1913 September 17

Anti-Defamation League Formed


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a Jewish civil rights organization, founded “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.” 

At the time of its founding, anti-Semitism in the United States was widespread and seemingly on the increase. The most notorious anti-Semitic event of those years was he lynching of Leo Frank in Georgia, on August 17, 1915. Many public figures made anti-Semitic statements without embarrassment. The civil liberties activities of the ADL also include issues related to the separation of church and state and the free exercise of religion.

Go to the ADL web site: http://www.adl.org

Learn more: Gregg Ivers, To Build a Wall: American Jews and the Separation of Church and State (1995)

See the ADL’s program on civil rights: http://www.adl.org/civil-rights/

Learn about the ADL’s history: http://www.adl.org/centennial/#.Ux5VrU2YbMo

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