Federation of Jain Associations in North America
Logo of Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA).png
TypeJain religious organization
PurposeReligious, Charitable, Non Profit
HeadquartersNew York City,  United States
Region served
 United States,
Official language
Haresh Shah
AffiliationsJain organizations in USA and Canada
Procession at JAINA 2017 convention at Edison, NJ
Procession at JAINA 2017 convention at Edison, NJ

JAINA is an acronym for the Federation of Jain Associations in North America, an umbrella organizations to preserve, practice, and promote Jainism in USA and Canada.[1][2] It was founded in 1981 and formalized in 1983.[3] Among Jain organization it is unique in that it represents Jains of all sects, and thus effectively represents the entire Jain community in USA and Canada.


The Jain Center of Southern California[4] was founded in 1979. Lalit Shah, its Vice President in 1980, suggested establishment of an umbrella organization of all the Jain organizations in North America. At that time about 15 Jain organizations were in existence, including the Jain Center of America, Jain Meditation International Center founded by Chitrabhanu, International Mahavir Jain Mission founded by Sushil Kumar, and Jain centers in Boston[5] and Chicago. The plan for JAINA was conceptualized at the first Jain Convention held in Los Angeles in 1981, and formalized at the second Jain Convention in New York in 1983, with the advice and approval of Chitrabhanu and Sushil Kumar.[6]

Stage with dignitaries at JAINA 2017 at Edison, NJ
Stage with dignitaries at JAINA 2017 at Edison, NJ

The conventions are now termed JAINA Conventions, and have been held biennially in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Detroit, Atlanta, New Jersey & Los Angeles.[7] JAINA also publishes textbooks on Jainism, a calendar, and a monthly magazine, and operates an online Jain library.[citation needed]


There are over 70 organizations that are part of JAINA. JAINA represents over 160,000 Jains in USA and Canada.[citation needed] It also has 32 subcommittees involved in different activities, including Young Jains of America(YJA), for ages 14-29.[citation needed]

JAINA Symbol

See also: Jain symbols

The Federation of Jain Associations in North America uses a modified version of the standard Jain symbol, the Jain Prateek Chihna. It replaces the swastika with an Jain Aum because of the negative connotations associated with the swastika in the western world.[8]


JAINA conventions draw thousands of representatives from Jain communities in the USA and Canada.[9][10][11][12]

JAINA Committees

There are over 30 JAINA committees. Based on the needs, these committees are more or less active and are at times retired.


Interfaith and Relief Actions

JAINA has been involved in several interfaith actions.[citation needed] It also organizes relief activities.[15]

JAINA Ratna Award

The JAINA Ratna Award is the highest recognition awarded by the North American Jain community for major long term contributions. The first one was given in 1989 to Prof. Duli Chandra Jain for his pioneering editing and publication "Jain Study Circle"[16][17] It is awarded irregularly after 2-6 years. So far nine JAINA Ratna Awards have been given. The JAINA Ratna award is distinct from the 26 Jain Ratna awards given by the Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the occasion of Lord Mahavira's 2600th birth anniversary celebrations.[18]

Young Jains of America (YJA)

Young Jains of America (YJA) is the youth arm of the Federation of the Jain Associations in North America (JAINA), a non-profit religious organization. YJA serves Jain youth from ages 14-29. YJA was first established in 1991, and held its first biennial youth convention in 1994, and having biennial conventions there on after.

See also


  1. ^ : Anita (16 September 2012). "Thousands show the Jain-way of tolerance in US - Oneindia News". News.oneindia.in. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  2. ^ "JAINA". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  3. ^ Historical Perspectives of JAINA, LA-Jain Center, LA-Pathshala, Editors: S. Kothari, L. Shah, M. Khandar, LA Jain Center, July 4, 2009
  4. ^ "$20M Jain temple rises in SoCal - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  5. ^ "The Pluralism Project at Harvard University". Pluralism.org. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  6. ^ Indian Muslims. "Jain convention in New Jersey draws thousands | Indian Muslims". Indianmuslims.info. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  7. ^ Jaina convention meets for networking and, maybe, marriage? BY RUCHI MUKHERJEE, 07.06.11 http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/07-06-11-jain-convention-meets-for-networking-and-maybe-marriage/
  8. ^ "Jain Symbols". p. 29. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  9. ^ FUTURE OF JAIN FAITH TOPIC AT STANFORD, San Jose Mercury News (CA) - June 22, 1991
  10. ^ BROWN ANALYZES POLITICS FOR JAINS, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 4, 1993
  11. ^ "Jain Center's history honored". Enquirer.com. 4 October 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Jain convention in New Jersey draws thousands". TwoCircles.net. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Long Range Planning Committee (LRP)". JAINA.org. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  14. ^ "JAINA Committee Status and Guidelines". jaina.org. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  15. ^ $22,000 DONATION AIDS INDIAN VILLAGE, Buffalo News - May 14, 2000
  16. ^ Jains in India and Abroad, Prakash C. Jain, Int. School for Jain Studies, New Delhi, 2011, p. 104
  17. ^ "An Independent Monthly". South Asian Outlook. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Fellow Jain Members". Jainworld.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.