As Co-Interim Executive Directors, we enjoy front-row seats to the collaborative efforts that enhance our Indianapolis Jewish community. Every institution and organization has their own specific mission, but all frequently work together to create a stronger, more tightly woven fabric of Jewish life.
Our community recently came together to support over 70 households through the Adopt-A-Family program for Chanukah organized by Jewish Family Services (JFS). The beauty of this program is the number of people who work to fulfill Chanukah wishes. Our Synagogues, Sisterhoods, NextGen and JCC ECE came together with numerous families and individuals to support these households and demonstrate collaboration at its very best.
Our Safe Indy Initiative with Secure Community Network provides local institutions with guidance in enhancing site security; deliver critical training to community members; enhance relationships and intelligence sharing with local, state, and federal law enforcement; coordinate emergency communication and response; and help institutions access federal and state funds for security enhancements. Community partners fully share in this work including participating in the cost of our Community Security Director.
The JCC brought Shinshinim to Indianapolis, two young Israeli women who connect us to our homeland through their year-long interactions with HHAI students, JCC youth, and synagogue and community members. The cost of Shinshinim is shared by the JCC and many community institutions. Hooverwood Living provided apartments in Kraft Commons, bringing Israel into the Home to create a new area of engagement for residents.
Many programs offered by the Ann Katz Book Festival are collaborative efforts, such as Spiritual Audacity, co-sponsored by Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, with support from Lilly Endowment, to bring the story of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to life through a movie and conversation with Rabbi Heschel’s daughter Susannah.
The JCRC program, “Sweet Lorraine in Auschwitz,” was supported by synagogues and members of the Jewish and general community to raise funds to educate our youth and community to combat anti-Semitism.
Our newest collaborative effort focuses on Afghan immigrants resettling in Indianapolis. JFS will work with Jewish institutions and individuals interested in supporting the Jewish response to this effort.
Thank you to everyone who has taken to heart Rabbi Hillel’s famous saying, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
We wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2022, at in-person events!