ADL director Abraham Foxman
ADL director Abraham Foxman Photo by AP
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Abraham Foxman, the long-time director of the Anti-Defamation League, announced Monday that he will be stepping down from his post in July 2015, putting an end to his 50-year career in Jewish communal service.

“For almost five decades, ADL offered me the perfect vehicle to live a life of purpose, both in standing up on behalf of the Jewish people to ensure that what happened during World War II would never happen again and in fighting bigotry and all forms of oppression,” Foxman stated.

Foxman, a Holocaust survivor who later immigrated with his parents to America, spent 27 years as the ADL's national director. He first joined the organization after graduating from the City College of the City University of New York and New York University School of Law in 1965.

The Anti-Defamation League was first founded in 1913 to fight anti-Semitism.The organization has 30 regional offices across the United States and an office in Israel.

“Abe Foxman is a unique leader in American Jewish life," ADL National Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher wrote in a letter to the ADL’s National Commission.

“His experience as a hidden child and the son of Holocaust survivors imprinted on his consciousness a deep pride in his Jewishness and the need to stand up for Jews wherever and whenever they were treated badly.”

Foxman will become ADL Director Emeritus from July 20, 2015. ADL will conduct a search for Foxman's successor.