ADL Mourns the Passing of NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg

New York, NY, June 3, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mourns the passing of New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who led the charge on a full range of civil and human rights issues, most notably as an advocate for the refugee rights of Soviet Jewry.

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

Throughout his career, Frank Lautenberg was a champion for the full range of civil and human rights goals of the Jewish community.

Advocates for refugee rights and veterans of the Soviet Jewry will long remember the 1989 amendment bearing his name that opened the door for Jews and other religious minorities from the former Soviet Union to immigrate to the United States. The “Lautenberg Amendment” continues to provide refugee status to members of persecuted religious minorities -- Christians, Jews and Baha'i -- in Iran and Jews in the former Soviet Union. He was an outspoken advocate for church-state separation and religious freedom, and a powerful advocate for legislation against hate crimes and online bullying.

Senator Lautenberg left behind a mark, not just in the policies he advanced, but in the world of Jewish leadership and philanthropy. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Lautenberg family and to the people of New Jersey. We commit ourselves to helping to perpetuate the policies that will be his legacy.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.