Abraham H. Foxman

October 03, 2012

Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) since 1987, is world-renowned as a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination. He is the co-author of Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and author of Jews & Money: The Story of a Stereotype (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003).

In the forefront of major issues of the day, including the rise of global anti-Semitism, the war on terrorism, church/state issues, religious intolerance and issues relating to the Holocaust, he consistently speaks out against hatred and violence wherever they occur.

Mr. Foxman regularly confers with elected officials and community leaders here and abroad.  He has had consultations in Europe, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, China, Japan, South Africa and Argentina, and with Palestinian leaders, on problems of ethnic hatred, violence, terrorism and promoting democracy.  He has had multiple audiences with Pope John Paul II, with Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.  Mr. Foxman is a passionate supporter of the State of Israel and a voice for peace in the Middle East.

A Holocaust survivor, Mr. Foxman was a member of the President’s United States Holocaust Memorial Council, appointed by Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. He has been a participant of official Presidential delegations to special events in Europe and Israel.

Born in Poland in 1940, Mr. Foxman was saved from the Holocaust by his Polish Catholic nursemaid who baptized and raised him as a Catholic during the war years. His parents survived the war, but 14 members of his family were lost. He arrived in America in 1950 with his parents. A graduate of the Yeshiva of Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY, Mr. Foxman has a B.A. in political science from the City College of the City University of New York, graduating with honors in history. He holds a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law, and did graduate work in advanced Judaic studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary and in international economics at The New School for Social Research. Mr. Foxman is fluent in several languages. He joined ADL in 1965.

Awards and Honorary Degrees 

2014  Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, Suffolk University Law School
2013  The Begin Prize
2010  Medal of “Grand Officer” of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
2009  Distinguished Alumni Award, New York University
2008  Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Yeshiva University
2007  Honorary Doctorate, Bar Ilan University
2007  Jan Karski Eagle Award
2006  French Legion of Honor Award
2004  Commendatore of the Italian Republic
2003  Honorary degree, Clark University
2002  The Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Leadership Award
2001  State University of New York at Albany’s University Medallion
2001  Austria’s Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold
2000  Bulgaria’s Order of the Madara Horseman
1999  Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
1999  Honorary degree, Iona College
1997  Martin Luther King, Jr. and Donald R. Mintz Freedom and Justice Award, Dillard University
1994  Townsend Harris Medal, City College of New York Alumni Association
1993  Ellis Island Medal of Honor
1992  Honorary Doctor of Law degree, Florida International University