David Sklar, director of government affairs for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, said the organization has pushed for hate crime legislation for almost five years, but he is more confident about a bill being passed in the upcoming session.
Under the proposal, up to $250,000 in new funding would be allocated to partner organizations for permanent housing solutions and direct services for the city’s downtown homeless population.
Up to $250,000 would go toward permanent housing solutions — serving an estimated 500 people each year, according to the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, also known by its acronym CHIP — as well as direct services for homeless people downtown.
“I hope that the perpetrators of these crimes, these incidents know that while they are trying to drive a wedge between folks and send a message of discrimination really what they’re doing is bringing folks closer together,” Sklar said.
Tyler Fenwick, Indianapolis Recorder, November 8, 2018 Anyone who routinely walks through the intersection of Meridian and Maryland streets in downtown Indianapolis is probably used to the sight of Fredie, a boisterous…
One listener says spray-painting innocuous graffiti on someone’s house is designed to irritate. Spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue, though, is meant to terrify. It is intended to tell a group of people they don’t belong, that they aren’t fully human, that they don’t have the same rights that others do.
David Sklar with the JCRC noted that anti-Jewish hate crimes across the country rose 37% last year. He said the vandalism of a Carmel synagogue last summer the massacre at the Pittsburgh synagogue has “the Jewish community here on edge…we believe a law sill absolutely have tangible effects,” but he said even if it’s only symbolic, “As Jewish Hoosiers we need our state to stand up and make a statement.”
Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention has named Chelsea Haring-Cozzi executive director. She will officially assume her duties on November 26 and will succeed Alan Witchey.
“We do need a law,” said David Sklar with the Jewish Community Relations Council. “(We) need to figure out exactly what the law looks like, but there’s overwhelming consensus that it’s time for Indiana to take this step.”
After Saturday’s rampage at the Tree of Life Synagogue, the Jewish Community Relations Council in Indianapolis said anti-Semitic acts and expressions are “at an all time high, and increasing fastest in the Midwest.”