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About Us

Our History

For the past 100 years, the JCC has been a neighborhood and community resource in Indianapolis. From its start in 1914 at 23rd and Meridian to its current location on Hoover Road, the JCC has been dedicated to serving the Indianapolis community and responsive to its needs through programming and resource availability. For the past century, the JCC has created a multi-generational, inclusive environment where all people can live, learn, play and connect. One hundred years after its modest beginnings, the JCC continues to serve the community with its holistic approach to wellness— optimal healthy living for the mind, body and spirit.

Our Vision

The place to be.

Our Mission

The JCC of Indianapolis enriches the community by perpetuating Jewish tradition and heritage while celebrating diversity of beliefs through arts, education, health and wellness programs.

Our Values

Commitment (M’sirut)– Providing the very best programming and services

Community (Kehilla) – Enriching our neighborhood and Jewish community, making them better

Connections (K’sharim)– Incorporating our Jewish values and ties to Israel

Integrity (Yo’sher)– Earning trust through excellence and ethical behavior

Welcoming (Kabalat Panim) – Engaging our members and guests with warmth and respect

Wellness (Briyut) – Offering healthy choices for improving the mind, body and spirit

Diversity & Inclusion

The JCC of Indianapolis believes in fairness and recognizes the value of inclusiveness. The JCC encourages participation by all people and in this way fulfills its mission. The JCC celebrates a diverse society of cultures, beliefs and perspectives whose knowledge strengthens us as an organization and a people.

Proudly-Jewish_Cowan-Schwartzman“I am blessed to be a voyager on an ancient pathway.” — Rabbi Rachel Cowan

Rabbi Rachel Cowan is a Senior Fellow and co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, working with rabbis, cantors, educators and lay leaders to deepen the spiritual dimension of contemporary Judaism. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College-JIR and served as program director for Jewish Life at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Her writings have been included in Moment Magazine and Sk’ma Journal as well as in several anthologies. She is the co-author of a book about the challenges of interfaith marriages and was twice selected as one of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America.

Artist Arnold Schwartzman is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and renowned graphic designer. He has served as the design director for Saul Bass and Associates, has lectured extensively on graphic design and film at many of the leading art institutions throughout the world, and is the author of a number of books. He is active in the Los Angeles Jewish community and has produced films and video exhibits related to Jewish history and the Holocaust. Schwartzman was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the British film industry. He also served as the creative director for the Masters Series and the Proudly Jewish poster series for Voices & Visions(R).

About the Proudly Jewish series of posters

Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman of The Harold Grinspoon Foundation are pleased to share what makes them Proudly Jewish. They selected six quotes for a poster series, along with powerful images to inspire and motivate dialogue. For this poster, commentary is by Sandee Brawasky, an award-winning writer and editor and current culture editor at The Jewish Week. She says that when Rabbi Cowan describes life as a journey, she thinks of joining a path that has been well traversed and cultivated by generations of teachers and spiritual leaders who preceded her. That winding path, which has guided Jews for thousands of years, is layered with wisdom, insight and tradition. Cowan is drawn to both themes of rootedness and growth and is inspired by Psalm I, which describes “a tree planted by the rivers of water,” nourished by water to bring forth fruit. The water in Psalm I is interpreted as the Torah. There are many entryways onto the sacred pathway that is Judaism. Individuals at every stage in life ca find guidance in addressing everyday issues as well as life’s mysteries.

What do you think?

How do you understand the analogy of an “ancient pathway?” Would your image include shared entryways, detours or bridges?”

“Voyager” often connotes futuristic travel, yet Cowan suggests that we are voyagers on “ancient pathways.” How do you understand this mixed metaphor? Do you feel you are a voyager on an “ancient pathway” or an uncharted one?

What are the responsibilities that accompany a life with ancient foundations? What are the challenges of traversing an “ancient pathway?”

Jewish-poster_artist-Ofra-Amit_web“A Jew is asked to take a leap of action rather than a leap of faith.” — Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was a rabbi, philosopher and civil rights activist. He descended from a line of prominent Hasidic rabbis, and these roots later found their voice in his philosophy. Heschel completed rabbinic ordination and a doctorate in Berlin and taught Jewish studies. He was deported by the Nazis to Poland where he continued to teach before immigrating to England in 1940. He was invited to teach philosophy and rabbinics at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. In 1945, he moved to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he taught Jewish ethics and mysticism until his death.

Artist Ofra Amit is an award-winning Israeli illustrator whose works are featured in magazines, newspapers, and children’s books. She graduated from WIZO Canada Institute of Design in Haifa, Israel, and has been awarded many prestigious honor.

About the Proudly Jewish series of posters

Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman of The Harold Grinspoon Foundation are pleased to share what makes them Proudly Jewish. They selected six quotes for a poster series, along with powerful images to inspire and motivate dialogue. For this poster, commentary is by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, executive director of the Valley Beit Midrash in Arizona and one of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America (Newsweek). He says that Rabbi Heschel teaches us to take a leap into ethical and spiritual action that compels transformation, and not to act by faith alone. Heshel also taught: “To be is to stand for.” Rabbi Yanklowitz asks, “what do Heschel’s teachings mean for us decades later? In an era where a plethora of choices can paralyze, people often tend toward conformity, apathy and disengagement. If one merely follows social trends, our most meaningful and authentic communal activities would disappear.”

What do you think?

What leaps of action would you love to make?

What do you have to solve or overcome before you act? Does anything hold you back?

Heschel’s dictum does not mean that Jews need only act and not believe. Which beliefs can serve as a strong foundation for action?