The Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne represents the Jewish community interests in NE Indiana and NW Ohio. We provie educational and cultural programs, seek to fight racism, and provide funds to help Jews and other people in peril through our philanthropic fund drive efforts. We are your neighbors and co-workers.
JCRC News Release
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, the advocacy arm of the Indianapolis Jewish community, thanks the Indiana House of Representatives for the unanimous passage of House Resolution 59 reaffirming its support for the State of Israel and declaring that the State of Indiana boldly stands against the Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Indiana is now the second state in the country to publicly oppose the BDS movement for “seeking to undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, which they are currently fulfilling in the State of Israel.”
The BDS movement is a growing effort to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel and undermine the widely supported two-state solution. The Indiana Jewish Community applauds the General Assembly for recognizing that BDS tactics are divisive, focusing solely on Israel, thereby creating a distorted picture of the region which will only serve to make peace harder to achieve.
In an interview with media following the passage of HR 59 Speaker of the House Brian Bosma stated, “This is not new, that there are those that would deny the State of Israel the right to exist or the right of the Jewish people to exist. Our state and country needs to stand firm with the only strong and functional democracy and our strongest ally in the Middle-East.”
Indiana continues to be a leader across the country when it comes to state-wide support of Israel. In recent years Indiana has moved to strengthen formal economic ties with Israeli companies and continues to be the largest per capita investor in Israel Bonds. The General Assembly has also passed legislation to ensure that tax payer dollars are not going to companies doing business in Iran which is known to fund terrorist activities that targets both Israel and the United States.
At the inspiring Campaign Opener on November 3, 2014, we asked those in attendance to make your 2014-2015 pledge to the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, and if at all possible, to increase your gift over your last year’s pledge. For those not at the Opener, cards were sent out with a letter and a return envelope asking that you fill out your pledge cards, be generous, and return them. We are asking one more time, please return your cards…your community needs your commitment today for tomorrow, not tomorrow for today! If you have already made your gift, then thank you. If not, then allow the words of Hertzl himself to serve as a reminder – “Words and Actions are not so far apart as one might think”. This is the time to consider how you can make a difference in the lives of Jews both locally and around the world.
Carol and Larry Adelman
Arlene and Jere Leib
Micki and Sherwin Kepes
Jaki and Eric Schreier
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THE FORT WAYNE JEWISH COMMUNITY STATEMENT ON THE
‘INDIANA RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT’
April 1, 2015
For the nearly 170 years that Jews have lived in Northeast Indiana, we have fought for the free exercise of religion for all Hoosiers. We believe that religion flourishes when individuals are allowed to observe their faith traditions in the way most meaningful to them and are not controlled by a governing body. Therefore, we are opposed to the passage of Senate Bill 101, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). We are disappointed that this divisive and unnecessary legislation was signed into law.
We feel that this statute will ultimately threaten religious freedom more than protect it, particularly for minority communities such as ours. As Jews, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that existing protections afforded us by the United States and Indiana Constitutions are applied equally. These sacred documents already provide us the ability to live and practice our faith freely. RFRA will only serve to further entangle religion and government, and create ambiguity and confusion where it did not previously exist.
We have serious concerns RFRA could empower service providers to use religious beliefs as a reason to discriminate against members of the public, especially the LGBT community. This law puts civil rights to religion, and civil rights to equal protection, on a collision course with each other. Decades’ worth of existing precedent will be reevaluated in light of this new conflict between the service providers’ right to the free exercise of religion and the state’s constitutional and statutory prohibitions against discrimination. As members of a religious minority who have faced discrimination because of our religious practices, we deeply regret the inherent injustice this law potentially creates.
We will continue to monitor the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as it is implemented to mitigate its ill effects, and to ensure that all Hoosiers continue to receive all the equal protection provided to them by our Constitutions, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.
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