ADL Launches Centennial Year Initiative To Educate Young People About Anti-Semitism

New York, NY, December 17, 2012 … In an effort to ensure the next generation is equipped to identify and respond to anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is embarking on a Centennial Year campaign to promote through education a greater awareness of one of the world’s oldest forms of prejudice.

“As we begin our second century, our ability to educate and reach out to young people will be a critical asset in the fight against anti-Semitism,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We know that hatred is learned, and can be unlearned. By continuing to educate about the history of anti-Semitism, as well as its modern-day manifestations, we can continue to create change. We can ensure that the next generation of young people are not exposed to the hatred and bigotry heard by their parents and grandparents.”

Through a partnership with businessman and philanthropist Leonard Stern, ADL will be widely distributing copies of the book A Convenient Hatred: The History of Anti-Semitism (2012), written by Phyllis Goldstein and published by Facing History and Ourselves. The book covers the 2,500-year history of anti-Semitism through powerful stories that enable readers to understand the consequences of unchecked bigotry and to question assumptions and stereotypes about others.

The book will be made available to participants in ADL’s education programs across the United States, including participants in The Confronting Anti-Semitism Program, which helps Jewish teenagers, college students and their families challenge persistent anti-Semitic myths, and Bearing Witness™, an educational and professional development program for Catholic school educators that explores the history of anti-Semitism from pre-biblical times to modern day, including the Holocaust and recent changes in Catholic teaching on Jews and Judaism. Additionally, the book will be made available to ADL lay leaders, young professionals, community leaders, and others.

“Through this partnership with Leonard Stern we will expand our reach in educating Jewish youth in how to confront anti-Semitism and further educate Catholic school teachers and their students about the history of anti-Semitism,” said David Waren, ADL Director of Education. “The book is an essential resource as we work together to put an end to hatred and bigotry once and for all.”

In 2013, ADL will be commemorating its Centennial Year with the theme “Imagine A World Without Hate.” In addition to several centennial-themed events, the League will be embarking on a series of anti-bias educational programs at the regional, national and international level designed to help stamp out bigotry and prejudice.

A Convenient Hatred: The History of Anti-Semitism was published by Facing History and Ourselves of Brookline, Mass., an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism. The book features a Foreword by Sir Harold Evans, the noted historian and Editor at Large for Thompson Reuters.

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.