Press Release

Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Anti-Semitism Receives ADL's Highest Honor

Washington, D.C., June 4, 2019 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today celebrated the House of Representative’s Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism and honored its co-chairs with its highest honor, the America’s Democratic Legacy Award, for their role in ensuring that the fight against anti-Semitism remains a bipartisan priority of this Congress and those to come.

The award was presented by ADL Senior Vice President for Policy Eileen Hershenov at ADL’s National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., a gathering of hundreds of the organization’s leaders and activists from across the country. America’s Democratic Legacy Award was established more than 50 years ago to recognize “those precious few individuals who have helped make our nation a place where freedom, equality and democracy are cherished rights forever.”

The award was granted to all eight bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Task Force: Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).  Reps. Smith, Engel, Deutch, Veasey, Weber and Fitzpatrick received their awards today in person, followed by a panel with co-chairs of the Task Force reflecting upon their achievements and ongoing efforts.  Although the schedules of Reps. Lowey and Granger today did not permit them to attend, ADL plans to deliver their America’s Democratic Legacy Awards in the near future in person.

“The fight against anti-Semitism is not limited to one political party. Rather, it’s vital that it remains an apolitical effort,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “The House of Representative’s Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, which ADL has partnered closely with for years, is a model of how to come together to address this age-old scourge of hate. We heartily commend these eight bipartisan Co-Chairs, extend our gratitude to all members of this Task Force in the House, encourage those Representatives who aren’t part of it to join, and urge the Senate to consider creating a similar task force amongst its members.”

Previous award recipients include former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman; as well as Eleanor Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, Justice Earl Warren, Saul Bellow, George Tenet, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Lee Iacocca, Walter Annenberg, Dwayne Andreas and Cardinal John O’Connor. The award has also been presented to distinguished institutions including Harvard University, The New York Times and the Columbia Broadcasting System.