IN OCTOBER 1913, Chicago's monthly B'nai B'rith News announced the formation of a group seeking "to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience, and if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people."
The fledgling group, organized the previous month, was named the Anti-Defamation League of America, and its executive committee included five Philadelphia men among 127 members of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith.
The immediate goal was specific: to combat demeaning caricatures of Jews in theater, movies, newspapers, magazines and textbooks. But the charter said the ultimate purpose was "to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike . . . ," and membership, without fees or dues, was open to "any reputable person."
A century later, the ADL is still fighting discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism. Its broadened scope is exemplified by the third Walk Against Hate, to be held Sunday in Philadelphia.
From 1 to 4 p.m., hundreds of area residents of all ages are expected to join in the 5K walk along Martin Luther King Drive.
Barry Morrison, ADL regional director, said the walk is "a great way for people from all walks of life to stand together."
The registration fee is $10 for adults and $5 for youths. To register, go to walkagainsthate.org.
Funds raised will be used to support the ADL's mission, but Morrison said the walk is not just a fundraiser: It spreads messages of cultural appreciation and the value of diversity, and inspires participants to fight against hatred, he said.
At first, the ADL consisted of two desks in a Chicago lawyer's office and a $200 budget.
It could not have appeared on the scene at a more pivotal moment. On Aug. 25, 1913, a Jew named Leo Frank was convicted in Georgia of murdering a 13-year-old Christian girl, and two years later he was lynched by a mob led by prominent citizens. Frank was posthumously pardoned in 1986.
Through the years, the ADL has battled high-profile cases ranging from exposing the falsehoods in Henry Ford's The International Jew to combating KKK leaders David Duke and Tom Metzger to working with Internet providers in preventing hateful incidents.
In Philly, the first ADL office opened in 1955. The regional office, which also serves South Jersey and Delaware, has programs ranging from providing elementary schools with books promoting anti-bias and anti-bullying messages to helping train law-enforcement professionals to respect citizens' rights.
Walkers on Sunday may want to keep in mind the five Philly men who were on the original ADL executive committee roster:
Born in Bavaria, Grabfelder made his way to Louisville, Ky., at age 13 and eventually he made a fortune as a distiller.
He was a leader in health-care issues. In 1899, to treat tuberculosis patients, he helped found Denver's National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives (now called National Jewish Health), and in 1905 he helped found Louisville's Jewish Hospital.
When Grabfelder moved to Philadelphia in 1904, the Louisville Evening Post reported that he had decided to leave Louisville "to enjoy in the quiet shades of Philadelphia the fruits of a lifetime of intelligent industry."
Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf
The Prussia-born Krauskopf was in the first graduating class of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1883. He served as spiritual leader of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Philadephia from 1887 to 1923. (The synagogue now is located in Elkins Park.)
In 1896, to aid in the settlement of Russian Jewish exiles, he founded the National Farm School in Doylestown, now called Delaware Valley College.
He was a founder of the Jewish Publication Society and a social activist. As a member of the Pennsylvania Child Labor Committee, he fought against child labor. He also fought to curb slum housing in Philadelphia and defended blacks against discrimination.
Born in Virginia, Singer moved to Philadelphia as a boy. He graduated from Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania, practiced law in Philadelphia for 50 years, served on the board of governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association and was once Philadelphia's register of wills.
Singer was a trustee of Congregation Adath Jeshurun, at Broad and Diamond streets in North Philadelphia (now in Elkins Park).
Meyerhoff was a merchant who also served as president of the Jewish Maternity Hospital in Philadelphia.
According to an article about his 70th birthday in the Jewish Exponent of July 23, 1920, Meyerhoff was "energetic and popular;" a "tireless worker" and the "moving spirit of his community."
Weil was a North Philadelphia dry-goods manufacturer. Born in Germany, he was active in social justice and community service. He was an officer of Orphan's Guardians, a group that worked to help Jewish orphans.