Building on its more than a century of knowledge and research into core antisemitic beliefs and attitudes, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today announced the creation of a new research arm that will deepen understanding of the world’s oldest hatred through a combination of scholarly investigation and empirical research.
The ADL Center for Antisemitism Research will curate and enhance scholarly investigation through the creation of an applied research network, while spearheading signature projects and initiatives that will measure, test, and identify impact in the fight against the hatred of Jews.
The new center is led by ADL Vice President Matt Williams, who has more than a decade of research leadership in crafting impact-driven research programs across a range of fields. Dr. Williams most recently served as founding director of the Center for Communal Research at the Orthodox Union, and previously served as managing director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive.
For decades, ADL has studied the presence of antisemitism in society through periodic surveys examining the prevalence of antisemitic attitudes, through research into historical tropes and their contemporary manifestation, and by categorizing and counting incidents. ADL is now seeking to build on that body of research by applying the latest scholarly techniques and serving as a clearinghouse for academic study and research into modern-day antisemitism.
“Antisemitism has remarkable staying power, and we cannot fight this unique hatred effectively without understanding its underpinnings and modern variants,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Our new center seeks to apply best-in-class research and scholarship to deepen our understanding of both the root causes of antisemitism and the most effective tools to combat it – whether it manifests as world domination conspiracies, Holocaust denial or anti-Zionism.
The Center for Antisemitism Research will carry out its research on two separate, yet interdependent tracks:
- Research to deepen society’s understanding of antisemitism. The Center will curate and conduct scholarly investigation into four areas of critical interest. The Center will: 1) sponsor fellowships; 2) conduct empirical research; 3) organize a speaker’s series and publications and (4) host a scholar’s workshop to provide a forum for the dissemination and discussion of findings.
- The Center will build an evidence base to identify which interventions against antisemitism work most effectively. The Center will offer grants to programs, organizations, and researchers that produce foundational evidence to guide interventions. The Lab seeks to hone the field by building forums for collaboration and collective development while leveraging ADL’s existing competencies. Finally, the Center will help develop metrics that assess the efficacy of interventions designed to ameliorate antisemitism.
“We are trying to get at a deeper understanding of the causes, manifestations and evolution of antisemitism,” said Dr. Williams. “Our research will be laser focused on getting to these root causes of antisemitism and identifying which interventions are the most effective for combating it.”
More information on how to apply for a grant is available on the League’s website here.