Historically, Jews have been known for its will to help others. As a group who has been affected by numerous negative situations, they understand the importance of working together towards a common goal. This is how they aim to provide everyone with the needed conditions to survive and grow stronger. The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (JFGI) knows how important it is to help those Jews in need. Yosef Meystel knows that the Federation operates as a network of people from all around the globe doing their best for a philanthropic cause. JFGI aims to maintain and strengthen the Jewish community in Indianapolis and the United States Midwest.
There are few organizations in the Midwest so dedicated to working hard for their community as JFGI is. Wherever a Jew needs help, the Federation is there to provide its services, food, training and a decent place to live. No matter the age or location, the Federation is always working hard to help everyone among the Jewish community. Thanks to its efforts, elders in Indianapolis count on different services which have made retirement easier for them. Also, those who have been affected by natural catastrophes have been helped by the federation, regardless their religious views. Food, shelter, clothing and even monetary assistance have been donated by the Federation.
The Federation’s Main Mission
This outstanding philanthropic center operates as the connection between Israel, Indianapolis and the whole Jewish community in the United States and the rest of the world. It believes in the importance of keeping good relationships and creating networks of individuals in different regions and industries who can contribute to the general welfare of the Jewish community.
Cooperation is the key to the Federation’s success. Its entire structure is based on the commitment and contributions of different agencies and synagogues. Each active member of the Federation has the mission to promote the general welfare of the Jewish community, ensuring the survival and continuity of its people regardless the circumstances.
A Bit of History About the Federation
Indianapolis has one of the eldest and most organized Jewish communities in the United States. Formally organized in 1904, the Jewish community of Indianapolis has spent more than a century serving its members and those Jews who immigrated from Europe or Israel to the area.
In 1911, the Bureau of Jewish Education was formed in Indianapolis and a decade later the Communal Building was located and built at the heart of the Jewish community. This building was first used by the Federation in 1923 as the center for all the Jewish community activities. Less than a decade later, another important institution was formed: The Jewish Community Relations Council. This institution was initially formed as a committee of the Federation. However, the Jewish Community Relations Council soon became its own agency and started to focus on addressing issues related to Jewish communal concern.
In 1948, the Federation along with the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Bureau of Jewish Education, decided to buy 60 acres of land for the Jewish Community in Indianapolis. This action took place due to the general concern regarding the geographical changes of the Jewish community in Indianapolis.
Nowadays, there are at least 200 organized Jewish Federations across the United States working hard to solve every issue related to the Jewish community. Also, these Federations are involved with Jewish issues in over 60 countries.
Connecting Indianapolis to Israel
The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis has been committed to helping the Jewish community even before the modern State of Israel was born. JFGI has worked hard for decades to allocate funds to rescue and assist Jews in the look for shelter worldwide. JFGI works diligently from Indianapolis but it has a fundamental impact on Jewish communities from all around the globe.
Currently, numerous Jews in Israel and over 70 other countries depend on the Federation and its work overseas with partner agencies and synagogues to provide life-improving programs which are in charge of giving food and housing. Also, these partners work hard to rescue and resettle individuals who have been victims of crimes and war. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel are some of the Federation’s partners in this philanthropic cause.
The Federation also funds programs and services to educate Jewish people who come from devastated communities which have been affected by acts of war, terror, and economic hardship. This is why JFGI has developed a Community Planning and Allocations Department which is in charge of:
- Working with partners overseas to understand the needs of Jews worldwide.
- Partnering with other Federation department to raise funds to cover up for the vital needs of Jews in needs.
- Working with volunteers and committed to allocating funds in an effective and efficient way.
- Engage more people in the Federation’s programs and initiatives in the United States, Israel and worldwide.