Excerpt of the Anti-Defamation League Founding Charter

As appeared in B'nai B'rith News, October 1913

For a number of years a tendency has manifested itself in American life toward the caricaturing and defaming of Jews on the stage, in moving pictures. The effect of this on the unthinking public has been to create an untrue and injurious impression of an entire people and to expose the Jew to undeserved contempt and ridicule. The caricatures center around some idiosyncrasy of the few which, by the thoughtless public, is often taken as a pivotal characteristic of the entire people.

The evidence of prejudice and discrimination has been abundant, in social and in business circles, as well as in public life. All fair-minded citizens must regret the growth of this un-American sentiment. The prejudice thus displayed by no means reflects the attitude of the thinking, intelligent majority of our citizens, but is limited to an ignorant, unreasoning and bigoted minority. For many years the Jewish and non-Jewish citizens have failed to meet this tendency by any means save quiet criticism. But the tide has been rising until it calls for organ­ized effort to stem it.

Regrettable as it is, this condition has gone so far as to manifest itself recently in an attempt to influence courts of law where a Jew hap­pened to be a party to the litigation. This symptom, standing by itself, while contemptible, would not constitute a menace, but forming as it does but one incident in a continuing chain of occasions of discrimination, demands organized and systematic effort on behalf of all right-­thinking Americans to put a stop to this most pernicious and un-American tendency. Prejudice is the child of ignorance. It knows no bounds, respects no individual, and violates the most sacred tenets of our democracy.

With the hope that the co-operation of both Jewish and non-Jewish citizens will be received in this effort of fair play for all people, the ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE OF AMERICA has been formed under the auspices of the Order of B'nai B'rith.

OBJECT: The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience, and if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.