Anti-Defamation League
Explore our Centennial
Follow ADL on:

Facebook

Twitter



ADL en español

Google+

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Follow ADL's boards

Click to pin: 

Read our Blog

Keep up-to-date with the Access ADL Blog and get new post by e-mail.

Tune in

Listen and subscribe to the ADL Podcasts on iTunes, or visit the website: podcast.adl.org.

Stay connected

Subscribe to ADL Newsletters.


Ten Decades of Fighting Hate
and Building a Better World

W hen they signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the founders of the United States of America set out to establish a new nation, where all were deemed equal, and the pursuit of happiness and justice for all were inalienable rights of all citizens.

By 1913, it was evident to Jewish Americans that the promise of democracy remained unfulfilled. That year, the founders of the Anti-Defamation League set out with a mission that continues a century later - to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. In each generation since, ADL has remained true to its mission, and its goals remain as relevant today as they were then. ADL is dedicated to making our country a more inclusive home for all; where being different is not a liability, and diversity is a cherished strength.

For one hundred years, ADL has been a force for change, a champion of our nation's values, and a shield against hate and extremism. ADL has come a long way since 1913 and is now an internationally recognized leader in the fight against prejudice, bigotry and hate.

What follows is decade-by-decade time capsule, looking back on the barriers we faced, and ADL's work to break them down while advancing respect and inclusion in each generation. ADL begins its second century knowing that there is much more work to be done.

In 1913, our founders dared to Imagine A World Without Hate. It is a promise that ADL has kept for 100 years. Our past inspires us. Our present brings us new challenges. Our future depends on how well we meet these challenges.

Decade 1: Beginnings

  • The Jewish community in the United States faces rampant anti-Semitism and overt discrimination. Books, plays and, above all, newspapers, depict Jews with crude stereotypes.
  • Against this backdrop of bigotry and intolerance, an attorney from Chicago named Sigmund Livingston, puts forward a bold idea-to create an organization with a mission "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all..." Starting with a $200 budget and two desks in Livingston's law office, the Anti-Defamation League is founded with the clear understanding that the fight against one form of prejudice cannot succeed without battling prejudice in all forms.
  • During this same time, an event in Georgia makes the need for the organization painfully clear. Leo Frank, a Jewish businessman who moves to Atlanta to manage his family's pencil factory, is convicted of the rape and murder of a 13-year-old female employee, following a trial which was defined by anti-Semitism. When the Governor reduces his death sentence to life in prison, a hate-filled mob-which includes many influential community leaders-drags Frank from his prison cell and lynches him.
  • Negative stereotypes about Jews abound as World War I breaks out. In one of its first anti-bias actions, ADL distributes a memo signed by the publisher of The New York Times to his media peers, discouraging "objectionable and vulgar " media references to Jews.
  • Even a U.S. Army training manual advises that Jews are "more apt to malinger than the native born". Following ADL protests, the manual is promptly destroyed on orders of President Woodrow Wilson.
  • As Bolsheviks rebel against the Russian Czar, ADL objects to political cartoons in the U.S. that portray the revolutionaries using Jewish stereotypes. After ADL's intervention, The Associated Press promises "not to bring racial or religious prejudice into our reports."
  • The counteraction begins against overt discriminatory practices that bar Jews from resort hotels and negative portrayals of Jews in popular culture.

Decade 2: 1920s

  • Employing the tactic of exposing extremist groups, ADL counters Ku Klux Klan-inspired violence against Jewish-owned businesses and religious institutions.
  • Industrialist Henry Ford becomes a force for promoting anti-Semitism through his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and is exposed for circulating The International Jew, based on the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
  • ADL challenges Ford's anti-Semitic propaganda by publishing informational pamphlets of its own, including "The Poison Pen" and "The Protocols-A Spurious Document."

Decade 3: 1930s

  • The cloud of Fascism spreads across Europe, inspiring sympathetic homegrown movements in America. In educating Americans to the dangers these movements pose to democracy, ADL singles out the anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi agitation of the German-American Bund.
  • ADL speaks out against Father Charles Coughlin and his radio broadcasts that spew anti-Semitic diatribes and pro-German propaganda over the airwaves.
  • As anti-Semitic fervor and scapegoating of Jews for causing the Great Depression grows, ADL institutes the first independent fact-finding on extremist individuals and organizations, creating a trove of credible information.

Decade 4: 1940s

  • As the U.S. joins the war against the Axis Powers, ADL undergirds support by promoting unity among Americans of all backgrounds in the fight to defeat totalitarianism.
  • In an important sign of ADL's effectiveness and growing stature, Henry Ford, who previously promoted anti-Semitic propaganda, sends a letter in January 1942 to Sigmund Livingston, the then-ADL National Chair, expressing a belief "that the hate-mongering prevalent for some time in this country against the Jews, is a distinct disservice to our country, and to the peace and welfare of humanity."
  • ADL launches massive research operations to uncover Nazi supporters and hate groups in the U.S., making its findings available to government agencies in Washington, D.C. and to the press. Increasingly, the FBI and the media turn to ADL for its expertise.
  • ADL files its first amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in 1947. In Shelley v. Kraemer, the High Court supports ADL's view that restrictive housing covenants are unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable.
  • The following year, ADL files a brief in in McCollum v. Board of Education, a church-state separation case, opposing the constitutionality of released time to allow students to attend religious instruction in public school classrooms.

Decade 5: 1950s

  • ADL publishes the 1952 exposé, The Troublemakers, documenting how the Arab propaganda apparatus in the U.S. explicitly sought to foment anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments.
  • Launching a large-scale educational effort to eliminate ignorance leading to bigotry, intolerance and anti-Semitism, ADL produces various noteworthy multi-media materials including the now-classic book The ABCs of Scapegoating by Gordon Allport; and the "Dolls for Democracy" traveling exhibit, a partnership between ADL and B'nai B'rith Women.
  • As anti-Communist fervor and conspiracy sweep the country, ADL stands out as a premier opponent of character assassinations, culminating in President Dwight Eisenhower's historic 1953 televised speech, during ADL's 40th Anniversary celebration, denouncing Senator Joseph McCarthy.
  • Presaging the agency's activist support for legislation to end racial discrimination, ADL files an amicus brief in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court school desegregation case.
  • ADL intensifies the fight against overt and subtle anti-Jewish discrimination in employment, housing and accommodation, and mounts a "Crack the Quota" campaign to eliminate barriers to college and university admissions by Jews.
  • ADL produces several books, including The Trouble-Makers and Cross-Currents, exposing hate mongers ranging from the KKK to Nazi sympathizers to extremists abroad.
  • Six southern states and 50 communities enact anti-mask laws that ADL champions, which ban the wearing of masks during public demonstrations. By impeding the KKK's efforts to terrorize minorities anonymously, the laws result in a dramatic decrease in Klan membership.
  • ADL embarks on a campaign to produce educational and cultural media promoting religious and racial acceptance. In December 1959, in conjunction with ADL's 46th annual meeting, the CBS television network broadcasts a 60-minute special, "A Salute to the American Theatre," featuring musical and dramatic excerpts from Broadway productions on the theme of diversity.

Decade 6: 1960s

  • Following John F. Kennedy's assassination, ADL republishes A Nation of Immigrants, which he wrote to mark ADL's 45th anniversary while he was still a U.S. Senator.
  • ADL helps mobilize support for civil rights and voting rights legislation, culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
  • Worldwide attention to the capture, trial and execution of Nazi henchman Adolf Eichmann prompts renewed focus on the Holocaust, and catalyzes ADL activities to educate about the Holocaust and counter those who deny or diminish it.
  • Danger on the Right and subsequent ADL books, including Report on the Ku Klux Klan and The Radical Right: Report on the John Birch Society and Its Allies, highlight radical movements threatening American democracy.
  • ADL publishes Some of My Best Friends, a groundbreaking book documenting subtle patterns of discrimination against Jews in employment, housing, higher education, and in the social arena. Among other things, it highlights the fact that in the 1950s nearly 65 percent of Jewish students at Emory University's School of Dentistry were either flunked out or forced to repeat courses during the administration of a blatantly anti-Semitic dean.
  • ADL commissions a team of scholars at the University of California, Berkeley, to investigate all aspects of anti-Semitism in American life. Its multi-year study, producing eight books, is the most definitive ever undertaken on the subject.
  • In response to the findings of the first volume, Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism, which documents a strong link between religious teachings and anti-Semitism, ADL's Interfaith Department works closely with Vatican officials to help develop the document that ultimately became Nostra Aetate, the Vatican's historic 1965 statement repudiating Jewish guilt in the death of Jesus and denouncing "hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism directed against Jews." The statement's adoption at the Second Vatican Council launched a new era of positive relations between Catholics and Jews after many centuries of strain.
  • The 1967 Six Day War serves as catalyst for Dateline Israel, a series of periodic radio reports designed to enhance Americans' understanding of Israeli life. The period leads to ADL's creation of study missions to Israel for U.S. lawmakers and other governmental officials, including visits and briefings with their Israeli counterparts, jurists, academicians and religious leaders from all faiths.

Decade 7: 1970s

  • The Yom Kippur War in 1973 intensifies ADL's campaign to counter anti-Israel propaganda. The agency exposes and takes the lead in combating the Arab boycott of companies that do business with Israel, leading to the passage of the 1977 and 1978 laws that prohibit American companies from participating in the blacklist.
  • Using all media at its disposal, ADL exposes Palestinian Liberation Organization and Arab links to terrorism and highlights the hypocrisy of a United Nations General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism.
  • ADL strongly supports and advocates for Israeli-Egyptian peace.
  • The counteraction leads to publication of The New Anti-Semitism, an ADL book that documents worldwide insensitivity and indifference to a campaign that denies Israel its legitimacy as the Jewish national homeland. An outgrowth is expansion of ADL's work outside the U.S., as it establishes an office in Israel and a regional presence in Europe.
  • Consistent with its long-held views on equal opportunity, ADL files amicus briefs challenging race-based quotas and preferential treatment as a means for hiring, promotion and college admissions. Concurrently, it collaborates with the U.S. Department of Labor to devise guidelines that are adopted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance to ensure equality in hiring of employees and contractors.
  • In 1977 ADL establishes the International Center for Holocaust Studies (now known as the Braun Holocaust Institute-Glick Center for Holocaust Studies) which becomes one of the nation's first formal Holocaust Education programs-pioneering materials for students and educators to understand the Holocaust and apply its lessons to contemporary issues of prejudice and hate.

Decade 8: 1980s

  • ADL helps secure the posthumous pardon of Leo Frank, based on the State of Georgia's failure to protect him while he was held in prison.
  • ADL participates in the movement on behalf of Soviet Jewry, exposing violations of human rights and mounting a media campaign to secure the right for emigration; by the end of the decade, the Soviet regime collapses, spurring a massive exodus of Jews to Israel and America.
  • Committed to pursuing freedom for Soviet Jews, ADL compiles a list of 11,000 Soviet "refuseniks." The list, sent to U.S. congressional leaders and published in The New York Times, helps the U.S. State Department's diplomatic efforts with the Soviets. Years later, Jews are permitted to leave.
  • The 1982 conflict in Southern Lebanon prompts ADL to counteract inaccurate and biased media coverage, as well as to coordinate on-the-scene briefings for influential U.S. opinion leaders.
  • ADL begins publishing what becomes an annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, which serves as a benchmark tool to spot and report trends in domestic vandalism, harassment and violence directed against Jews and Jewish institutions.
  • Responding to an increase in anti-Semitic incidents, ADL blazes a trail with its pioneering model hate crimes statute, proposing enhanced penalties for bias-motivated criminal conduct. In the following years, a new field of criminal law emerges: 45 states and the District of Columbia enact laws based on or similar to ADL's model, and the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds the penalty-enhancement approach, patterned after ADL's model statute, in Wisconsin v. Mitchell, a landmark 1993 decision pertaining to a Wisconsin law against hate crimes. ADL advocacy at the federal level leads to the passage of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, signed into law in 1990.
  • ADL steps up its religious freedom advocacy, filing amicus briefs in cases dealing with Christmas observances in public schools, publicly sponsored sectarian displays, and federal aid to parochial schools.
  • ADL works closely with the Japanese and Asian Pacific American communities to promote Congressional approval of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, a formal American apology for forced Japanese relocation and incarceration in Internment Camps during World War II. ADL's Education Department prepares a curriculum guide to teach these lessons of discrimination.
  • The fight to expose and counteract all forms of domestic extremism is reignited with the ascendancy of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who pursues elective office in Louisiana, and the emergence of Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic firebrand leader of the Nation of Islam.
  • ADL publishes Computerized Networks of Hate, a prescient 1985 report raising concern about the spread of hate on new technology platforms, most notably how dial-up computer bulletin boards serve as a communications tool for any white supremacist with a modem and a home computer.
  • Following the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer aboard the Achille Lauro cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists, the Klinghoffer family establishes a foundation, under the auspices of ADL, bearing their name and dedicated to fighting terrorism through legislation, education and advocacy.
  • ADL launches the Eugene Warner Middle East Lecture Series bringing Israeli military, political and academic experts to meet with audiences across the U.S.
  • Confronting Anti-Semitism, an ADL program designed to help communities respond to incidents of hate, is launched in response to a national survey of Jewish students. It complements a set of guidelines prepared to help students, faculty and administrators confront speakers who engage in hate speech.
  • An innovative educational platform is launched by ADL's New England Regional Office, in partnership with WCVB-TV. A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® soon emerges as a platform for ADL's anti-bias training programs nationwide, customized for community, workplace and educational settings.
  • In memory of Dore Schary, the noted filmmaker and a former ADL National Chair, a new award is established to recognize outstanding student film and video productions addressing themes related to ADL's mission.

Decade 9: 1990s

  • A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® advances to become a formally structured institute providing ongoing anti-bias training and resources in the U.S. and overseas. In response to riots in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, Institute staff work with students at Clara Barton High School in what would become a standardized A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Peer Training program.
  • Following a wave of extremist violence across Germany in 1992, German officials and educators there invite ADL to bring its A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute to Germany to train students, teachers, social workers and law enforcement professionals. The Institute goes global in the years that follow; A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® programs aimed at combating prejudice and bigotry are now implemented in more than ten countries around the world.
  • After successfully working with others in the Jewish community to enable Jews to leave Ethiopia and settle in Israel, ADL launches "Children of the Dream," bringing Israeli youths of Ethiopian origins to meet with American peers. To further help enhance understanding of Israel among aspiring student journalists, ADL establishes the Albert Finkelstein Memorial Campus Editors Mission.
  • With the help of ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, 1,600 Holocaust survivors from 28 countries gather for the first time in 1991 in New York City at the First International Gathering of Children Hidden during World War I. After the gathering, the Hidden Child Foundation joins ADL's Braun Holocaust Institute.
  • In the wake of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, ADL condemns the scapegoating of, and discrimination against, Arabs and Muslims. ADL also launches an advocacy effort to close broad gaps in U.S. counterterrorism law. ADL works closely with the drafters in Congress and lobbies for enactment of landmark federal antiterrorism legislation. Passed in 1996, the law establishes a ban on fundraising and material support for foreign terrorist organizations and bars their leaders from the U.S.
  • ADL staunchly supports Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the Oslo Accords, and speaks out against incendiary rhetoric in Israel and the U.S. by critics of the Oslo Accords.
  • ADL exposes Louis Farrakhan's separatism and virulent anti-Semitism through a range of timely and targeted reports, ads, op-eds and press releases that document the bigoted worldviews promoted by the Nation of Islam's leadership.
  • A transformational grant significantly increases ADL's ability to research, analyze and counteract extremist movements. ADL publishes a major exposé of domestic hate and paramilitary groups titled, Danger: Extremism-The Major Vehicles and Voices on America's Far-Right Fringe.
  • Six months after ADL issues Armed and Dangerous, a fact-finding report alerting the nation to the growing threat of anti-government militia groups, anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh explodes a truck bomb in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing and maiming hundreds of men, women, and children.
  • ADL urges enactment of anti-paramilitary training laws based on a model statute ADL drafted in the 1980s after identifying several paramilitary training camps operated by violence-prone extremist groups. Today, the anti-paramilitary training statute, designed to outlaw such camps while protecting the rights of lawful citizens, has been adopted in nearly 20 states.
  • ADL takes a lead role in exposing extremists' use of the World Wide Web with extensive reports like The Web of Hate: Extremists Exploit the Internet and Poisoning the Web: Hatred Online.
  • ADL launches Terrorism Update, a periodic report on international and domestic terrorism. Today, Terrorism Update is electronic and reaches more than 33,000 subscribers.
  • With public awareness about the impact of hate violence on the rise, ADL plays a central role in the first-ever White House Conference on Hate Crime in 1997-sparking enhanced community partnerships with law enforcement authorities to address the issue.
  • In 1999, the No Place for Hate® initiative is launched to counteract hate violence such as the Columbine High School shootings, the attack on the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center by white supremacist Buford Furrow, and the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr.
  • ADL produces comprehensive resources to help school administrators, teachers, school board members, parents, students, and others contend with issues surrounding the place of religion in the public schools. ADL launches programs to ensure an appropriate balance between freedom of religious expression and separation of church and state in public schools.

Decade 10: A New Millennium

  • The World Conference Against Racism, a United Nations-sanctioned conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, turns into an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate fest, and ADL convinces the U.S. government and others to withdraw in protest.
  • Terrorists attack America on Sept. 11, 2001. In response to the attacks, ADL takes action: A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute produces Empowering Children in the Aftermath of Hate, a guide distributed by The New York Times. ADL's guide to security awareness becomes an invaluable resource for Jewish institutions and organizations worldwide. ADL intensifies its training for law enforcement on extremist and terrorist threats. ADL works with Congress and the Bush Administration to provide new tools for law enforcement officials to help prevent terrorist acts, while adhering to constitutional safeguards concerning the proper balance between national security and individual rights.
  • In October 2002, ADL convenes the Conference on Global Anti-Semitism, a gathering of world Jewish leaders, diplomats and U.N. consular officials in New York City to develop strategies to combat the rising global anti-Semitism that led to attacks on Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere.
  • ADL continues to counteract anti-Israel activity on college campuses, where it often turns into expressions of anti-Semitism against Jewish students and faculty. To help Israel advocates on campus and elsewhere, ADL prepares a widely used toolkit, Israel: A Guide for Activists.
  • In a prolific decade of publication, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman authors three books on anti-Semitism: Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism; The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control; and Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype.
  • In response to documented religious harassment and proselytizing, ADL specialists prepare resources and lesson plans for use in the curriculum of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Every cadet is now required to participate in this training.
  • With the rise in bias-driven bullying and online bullying, ADL enhances its anti-bullying efforts and develops new resources and programming on cyberbullying, including a toolkit for counteraction and model legislation to require schools to address the issue.
  • ADL files amicus briefs in federal courts throughout the country in support of victims of discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.
  • Faithful to the dreams of immigrants who sought American opportunities against all odds, ADL files amicus briefs in court cases in states that have imposed draconian anti-immigration laws.
  • ADL helps lead the opposition to proselytizing and discriminatory aspects of the Bush Administration's Faith Based Initiative provisions, which would allow government funds to flow directly to religious organizations.
  • The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in Boston is named in memory of longtime ADL New England Regional Director, Lenny Zakim. The bridge stands as a symbol of Zakim's and ADL's work to build bridges of understanding among diverse groups of people.
  • Committed to building and strengthening relations with the growing Hispanic/Latino community in the U.S., ADL takes a lead role in exposing the virulent anti-Latino and xenophobic rhetoric surrounding the national debate over immigration; facilitates Latino-Jewish roundtables around the country in order to cultivate strong working relationships in ADL regions; and coordinates missions designed to give Latino leaders a fuller understanding of Israeli society, culture, politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • ADL combats the worldwide campaign to delegitimize and demonize Israel, and exposes radical campaigns against Israel.
  • ADL exposes the inherent anti-Semitism in the Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's accusations in articles and books that an "Israel lobby" is forcing the U.S. government to adapt policies which are counter to American interests. ADL further renounces similar accusations in former President Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid."
  • ADL educates Americans on the security challenges confronting Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and the conflicts in Gaza in 2008 and 2012, and provides background about the participants in the 2010 Free Gaza "Flotilla" incident and their associations with extremist and terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
  • ADL advocates for strong international sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program, exposes European business dealings with Iran, and launches "Stop Nuclear Iran" information campaign. (ADL first highlighted the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran in a 1993 publication).
  • In an effort to help address anti-Semitic and anti-Israel intimidation in schools and on campus, ADL helps coordinate successful lobbying efforts for the Department of Education to include anti-Semitism and campus anti-Zionism within its ongoing civil rights enforcement authority.
  • ADL leads a coalition of religious and civil rights groups to support passage of the most important update of national hate crimes laws in 40 years, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which is signed into law in 2009 after more than a decade of ADL advocacy.
  • Protecting Your Jewish Institution: Security Strategies for Today's Dangerous World, a unique communal security guide for Jewish institutions, is published. ADL commences training Jewish institutions throughout the country on the importance of security awareness.
  • ADL pioneers flagship law enforcement training programs, including: Law Enforcement and Society (LEAS), an innovative training program conducted in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; Advanced Training School (ATS), a three-day course on domestic and international extremist and terrorist threats; and National Counter-Terrorism Seminars (NCTS), an intensive counter-terrorism training program in Israel for key American law enforcement leaders.
  • ADL becomes the foremost non-governmental organization in the U.S. offering law enforcement agencies training on domestic terrorism, extremism, and hate crimes.
  • ADL investigates the increasingly dangerous domestic terror threat posed by Muslim extremists, publishing reports on the role that a growing number of American citizens and residents motivated by radical interpretations of Islam have played in criminal plots to attack Americans in the U.S. and abroad, and sharing actionable intelligence with law enforcement agencies.
  • ADL develops a program dedicated to monitoring, documenting and analyzing the prevalence of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and extremist narratives in Arabic and Farsi language sources around the world, including print media and satellite television stations in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • In response to an intensified level of anti-Muslim bigotry - and as pernicious conspiracy theories about the infiltration of Sharia law proliferate - ADL exposes campaigns aimed at marginalizing Muslims and defends Muslims' religious freedom rights in the courts and state legislatures.
  • ADL convenes the national Interfaith Coalition on Mosques (ICOM), comprised of prominent individuals and organizations from different faith traditions, to assist Muslim communities who are confronting opposition to the legal building, expansion or relocation of their mosques.
  • ADL plays a leading role in fighting pernicious attempts by legislators in several states to promote religion in public schools.
  • ADL adopts policy publicly supporting equal access to civil marriage for same-sex couples, and files several amicus briefs opposing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a statute which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman and denies a wide range of federal various benefits to same sex couples.
  • ADL exposes the growing prominence of extreme right political parties in Greece, Hungary and elsewhere.
  • As resurgent anti-Semitism becomes a very real problem in Western Europe, ADL conducts six public opinion surveys of key European countries to assess attitudes toward Jews. ADL shares the findings with government leaders in these countries and urges those whose populations held strong anti-Semitic views to publicly condemn anti-Jewish sentiments and enact educational and other measure to counteract these trends.
  • ADL begins working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to seek innovative ways to address the growing threat of anti-Semitism and hate crime in countries across Europe and the former Soviet Union. Among other things, ADL presents resources and recommendations to the OSCE on such topics as best practices to confront anti-Semitism, anti-bias education, hate crime data collection, combating youth violence, hate on the Internet and Holocaust education.
  • ADL testifies numerous times before U.S. Congress calling for strong U.S. engagement in the fight against global anti-Semitism. ADL recommendations contribute to the establishment of a Special Envoy for Anti-Semitism at the U.S. State Department, with a mandate to gather information on anti-Semitic incidents worldwide. ADL promotes U.S. engagement in fighting anti-Semitism in Europe through the OSCE.
  • ADL speaks out against violence and hatred against African refugees, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians and others in Israel.
  • Expanding its human relations educational resources, ADL launches the Miller Early Childhood Initiative to address prejudicial attitudes among the very young. Through Curriculum Connections, ADL disseminates lesson plans for use by K-12 educators; Making Diversity Count marks ADL's foray into online education, with an anti-bias course advancing human relations.
  • ADL creates the Bearing Witness program to teach Catholic educators how to teach the lessons of the Holocaust, and about anti-Semitism and Israel.
  • ADL joins with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education and Yad Vashem to launch Echoes and Reflections, a comprehensive multimedia program for teaching about the Holocaust in U.S. schools.
  • Since its founding, ADL's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute has exposed more than 56 million people across the globe to its key lessons for the diverse societies and communities in which they live, learn and work.

Continuing the Mission Today

Times change, and new challenges arise, but the refrain of the haters and bigots is by now familiar to the Anti-Defamation League. Its mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice for all people, irrespective of religion, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation remains intact and relevant, even a century after it founding.

Through a network of 28 professionally staffed regional offices, and a national headquarters staff consisting of experts in varied fields from research, law, education, and intergroup and interfaith understanding, ADL embarks on its second century with the knowledge and experience garnered over a 100-year history.

United in its mission with an engaged and active volunteer leadership, ADL dares to dream of a better day. Imagine a World Without Hate. ADL continues to build that world.