Your Daily Highlights of ADL's Centennial Summit & Gala
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Last night a distinguished guest helped ADL celebrate our Centennial Gala. Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. stopped by to offer congratulations, sing happy birthday and praise the agency for its commitment to securing justice and fair treatment to all. The vice president said ADL is the most respected agency in town because it always tells the truth, and nothing else. He also expressed his support for marriage equality and LGBT rights. 
Hosted by journalist and author Cokie Roberts, the gala also included a personal video address from President Barack Obama, who lauded ADL’s efforts to combat hate, prejudice and anti-Semitism. The video and text of his address appear below:
President Barack Obama's message for ADL
"For the past century you’ve stood up for basic human rights for all people, here and around the world. You fought the Ku Klux Klan and the rise of Nazism. You joined the civil rights movement and rallied for freedom of Soviet Jewry. And you’ve never wavered in your condemnation of anti-Semitism or in your defense of the Jewish people or the Jewish State of Israel. It’s a commitment I share. As I said when I returned to Yad Vashem last month, anti-Semitism has no place in a civilized world. It falls to each of us, as nations and as individuals, to ensure that our children and their children are taught not to hate, but to love and to treat our fellow human beings with dignity and respect. Through your words and deeds, that’s what you’ve done. You’ve taught the world that the plight of others must not be met by silence. Today the ADL remains true to its mission of combating hate and discrimination. Many here tonight are leading voices in the fight for immigration reform and marriage equality, helping to make sure that everyone enjoys the blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So this evening is a celebration of a century of advancing justice and equality, and a challenge to carry on that commitment through the trials that lie ahead. Congratulations to your national director, Abraham Foxman, and everyone here for the work you do to stand up for what’s right. I join you in looking forward to the day when we all live together in a world without hate."

—     President Barack Obama

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When ADL National Director Abraham Foxman took the stage, he reminded us of the vision of ADL founder Sigmund Livingston, to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment for all. Since then, “We have learned to walk on the moon, [but] we have not yet learned to walk together on this earth,” Mr. Foxman said. He also reminded us of the incredible story of the Bulgarian people, who shielded nearly all Jewish citizens against deportation and certain death during World War II. Bulgaria is our inspiration that “Never again will we remain silent when anyone is singled out as the ‘other.’"

ADL was then honored to welcome His Excellency Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria, who reflected on the Bulgarian legacy. “Bulgaria saved not just Jews, but saved itself,” he told the audience. And he noted that only “education defeats prejudice.”
Together, everyone at the gathering asked “what if” and imagined a world without hate, terrorism, prejudice and bullying.

We listened to the moving personal story of Rana Singh Sodhi, whose brother was murdered in the aftermath of 9/11. As the first hate crime victim following those attacks, he was killed on his way to buy an America flag to show his support and commitment to our country. Rana Sigh Sodhi reminded us that “In the darkest time, one should follow the light,” and expressed his deep gratitude to ADL for immediately reaching out to his family after the tragic event that cost his brother his life.

Next, we heard the terrible story of Leon Klinghoffer:  the disabled, Jewish-American appliance manufacturer who was murdered and thrown overboard by Palestinian terrorists during the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. His daughters Ilsa and Lisa, who were with us last night, established the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation together with ADL, which is dedicated to combating terrorism through educational, political and legal means.

Later we heard a student’s personal story by David Aponte about what it means to be bullied as a young individual. If you could not be with us at the gala, you can watch David Aponte's testimony on YouTube. To help us stop bullying, you can take action now by urging your representative to support legislation to improve the federal response to bullying.
Imagine a World Without Hate. We do. Join us.
Join us to Create a World Without Hate
Other high points of the last day included the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department Honor Guard presenting colors; an interfaith invocation held by Rabbi Schneier, Father Crossin and Jasjit Singh; and a screening of President John F. Kennedy’s address to ADL’s 50th Annual Meeting in 1963.

The Israeli singer Noa was joined by the Children's Chorus of Washington to end the evening with an outstanding performance together, singing John Lennon's iconic 'Imagine', the fitting soundtrack to the ADL's Centennial call to reflection and action to 'Imagine a World Without Hate'.

100 Years of Impact

We are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished in the last ten decades, but ADL begins its second century knowing that there is much work to be done.

But together, we will continue to change hearts and minds student, one classroom, one family, one community at a time.

Make your impact today

Join us to Create a World Without Hate
Urge Your Members to Fight to Prevent a Nuclear Iran
Tell Congress to Stand Up for Israel's Security
Help Improve Federal Response to Bullying
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