ADL has been an unwavering supporter of the Jewish state since the country's inception and we are proud to have an Israel office focused on developing strong working relationships across Israel’s diverse communities, including Jews, Arabs, Druze and Christians. In 2017, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of ADL’s Israel office.
ADL Israel’s primary focus is on social cohesion within Israeli society, which we believe is essential for ensuring Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. To promote much-needed dialogue on this issue, we convened the first “Israel 2048: Israel Social Cohesion Summit” on October 24th, 2017 in Tel Aviv. More than 500 attendees participated in the summit, including politicians, religious figures, academics, students and community leaders representing a broad spectrum of Israeli society. This summit provided an opportunity to discuss the social challenges dividing Israel, develop innovative solutions to these challenges and share visions for what Israeli society should look like in 2048, the country’s centennial anniversary.
ADL is working to expand with increased social cohesion in Israel through a variety of year-round initiatives. These include “Net Health,” which leverages the potential of medical centers and medical schools to foster intergroup communication, “Net Sports,” a partnership with the sports community to promote positive social change and A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute workshops, in which diverse groups of students from 4th grade and up, including children of foreign workers/asylum seekers, discuss issues of individual and group identity as part of ADL’s anti-bias curriculum.
Advocating for Israel in the United States was another key focus of ADL’s work in 2017. We marked the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War with a series of newly created resources and events examining the legacy of this watershed event. These included 50 Voices/50 Years, a platform created in collaboration with BICOM and Fathom Journal in which prominent thinkers, activists, artists and others shared their perspectives on the implications of the war, and The Six Day War: A Fifty Year Retrospective, a symposium co-presented with the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and the 92Y.
In addition to ADL’s expansive work in Israel, ADL maintains close working relationships with Jewish communities across the world including vulnerable Jewish communities in Europe and Latin America. As Europe experiences a renewed wave of anti-Semitism, ADL is working on multiple fronts to protect the continent’s Jewish communities from these latest threats. One example: when Jewish institutions in Sweden came under attack from far-right extremists in 2017, ADL was there. Our outreach to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven elicited a strong statement in defense of Jewish communities across Sweden. We collaborated with leaders in the Jewish community on an injunction to stop extremists from marching past a synagogue on Yom Kippur. And meetings with the Swedish National Police and the Swedish Foreign Ministry helped lay the foundation for ongoing cooperation with and support for Sweden’s Jews.
In addition, a senior Belgian law enforcement official and the security director for the Brussels Jewish community together attended ADL's Advanced Training School (ATS) on extremist and terrorist threats, held in Washington in December 2017. They both expressed deep appreciation for the relevant and empowering course.
European law enforcement and Jewish community security officials began attending ATS in 2016 with representatives from Barcelona. The relationship they developed over the three-day course paid dividends just months later. Immediately after the August 2017 terror attack in Barcelona, the senior police officer called his ATS partner to convey information relevant to the Jewish community. Similar communication happened during the widespread unrest in Barcelona in October 2017. These communications show the impact of involving Europeans in ADL’s programs to benefit vulnerable European Jewish communities.
“Many describe Israel as the Startup Nation, yet, my belief is that Israel can soon be seen as the Impact Nation, a country defined by its diversity and energized by change-makers who are responsible for one of the most raucous and robust civil societies in the world." - Jonathan A Greenblatt, First Inaugural Social Cohesion Summit 2017 Share via Twitter Share via Facebook