David Lehrer, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) since 1986, will be leaving his position in the near future. He has been with the organization for 27 years.
At press time, the circumstances surrounding Lehrer's departure were unclear. ADL spokesperson Myrna Shinbaum released a statement from the civil rights agency's national office in New York saying: "The Anti-Defamation League is always reviewing its operations, including that of its regional offices. Recognizing the importance and the needs of the Los Angeles community and ADL's commitment to the community, we are undertaking steps to strengthen our leadership and development efforts. To this end ADL's longtime director, David Lehrer, will be leaving the league."
Lehrer, reached by The Journal while on vacation, said the decision caught him "completely by surprise. I'm shocked and saddened by ADL's actions." Neither Lehrer nor the ADL would give an exact date of his departure. According to one source, the decision was made by Abe Foxman, national ADL director, and has upset many lay leaders and staff members at the organization.
Lehrer has long been a well-regarded and outspoken leader of Los Angeles Jewry. Under his management, the ADL's local annual budget has grown from $2 million to about $6 million. This year's fundraising is up 30 percent year-to-date over 2000. Lehrer has forged close ties with the wider community and minority groups, and was most recently in the news denouncing alleged acts of violence by Jewish militants. -- Staff Report