Name: Charlotte K. Frank, Ph.D.
Community: New York City, New York
ADL Role: Co-chair, ADL Education Committee, New York City National Commission, Campus and International Affairs and
Executive Committee of the New York Regional Board
1. What is your earliest memory of ADL?
Throughout my high school and undergraduate work, ADL was always mentioned as a resource for information on the Holocaust as well as providing examples of how issues that start with minor incidents of personal rejection, feeling alienated from others in the classroom schoolyard and community will ultimately lead to retaliation of active and aggressive misbehaviors now known as the “Pyramid of Hate.” My sister, who studied to be a Spanish teacher, always told me that ADL provided the reservoir of examples and strategies that could help me and others live a more productive and happy life.
2. How did you first become involved in ADL?
When I was the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the then-New York City Board of Education, I was asked by an ADL supporter to join the Education Committee. It was a no brainer because: 1) I had developed a 300 page curriculum bulletin, “Citizenship in New York City” that described a variety of situations including one of Kitty Genovese, who died in agony calling for help and nobody responded, and 2) most of my family was exterminated simply because they were Jews. ADL’s fight against anti-Semitism as well as being responsible and law-abiding citizens was and still is my fight.
3. How do you envision ADL’s Centennial Theme “Imagine a World Without Hate™”?
I have a dream that teachers and then ultimately, our students, should always immediately think of ADL’s Centennial Theme when wars are discussed in Social Studies and World History Classes. This could also be true when music and the arts teachers are introducing West Side Story, Warhorse and Romeo and Juliet or when the English teachers teach “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, “Much Ado About Nothing” or other Shakespearean dramas. The question that teachers should always ask, “In what way could the story have been rewritten that would ultimately send the vision of “Imagine A World Without Hate.” Just think that in such a world everyone could enjoy their limited life spans and envision a future of constructive and rewarding pursuits for their families and friends. It would be a world where religion, race, ethnicity and gender were not grounds for discrimination. It would add meaning to the welcoming message of the Statue of Liberty.