Abe Foxman, the influential head of the Anti-Defamation League and one of the most powerful public figures in American Jewry, announced late Monday that he will step down from his post effective July of next year, the ADL said in a statement.
“For almost five decades, ADL offered me the perfect vehicle to live a life of purpose both in standing up on behalf of the Jewish people to ensure that what happened during World War II would never happen again and in fighting bigotry and all forms of oppression,” Foxman said.
“My years at ADL, particularly the 27 spent as national director, could not have been more rewarding. ADL continued its growth as a highly respected and influential organization both here in the United States and across the globe. We have never lost sight of the fact that we are an organization whose first priority is to fight anti-Semitism and protect the Jewish people. I’m proud of all that we have accomplished.”
Foxman, a Holocaust survivor who was hidden as a child during the war, and who later immigrated to America with his parents, began his career with the League in 1965 after graduating from the City College of the City University of New York and New York University School of Law.
He rose through the ranks and, in 1987, was tapped as national director. During his tenure, the ADL continued to grow as the premier organization fighting anti-Semitism bigotry and discrimination with 30 regional offices across the United States and an office in Israel. The League celebrated its centennial year in 2013.