ADL Expresses Condolences on the Death of Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

New York, NY, October 7, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed condolences to the people of Israel on the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel’s former Chief Sephardic Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Shas party, calling him a “towering rabbinic figure” who has greatly impacted Israeli and world Jewry.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will long be remembered as one of Judaism’s towering rabbinic figures who has left a lasting legacy for Sephardic Jews in Israel and for Jews all around the world.

As both a local and national figure, he was a strong and effective advocate for Israel’s Sephardic community, and along with his revered religious scholarship and decisions, his lasting legacy will be Sephardic activism in politics and leadership throughout Israeli society.

Rabbi Yosef was not without controversy and it is no secret that we disagreed with some of his statements in the past which we considered intemperate and biased.

We extend our condolences to the people of Israel and to Rabbi Yosef’s family and students.

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.