Insights

for Friends of ADL | Spring 2024

Welcome to Insights

Like you, we are heartbroken over the terrorist massacre in Israel and the significant spike in antisemitic incidents we’ve witnessed in the days since October 7th. More than ever, we must ensure ADL has the resources to combat antisemitism and hate right now and in the future.


Our Livingston Legacy Society members have made a lasting commitment to a world without hate by including a gift to ADL in their estate plans, in a will or trust, through a beneficiary designation or by establishing a life income gift. It’s now easier than ever to create a legacy as you will see inside… Visit our website to learn more about how you can support ADL now and in the future.

Connecting Communities and Battling Hate

Written by Livingston Legacy Society member and ADL donor, Bernardine Atkins

Bernardine Atkins Headshot
Bernardine Atkins
As I approach my 80th birthday, the urgency of the ADL mission resonates with me now more than ever. I recall the whispers of the McCarthy era; as a child in the 1950s, the undercurrents of fear and suspicion were beyond my grasp. However, in my adult life, I’ve seen the distressing escalation of hate—and the events of Oct. 7 have further heightened that. We need dedicated people and organizations watching the front lines!

 

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I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in New York City, insulated from the harsh realities of antisemitism. But as a mother in Florida, the thought of my son being the only Jewish child in his class propelled me to act to protect him. That instinct has motivated me for over four decades, as my son is now 48.

Now living in South Carolina, I’ve invested time and resources into initiatives impacting the local Jewish population and the wider Greenville community. From hosting a Passover meal that brought Black and Jewish neighbors together, to supporting arts programs for middle school students and partnering with local organizations to create job opportunities in low-income neighborhoods, I’ve endeavored to make a difference.

In my commitment to counteract hate, I’ve chosen to include ADL in my estate plans. This decision wasn’t born from idle frustration but from a desire to make a difference where I can and to create tangible change. ADL stands out as the best organization with the expertise and national reach to effectively combat antisemitism and other forms of hate. It was an easy choice to alter the beneficiary designation on my annuity to name ADL, transforming an asset that would be a tax burden on my children into a powerful tool against hate—a decision that honors both my family’s financial well-being and our shared values.

We must think about the resources with which we want to arm our children and grandchildren in order to help them confront the prejudices they will inevitably face. The work ADL does is vital, and by supporting them, we are equipping future generations with the means to challenge hatred.

My vision for this legacy gift is realistic, not utopian. I imagine a world where hatred cannot thrive unchallenged and where ADL will continue to stand as a sentinel, ensuring there are repercussions for those who propagate antisemitism and bigotry.

Hate toward one group will spread to others. Yet, what buoys my hope is witnessing the tenacious people who comprise ADL who are tirelessly combating bigotry in all its forms.

The work of ADL is a beacon of hope for those concerned about our nation’s trajectory. Their excellence in education and unwavering dedication to fighting hate on the front lines inspires me and I hope it will inspire others. As I stand with ADL, I’m reminded of the power of collective resolve. We cannot, and we must not, give up!

Inside the Life of an ADL Regional Director

Scott Richman speaking at podium
Scott Richman
ADL Regional Directors’ critical on-the-ground work requires them to wear many hats. Scott Richman, Regional Director of New York/New Jersey, outlines his work.

 

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1. Regional Operations

Responding to all manner of antisemitic incidents is a primary responsibility of the regional offices. Since Oct. 7, a record 3,610 incidents have been reported to Scott’s office, each of which needs a response. To get a sense of this, on a random day pre-Oct. 7, we asked Scott to share the types of incidents that had occurred over the past few days.

The success of Regional Operations is closely tied to the Regional Director and their team’s ability to connect with leaders in the community.

2. Education

The Regional Education team offers a proactive and constructive approach to try to prevent incidents from occurring in K-12 schools. In the NY/NJ region, this team provides help student-by-student and school-by-school in some 400 schools and is centered on creating a culture of respect. They also sponsor major events, such as the recent annual STOP (Students Together Opposing Prejudice) Conference at Siena College, which gathered 300 student leaders from the No Place for Hate program.

3. Development

This important work would not be possible without the philanthropic support of ADL’s generous donors. Scott is a front line fundraiser for some of the higher-level supporters, making sure they not only understand ADL’s vision and accomplishments, but have visibility into the impact their giving makes. Scott also supports the region’s corporate efforts by providing antisemitism training for corporate partners. This facet of the Regional Director’s role also includes working closely with all groups of volunteers who help with the essential functions of governance and activism. In the NY/NJ region, that includes the Regional Board, the Advisory Board, the Board Committees, the affinity groups, the Rabbinic Advisory Council and the activist groups.

4. Management

None of this work would be possible without managing a talented and productive staff. Scott meets with his senior team every day to ensure clear lines of communication and the ability to make informed decisions. The Regional Director is also the representative of the region to senior management at ADL and conveys the regional interests to the rest of the organization.

5. Public Face

Last, but certainly not least, the Regional Director is the public face of ADL. This includes maintaining good relationships with other Jewish organizations, such as UJA, the JCRC, and AJC; speaking regularly to media; speaking in synagogues at events and at press conferences; and being very present on social media. Scott posts daily on social media and also hosts a podcast for ADL called “From the Frontlines” that recently passed its 110th show. You can listen at nynj.ADL.org/from-the-frontlines-podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or SoundCloud.

As you can see, the work of an ADL Regional Director is much like a juggler. Balancing the rewarding activity with the exceedingly difficult elements is the trick, and keeping all the balls in the air without letting them fall is the key!

Viewing Antisemitism on Incident Tracking Map

In the aftermath of the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, ADL has tracked a shocking rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world. Hateful rhetoric online and off, and hate-fueled antisemitic and Islamophobic assaults, discrimination and violence have punctured the fabric of communities, especially on U.S. college campuses. To stay informed and view the rest of our incident tracking map, visit www.ADL.org/stand-with-israel.

Data on Antisemitic Incidents and Rallies in the U.S. Since Hamas’s Attack on Israel

Antisemitism on Incident Tracking Map

This map displays data from October 7, 2023 to March 2024 on incidents of vandalism, harassment and assault directed at Jews (or people perceived to be Jewish) or Jewish institutions, as well as anti-Israel rallies which featured overt antisemitism, anti-Zionism and/or expressions of support for terror. This data is preliminary and may change as more information on the incidents is assessed over time.

What do IRAs, Retirement Funds and Life Insurance Have in Common?

They are all gifts that can easily be left to ADL… without engaging an attorney. If you want to fight antisemitism and hate for future generations without affecting your current finances, naming ADL as a charitable beneficiary of a financial account is a simple way to give that costs you nothing now. And you will be helping create a more just and inclusive society.

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Gifts that can be made by beneficiary designation include:
  • Retirement Funds
  • IRAs
  • Life Insurance
  • Bank Account
  • Brokerage Account

Gifts by beneficiary designation are among the most uncomplicated gifts to make. They do not require you to create a will or visit a lawyer, and you can change your beneficiaries at any time. By naming ADL as a beneficiary of these assets, you can fight antisemitism and secure justice and fair treatment to all.

Potential benefits of gifts by beneficiary designation:
  • Reduce or eliminate taxes on retirement assets
  • Reduce or avoid probate fees
  • No cost to you today
  • Create your legacy of fighting hate with ADL

Because retirement plans are taxed differently than most assets, they may actually become a tax liability if left to your heirs. Often, beneficiary designations are a smart way to include a gift to charity in your plans.

How to update a beneficiary designation:
  • Simply request a change of beneficiary form from your plan administrator and add ADL as a full or partial beneficiary. You can often do this by logging into your account online.
  • Be sure to clearly designate our organization: Anti-Defamation League Foundation.
  • Include our tax identification number: 13-2887439.
  • The form may ask for our address: 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158.
  • Please share your wishes with us! We hope you will let us know if you have named ADL in your plans so we can thank you, confirm your intentions and welcome you to our Livingston Legacy Society.
Our team of gift planning experts would also be happy to discuss your options with you. Please contact them at 888-235-9710 or by email at plannedgiving@ADL.org.

Please consult your financial advisor regarding the tax implications of a beneficiary designation.

JOIN THE ADL LIVINGSTON LEGACY SOCIETY

The ADL Livingston Legacy Society is a dedicated group of supporters who have made a transformational commitment to fighting hate for good by including ADL in their estate plans. Members of the Livingston Legacy Society are not only making a lasting impact on our mission, but are also eligible to receive invitations to special events, exclusive impact reports and a dedicated staff liaison.

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