New York, NY, February 13, 2015… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has honored its longtime lay leader, David Strassler, in recognition of his dedicated commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism and for his decades of leadership in the service of ADL’s mission to combat hate. Mr. Strassler, of Great Barrington, MA, was presented with the Barbara B. Balser ADL Lifetime Achievement Award on February 6, 2015 during ADL’s National Executive Committee meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
For more than four decades, Mr. Strassler has been a dedicated and committed leader of ADL, culminating with his election as ADL’s National Chairman in 1994, a post in which he served with distinction through 1997.
“David helped lead the way as we strengthened our pre-eminent role in fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry and prejudice, and in taking a strong leadership role in dealing with the growing bigotry on our college campuses,” Past National Chair Barbara B. Balser said in presenting the award to Mr. Strassler. “He has been a trusted advisor to the National Director and to the National Chairs who followed him,” she said.
Mr. Strassler’s first involvement with ADL was during the 1970s, in the New England Region. He was soon heavily engaged in the League’s work at the national level, and served as a National Commissioner, member of the National Executive Committee, and as chairman of the Development, Community Services and Program Committees.
Drawing “from his extensive business background and experience,” Mr. Strassler made use of his telecommunications background to promote “efforts to monitor anti-Semitism and extremism through the use of technology,” added Ms. Balser. She went on to point out that Mr. Strassler has represented ADL around the globe and led ADL delegations on several missions, including to Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey, and several to Israel. He also chaired an ADL delegation to the Vatican for an audience with Pope John Paul II.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, praised Mr. Strassler’s leadership in providing funding for ADL’s A World of Difference campaign, which to this day helps define ADL as the premier national agency promoting diversity and respect. He went on to thank Mr. Strassler for his support for Children of the Dream, a program that brought young, former Ethiopian Jews to the U.S. from Israel to experience life in Jewish communities across the country.
The ADL Lifetime Achievement Award was conceived of and endowed by Ronald Davis Balser in honor of his wife, Barbara. The Balsers are two of the League’s most committed and dedicated lay leaders. Barbara B. Balser served as ADL National Chair from 2003-2006.
The award is a specially commissioned bronze sculpture created by the internationally noted artist and 2008 U.S. National Medal of Arts recipient Jesús Moroles.
Previous recipients of the ADL Lifetime Achievement Award include: Past National Chair Melvin Salberg, National Treasurer Robert Naftaly, National Commissioner Meyer Eisenberg, National Secretary Thomas Homburger, Vice Chairs Ruth and George Moss and Los Angeles region leaders Tootsie Veprin and Joseph Sherwood.