The former Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) wing of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (JFGI) has been renamed as the Center for Jewish Engagement & Learning (CJEL).
Due to funding cuts and an education overlap in the BJE and local synagogues, the BJE Board decided to close the beloved school in 2018. The Jewish Community Study saw the need to continue offering education opportunities in a different capacity, and an Education Department within JFGI was created. The department strengthens educational leaders and programs, optimizes educational experiences to guide community partnerships, and utilizes education as a mechanism for building bridges with those outside the Jewish community.
Now, CJEL is a location for many learning and engagement activities and programs available to the entire community. The JFGI Education Department facilitates Holocaust education programs, field trips for schools, teacher workshops, adult education programs, cross-communal service learning programs for grades 3-8, and a teen philanthropy leadership program (YoPhI Teen Board). The Jewish Community Library regularly holds story time for the JCC ECE classes, transits books throughout Marion County as part of the IndyPL Shared System, and engages community members in library programs. While most Engagement Department programs happen out in the community, the CJEL is also home to PJ Library, where kids aged 6 months to 12 connect with Jewish books and activities. NextGen and Shalom Indy also hold planning meetings and other organizational programs in CJEL. CJEL hosts the Israel & Overseas department where the Experience Israel space can be seen, visiting delegations and committees meet, and programs and events focused on connecting Hoosiers to Israel are hosted.
Many exciting opportunities will be offered in CJEL in 2020. Visit www.jewishindianapolis.org to see what is coming up.