ADL Announces Multi-Year Strategy to Combat Anti-Semitism, Extremism and Bias in Germany and Europe

New York, NY, June 4, 2019 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today announced a new multiyear partnership with Volkswagen to combat anti-Semitism, bigotry and bias in Europe. Through a generous gift from Volkswagen, ADL will deliver new programs to fight hate and conduct research on anti-Semitism in Germany and across Europe.

The initiative will focus on assessing the root causes of anti-Semitism, extremism and bigotry in society and develop programs to counter it through advocacy and education, similar to the model ADL has used in the United States to fight anti-Semitism and discrimination against vulnerable populations for more than 100 years.

“The generous support of dedicated companies like Volkswagen who share our values and stand behind our mission provides added strength to our common cause,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “With anti-Semitism and hate rising across the continent, this is an important moment to gain an understanding of why these biases are spreading once again in countries outside of the U.S. and to invest the appropriate resources to combat it head on.”

The ADL-Volkswagen partnership will support a multiyear research and programmatic initiative with the following components:

  • Advocacy in Europe: Providing ongoing briefings and guidance to German and European elected officials and policymakers on anti-Semitism and anti-bias policy. ADL will increase its work with a number of nongovernmental and government partners in various ways to expand its work against hate, bigotry and bias.
  • Words to Action: Bolstering the ability of German and European Jewish communities and the society at large to respond to anti-Semitism through ADL’s “Words to Action.” Students will learn strategies and tools to combat anti-Semitism and how to respond to bias in schools and communities.
  • Global 100 Survey: Better understanding the depth of the problem, ADL will conduct new polls in 12 European and seven other key countries to assess the level of anti-Semitic attitudes in society, using the original 2014 ADL Global 100 Survey of more than 100 countries as a benchmark for assessing and identifying trends. The new poll, which will be fielded later this year, will provide policymakers and the public with better data to understand anti-Semitism as well as societal attitudes toward Muslims, LGBTQ people, immigrants and social media use. 
  • Workplace Education: In an effort to promote social cohesion within the Volkswagen Group of companies, ADL will conduct workplace anti-bias training workshops based on ADL’s workplace training used across the United States. During 2019, ADL will provide trainings for Volkswagen managers in Germany and plans to expand this work to Volkswagen staff in additional locations in the future.

“We are proud to partner with ADL and expand our company’s commitment to push back against anti-Semitism and bigotry globally,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Group. “Our support for this work goes beyond good corporate citizenship. We are a company that remains strongly committed to being a positive force for change in the world.”

Since its founded in 1913, ADL has emerged as global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate. ADL’s objectives are to protect all marginalized groups from the impacts of extremism, reduce bias in individuals through education and create an environment of laws and norms where all people are treated fairly regardless of their race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or level of ability. 

For more than 50 years, research and surveys have been an essential component of ADL’s work in helping people understand anti-Semitism and bigotry in order to develop strategies to combat these threats. ADL is the leading organization evaluating anti-Semitic and hate-fueled attitudes and incidents in the U.S. While ADL had conducted periodic polls in several European countries over the past two decades, no organization had comprehensively surveyed anti-Semitic attitudes around the world until ADL conducted the Global 100 Survey in 2014.

German and other European Jewish university student leaders have told ADL that anti-Semitism is a major problem. “Words to Action,” a signature education project which ADL has conducted for the past 20 years, focuses on empowering Jewish students to address anti-Semitism. It achieves this through interactive multimedia workshops led by trained facilitators for Jewish college students. They learn strategies and tools to combat anti-Semitism and how to deal with anti-Israel bias in schools and communities when it diverges from legitimate political discourse into prejudice.

To help meet the partnership’s objectives, ADL will soon announce the appointment of a Berlin-based staff person, who will manage pilot projects for the new partnership.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.