Coronavirus Crisis Response at ADL

  • March 24, 2020
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As America responds to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we here at ADL are actively mobilized and continuing our important work of “Fighting Hate for Good.” While recognizing we live in uncertain and unpredictable times, we also realize our vital mission to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all” continues, and remains just as important now as it did a week, a month, or a year ago.

While our 25 regional offices and Community Support Center in New York City remain closed at the recommendation of public health officials, rest assured that our work continues. ADL staff are continuing our work from home, keeping up the fight by vigilantly monitoring, reporting and combating antisemitic and bias-related activity – including incidents and disinformation related to the COVID-19 outbreak – and providing support to marginalized communities.

And, as always, we also remain in close contact with our partners in schools, government, law enforcement and civil rights groups to continue to deliver our programming and support.  In sum, our entire team is fully engaged, and, in the words of our new online initiative, we are “Fighting Hate From Home.” We hope you will join us in this fight!

For live updates on our work, visit our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn feeds, or check our homepage for the latest links to our reports and research. You can report an incident. For questions about whether specific programs are still happening in your region, contact your local office. News media should direct all requests to our inbox at adlmedia@adl.org.

The following is a summary of ADL’s activities and responses since the COVID-19 outbreak led us to close our offices on March 16:

  • Global anxiety about the outbreak of the coronavirus has led to the spread of much misinformation and scapegoating. Age-old antisemitic tropes surfaced, such as the slander that Jews and/or Israel manufactured or spread the coronavirus to advance their global control; that Jews are profiting from the coronavirus; and other conspiracy theories. In response, ADL issued a report explaining the spread of disinformation from niche to mainstream social networks and how while some of these messages are new, many are simply old tropes repackaged for a modern pandemic. 
  • ADL has introduced a new initiative called “Fighting Hate From Home” — designed to facilitate ongoing engagement. It will be a series of webinars, dialogues and interactive conversations that will enable the general public to stay informed and make an impact even in these difficult times. You can get notification of all upcoming webinars by signing up here.
  • ADL is supporting educators and families with resources about how to talk to children about the virus. The resources include strategies to share information about the virus, teach about stereotypes and scapegoating across history, support targeted classmates and promote a positive, inclusive school community. We are hard at work on additional resources to engage children in discussions on how societal inequities are being highlighted and perpetuated by this crisis.  
  • In schools and communities in the U.S., we have seen incidents of bias, harassment, bullying, isolation, exclusion and xenophobia against Asian Americans and people who are perceived as being Chinese. In response to these trends, Jonathan Greenblatt co-authored an Op-Ed published in the March 20 edition of USA Today with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang calling on Americans to reject appeals to hate in these perilous times.
  • In response to the upsurge in hate crimes and incidents against Asian Americans, ADL is working tirelessly to support the Asian American community and standing in solidarity with national Asian American organizations. ADL has offered training for local chapters on hate crime response and is on-call to support them.
  • ADL signed a letter of support and solidarity with Asian Americans alongside other Jewish communal organizations. We are working with our Latinx partners LULAC and UnidosUS to engage Spanish language speakers and are exploring opportunities for joint outreach with elected officials. 
  • On March 22, ADL added its voice to a letter signed by a coalition of over 200 national non-profits urging legislators to provide $60 billion in emergency stimulus funding to support their work and employees, and keep 12 million people working for non-profits employed across the country. This relief is critical to ensure that many non-profit organizations continue their work during this time of crisis and need.
  • ADL joined with more than 150 groups in urging Congress to include at least $2 billion in its stimulus package to help states prepare for elections and adopt policy measures to ensure public safety and an inclusive and fair voting process for 2020 elections in the wake of COVID-19.
  • ADL joined with the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and more than 630 organizations in a sign-on letter urging the House and Senate to ensure they include all immigrants in medical and economic provisions in the COVID-19 relief package that currently excludes and endangers many immigrants and their communities.
  • Max Sevillia, ADL’s Vice President of Government Relations, joined the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a March 13 event to show solidarity and support. 
    ADL is leading a Jewish communal effort calling on leaders and individuals to show kindness and solidarity, and to make extra efforts to reach towards one another in support, not look to blame or scapegoat.
  • ADL has reached out to Jewish communities across the globe to share what types of trends we are seeing related to conspiracy theories and scapegoating in the U.S. and will be consulting with them in the coming weeks on their experiences with antisemitism related to coronavirus. ADL has also reached out to the Washington-based diplomatic corps to relay sympathies to nations that have been hit particularly hard by the crisis.