ADL'S FOXMAN: MAN OF FAITH?
By Rev. Ted Pike
Last summer, Orthodox rabbi Daniel Lapin shocked the world by warning
that "secular Judaism" was in "relentless attack against
evangelical Christianity." 1 Lapin was primarily referring to
the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and its executive director,
But are Foxman and ADL really secular? In his latest book, Never
Again: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, 2 Foxman reveals that despite
41 years of association with ADL, the most anti-Christian of liberal
Jewish activist groups, Foxman remains a devoutly religious Jew.
Foxman entered ADL in 1965, after graduating law school. At about
that time he joined an Orthodox synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey. He
remained for the next 25 years, long after assuming control of ADL.
As director of a Jewish summer camp for several years, Foxman was
intensely concerned that all attending Jewish youth be given a comprehensive
education in Talmudic literature. His religious zeal incurred criticism
from American, secularized Jews. "I was accused of trying to indoctrinate
the young people in orthodoxy." But he persevered, combining nature
and recreation with rigorous studies including the Talmud and Cabala.
In fact, Foxman says he'd like every Jewish youth in America to be
provided with two things: a Jewish education and a trip to Israel to
see how real Judaism is practiced "as a living religion." 4
Man of Prayer
In the late eighties, during the Palestinian "intafada" in
Gaza, the policies of Israel's prime minister Rabin came under harsh
international criticism. Rabin, furious that Palestinian youths of
Gaza should pepper Israeli troops with stones and burn tires in the
streets, gave orders to literally break their bones. As a result, hundreds
were crippled or maimed for life. Western observers were horrified
when they encountered Israeli troops burying alive four Palestinian
Foxman's synagogue in Teaneck, however, was angry with Rabin for
his subsequent peace initiatives. They thought he was soft on the Palestinians!
In disgust, the congregation refused to pray for Rabin. Such lack of
spiritual sensitivity troubled the deeply religious Foxman. He entreated
his congregation to offer the customary prayers, as they had always
done for Israel's leaders. They wouldn't budge. Finally, in a break
that made the front page of the New York Times, Foxman left the Teaneck
orthodox synagogue after 25 years of attendance. 6
Orthodox, Yet Persecuting Christians
It is widely believed that Orthodox Jews share the moral values of
Christians. They differ, it is thought, from "secular" Jewish
activists who advocate for Christian-persecuting "anti-hate" laws,
7 homosexuality, pornography, abortion, the theory of evolution vs.
biblical creationism, as well as removal of Christian symbols, values,
and evangelism from public life.
Yet Foxman, as an Orthodox Jew, has promoted all these anti-Christian
initiatives during his years at ADL. During that time, he also ordered
secret files to be kept on more than 10,000 unsuspecting Americans.
These files included, of course, critics of Israel. Yet police also
found in them confidential information about anti-abortion protestors,
attendees at Christian/conservative meetings, and even those who did
nothing more than request information from a right-wing periodical.
During the ADL spy trials in California in the late eighties, David
Gurvitz, librarian and researcher for the LA office of Foxman's ADL,
revealed that such confidential information on conservatives and Christian
Americans was routinely given to Mossad agents and taken to Israel.
Is There a "Safe" Judaism?
What branches of Judaism, then, pose a threat to freedom and Christian
Because all major denominations of Judaism - Reform on the left,
Conservative in the middle, Orthodox on the right, and Ultra-Orthodox
on the cabalistic far right - revere the anti-Christian Talmud and
racist/revolutionary Zohar as their greatest spiritual authorities,
anti-Christianity and left-wing activism can spring out of any of them.
The only truly non-threatening form of Judaism is that which is evolving
in suburban America: Jews through apathy, choice, or assimilation,
lose all loyalty to the Pharisees and their evil Talmud and Cabala.
When that happens, Jews become some of the nicest, most non-threatening
people we know!
Is Foxman still a devoutly religious Jew? While he recounts a falling-out
at his Orthodox congregation, he never disavows his Orthodox convictions.
Foxman intones: "As a Jew, I am still waiting for the first coming
of the messiah." 9
Foxman's disclosures dramatize how inconsistent it is for Christian/Conservative
columnists and talk-show hosts to allege conspiratorial, anti-Christian
motivations within Islam, yet ignore the possibility such also exists
Now, after over 40 years of anti-Christianity from Foxman at ADL,
Foxman turns out to be, not the "secular, far-left, atheist" Jew
we have always imagined. Instead, he is a passionately religious Orthodox
Jew - a Jewish traditionalist.
This is sobering.
It tells us, that whether we like it or not, Judaism has its dark
Tradition," telecast, aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network,
August 19, 2005.
2 Harper San Francisco, 2004.
3 Foxman, p. 72.
4 ibid, p. 63-64.
5 Israeli abuses in Gaza and the West Bank are abundantly documented
in The Encyclopedia of the Palestinian Problem, available in most university
6 Foxman, p. 72.
7 Foxman urges to "Work for passage of hate crimes legislation
on the national level and in states and localities where no such laws currently
exist." p. 278.
8 The full story of ADL's spying on thousands of innocent Americans
is documented in Ted Pike's video Hate Laws: Making Criminals
available at www.truthtellers.org.
9 Foxman, p. 150.