The stark events of 2017 have been marked by troubling increases of anti-Semitism, hate crimes and age-old prejudices. In response to these trends, ADL has expanded its capacity to relentlessly fight this escalation of hate in every community with bold and innovative approaches.
Issues of the past that we knew existed on the margins—but rarely saw in the public square—resurged in 2017. Hate became everyone’s business—in Charlottesville, in JCCs, in newsfeeds—and it became almost impossible to ignore. Both online and in real life, it flooded into our communities, infected our schools and seeped into our homes.
And ADL pushed back every step of the way.
In Charlottesville, as Americans around the country watched the violence of the so-called Alt-Right, ADL was there—before, during and after the melee. A series of over 150 bomb threats made against Jewish community institutions in 38 states and several Canadian provinces in the first three months of 2017 resulted in the arrest of an Israeli-American suspect who was indicted on federal hate crimes laws—and ADL was there, working with communities to cope with the threat and helping them to harden their defenses.
By all measures, tech companies are at the frontline in the fight against hate. For this reason, we launched the Center for Technology and Society in the heart of Silicon Valley and hosted the second annual Never is Now Summit in the Bay Area, convening software engineers and social activists to talk about new strategies to stop the spread of online hate. In Tel Aviv, we hosted the inaugural Israel Social Cohesion Summit, a large scale event designed to foster a more unified society in response to our research that has found that nearly two-thirds of Israelis feel that their society increasingly is divided along ethnic, faith and socio-economic lines.
Your dedication made all of this work possible. Your trust in our efforts has enabled ADL to maintain our sense of balance even as we act boldly in the face of the challenges that increasingly confront our organization and the broader community. The pivotal actions we took in this past year have helped propel our direction forward, so that we can act stronger, faster and smarter to fulfill our ever-critical mission in 2018. Thank you for helping us to take on this journey. It has never mattered more.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt