Skip To Content

The ADL did not go too far in its remarks on the NYT Hasidic yeshiva investigation

While we continue to find language in The Times’ investigation problematic, we did not attempt to stop the story

Re: “The ADL is wrong to attack the NYT’s brave investigative reporting on Hasidic yeshivas” by Ruth Messinger

To the editor: 

While we greatly respect and value constructive feedback from Ruth Messinger on issues affecting the Jewish community, we were surprised by her suggestion that the ADL went too far in asking The New York Times to carefully consider the potential for its series of investigative articles on the Hasidic community’s education system to evoke stereotypes about Jews.

To be clear, ADL never attempted to stop The Times story. Our first step after learning that the series was in the works was to privately send a letter to the editor outlining our concerns and urging them to avoid certain language that could play into antisemitic tropes about Jews. Once the initial stories appeared, our CEO made our concerns public in a statement that clearly noted that the story “merits investigation and exploration,” but added that certain elements of the framing of the story was “unhelpful” when it leaned into tropes about Jewish money and power. And we commented again after The Times ran nearly a dozen more stories that still included language we considered to be problematic.

ADL is and has always been a firm believer in the First Amendment, but we also feel strongly that the right to free speech is not just reserved for journalists. At a time when Jews are being attacked with impunity in Brooklyn and Williamsburg, Jewish organizations such as ADL who monitor and combat antisemitism have every right to raise our voice to ensure that coverage of our community does not inadvertently give credence to tropes that could fuel more antisemitism in society.

— Scott Richman
New York/New Jersey Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.