Indianapolis Jewish Community Urges Changes to House Bill 1002 by Indiana General Assembly

Written from press release

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 5, 2024

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) expresses its disappointment with the recent passage of House Bill 1002 in the Indiana Senate, which omits any reference to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, according to a press release. The JCRC calls on the Indiana General Assembly to address this issue by taking the bill to a conference committee and incorporating IHRA into the legislation, as unanimously approved by the Indiana House in January.

“”Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities,” according to the IHRA

The IHRA definition encompasses both a comprehensive understanding of antisemitism and eleven illustrative examples, providing valuable guidance for educators, administrators, and school leadership in recognizing and combatting antisemitism. The inclusion of both elements is deemed crucial by the JCRC.

According to the Anti Defamation League,” Accompanying the IHRA Definition are eleven examples that “may serve as illustrations” of how antisemitism manifests contemporaneously, ranging from age-old anti-Jewish tropes, to Holocaust denial, to certain expressions of animus toward the Jewish State of Israel that may at times cross the line into antisemitism. These examples are important, because while certain longstanding myths animating antisemitism have stood the test of millennia, manifestations of antisemitism do change, sometimes significantly, over time and place. It is important to provide guidance built on the knowledge of experts in the field, as well as the lived experience of large segments of the Jewish population.”

The JCRC says that if the Senate-amended version of the bill is enacted into law, Indiana would stand out as an outlier among thirty-six states, the U.S. Department of State, forty-five countries, and over twelve hundred institutions worldwide that have endorsed the IHRA definition, including more than 50 from Indiana.

Jacob Markey, Executive Director of the JCRC, strongly asserts, “It is unconscionable for the State of Indiana to enact House Bill 1002 without fixing the definition of antisemitism, which must reference IHRA. We remain hopeful that the Indiana General Assembly will protect Jewish students in Indiana by returning House Bill 1002 to the House-passed version. We look forward to working on this bill further in the conference committee.”

About the JCRC:

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) serves as the public affairs, interfaith, and intergroup relations arm of the organized Jewish community. JCRC fosters consensus on public affairs issues and advocates on behalf of the Indiana Jewish community by establishing relationships and partnerships with civic leaders, public officials, and other faith and ethnic communities.

Website: Indianapolis JCRC

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