Quotes from Never Is NOW! The ADL Summit on Anti-Semitism

  • November 18, 2016

“The American Jewish community has not seen this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse since the 1930s. Sadly, it is only being matched with escalating levels of hate against other minorities, too, including Latinos, the disabled, Muslims, African Americans and the LGBT community. … The sum of these signs? People are afraid.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO



“Anti-Semitism is a problem for all of us who care about justice in the world. …. Our ministers should be preaching against anti-Semitism from the pulpit. The same people who are anti-Semitic are often racist, too. These are not separate issues.”

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation



“The alt-right is a very clever euphemism for white supremacists. We might be entering an era where it’s much more difficult to be a Jew. I’m 32, and I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

James Kirchick, Journalist, Tablet Magazine



“It’s encumbent on Jews to reach out to our fellow Americans and listen hard to people who don’t agree with us. … With the BDS movement, there are some bad actors, but we have to listen hard to people attracted to that ideology and think of ways to engage with them productively.”

Jane Eisner, Editor in Chief, Forward


“Jews have a hyperdefensiveness about Israel. It’s hard for us to distinguish when we’re being criticized and when we’re being hated.”

Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President, Shalom Hartman Institute of  America



“Part of having power is the ability to take risks to not dominate other people.”
Moshe Halbertal, Israeli Philosopher, Professor and Writer


“Be proud to be Jewish, and tell the story of your people and the importance of your story. Invite people to Shabbat dinners. There’s something really powerful about being there—that’s where a lot of minds get changed. And find other minorities with similar experiences. As an Asian American, I find the Jewish- American experience incredibly relatable. Make a genuine connection.”

Anthony Berteaux, Student Leader and Journalist, San Diego State University, when asked to advise Jewish students how to combat BDS and anti-Zionism on campus


“Don’t shy away [from campuses with anti-Zionist activity]. Come to school knowing about global Jewry. Don’t try to overthrow progressivism on campus. Be adaptable, and stand up for yourselves.”

Ben Gladstone, Student Leader and Author, Brown University, in response to the same question


“He’s not a hater. He’s a lover.”

Matt Furie, Creator, Pepe the Frog, a mild-mannered cartoon character appropriated as a hate symbol by the alt-right. Mr. Furie and ADL are now campaigning to restore Pepe’s original image.


“I do think there’s a real sense of empowerment. The messages I’ve been getting on Twitter since the election [are along the lines of] ‘We’re coming to get you. We won.’”

Jonathan Weisman, Deputy Washington Editor, The New York Times, and a target of anti-Semitic cyberhate


“Without feedback from ADL and other groups, it would have taken us a lot longer to develop.”

Del Harvey, VP, Trust & Safety, Twitter, explaining its new features to reduce hate


“The fight against anti-Semitism is going to require this effort to learn from the past, from ADL’s founders, and from the future, from Brittan Heller [ADL’s new Director of Technology and Society]. It will require diving into the data and forming new partnerships. To move forward, we need to be able to handle criticism, to push back and learn from it where appropriate. We must find new allies and strengthen old alliances. But I am renewed in my great hope that, together, we can win these daunting battles.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO