• May 4, 2021

New York, NY, May 3, 2021 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) bestowed its Distinguished Leadership Award to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at its National Leadership Summit on Sunday, May 2. President Rivlin, who is completing his seven-year term next month, accepted the award via pre-taped video during the virtual conference which brought together more than a thousand ADL leaders from across the United States.

“As President, Reuven Rivlin has captivated Israel and the world with his integrity, commitment to unity, fairness and tolerance, and ever-present humor,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A Greenblatt. “His steadfast promotion of Israel’s democratic institutions, with cohesion and a unity of purpose for all citizens, bridging all ‘four tribes,’ has been a model of leadership.”

Greenblatt was referencing President Rivlin’s famous 2016 “Four Tribes” speech, an excerpt of which was shown during the award presentation, and which inspired the launch of ADL Israel’s annual Social Cohesion Summit.

“President Rivlin – known lovingly to all as ‘Ruvi’ – has taken what could have been a strictly ceremonial role of president and made it more impactful, serving as a beacon of unity, principle and pride in Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, at a pivotal time in the country’s history, and all with great charm, a diplomatic approach, and a personal and empathetic touch,” Sharon Nazarian, ADL Senior VP for International Affairs, said on Sunday in presenting President Rivlin the award. “He found opportunities to connect with Israelis of all backgrounds and to reach out to Jews around the world– regardless of their denominational affiliation.”

In accepting the award, President Rivlin thanked ADL for its commitment to the fight against antisemitism, and for promoting justice in the U.S. and across the globe.

In order to continue addressing these challenges, President Rivlin said that, “It is very critical that we expand and increase our efforts, from education and training, to legislation and law enforcement, to building coalitions across communities and religions.”

“We must stand united against hate…and never rest in our efforts to combat all forms of discrimination,” said Rivlin.

The ADL Distinguished Leadership Award is presented to those world leaders who exhibit an extraordinary commitment to furthering the achievement of regional and world peace, who possess a special commitment to promoting human and civil rights, and who contribute to significant events which further the cause of pluralism, tolerance, and democracy.  Prior recipients have included U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, French President Jacques Chirac, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and President Rivlin’s predecessor, Israeli President Shimon Peres.