJ Library

    PJ Library, a program created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, sends free, age-appropriate Jewish books and music to families every month.

  • Resources for Schools

    Resources supporting efforts to provide accurate education related to Judaism, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel, antisemitism, and community building.

  • Taste of Hebrew

    Four-part course enabling adults to learn how to decode Hebrew in just six hours! Held at local synagogues; open to anyone in the community (no membership needed).