The Anti-Defamation League's Connecticut Regional Office is the Connecticut recipient of the 2013 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award.
The award was recently presented to Gary Jones, ADL's Connecticut regional director, at a ceremony at the FBI's New Haven office. There will be a public presentation in May at the ADL's 2014 Greater New Haven Torch of Liberty Award Reception.
"We are deeply honored that the FBI recognizes ADL as a leader in Connecticut's fight against hate," Jones said. "It shows that our friends at the FBI in Connecticut understand that our multifaceted approach to fighting bias and bigotry goes well above and beyond our work with law enforcement."
The Anti-Defamation League is a 100-year-old civil rights organization whose mission statement is "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all." The DCLA is presented annually to an individual or organization by each of the FBI's 56 field offices. Established in 1990, the DCLA is designed to publicly recognize the achievements of recipients who have helped with crime prevention and educational programs within their communities and furthered the efforts of law enforcement.
The ADL has a longstanding relationship with law enforcement at all levels.
As part of its mission to combat hate, the league monitors extremists and bigots of all stripes and provides that information to law enforcement upon request. In addition, the ADL is the leading nongovernmental provider of law enforcement training in the United States.
FBI personnel are regular participants in ADL training opportunities. Through a partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the ADL provides training for all new FBI agents that draws on lessons learned from the Holocaust and emphasizes the critical role law enforcement has in protecting minorities and preserving the freedom and liberty that our country affords. The training also demonstrates the damage that can be done if the law enforcement is co-opted by immoral and totalitarian leaders.
In Connecticut, ADL works cooperatively with the FBI in protecting the safety and security of Jewish institutions. In jut the last year, the Connecticut ADL office:
alerted the FBI to the hacking of the websites of approximately 50 Reform synagogues across the United States by an international group of hackers;
worked with the FBI and the Yale community in response to a threat of arson to the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale;
ADL advocates on behalf of individuals and communities that have been discriminated against based on their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The league reaches more than 20,000 students in Connecticut schools every year with anti-bias and anti-bullying education programs.
"While our mission of fighting hate is simple, our efforts to accomplish our mission are varied and complex," Jones said.
"Hate manifests itself in numerous ways, and as a result, ADL is constantly developing new approaches to combat it. The FBI's New Haven Field Office is a wonderful partner in our daily efforts to make Connecticut a more understanding and accepting place. We are extremely appreciative that the FBI has bestowed its Distinguished Community Leadership Award upon ADL's Connecticut office."