Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect

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Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect USA
Anne Frank Center logo.png
Named afterAnne Frank
PurposeSocial justice organization
Headquarters1325 6th Ave., 28th floor
New York, NY 10019
Chief Executive Officer
Sharon R. Douglas[1]
Chair, Peter Rapaport
$698,611 (2014)[2]
Expenses$849,836 (2014)[2]
Formerly called
Anne Frank Center USA

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect is a nonprofit organization with a focus on civil and human rights activism in the United States.[3][4][5]


The organization was originally known as the American Friends of the Anne Frank Center, and later the Anne Frank Center USA.[6] According to the Center, it originated as an affiliate of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.[7] Both the House and the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, Switzerland are among the Anne Frank Center's worldwide organizational partners.[8][9] It said on its website that it was founded in 1959 with Anne's father Otto Frank as one of its founders.[7] That was disputed by The Atlantic, which reported in an April 2017 profile of the group that past staffers and documentation indicate it was actually started in 1977, with no involvement by Otto Frank.[6] After the Atlantic article appeared, the organization provided a document from 1959 which shows that Otto Frank gave permission to use of his name in fundraising literature for the Anne Frank Foundation Inc. in the United States and Amsterdam, and that he was listed as president of the Foundation.[6][10]

From 2011 to 2016 the center had a small public gallery in lower Manhattan.[11] In 2016, the board of directors brought in Goldstein as executive director, changed the name to add "mutual respect," and broadened its mission to include an emphasis on “exposing and fighting hate.”[6][11]

It is described by its chairman Peter Rapaport as neither a Jewish nor a Holocaust organization.[6] While it speaks out against antisemitism, it also criticizes what it sees as sexism, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other issues. It is headquartered in New York City and its former executive director was political activist Steven Goldstein,[4][6] known for his advocacy of LGBT rights as founder of Garden State Equality.[11]

The center received significant press attention in early 2017 due to its criticism of the Trump administration.[11][3][4][5][12][13] Following the presidential 2016 election, Liel Leibovitz writing in The Tablet, described it as "one of the loudest voices in the #resistance to Trump."[14]

Criticism of the Trump Administration[edit]

In 2016 and 2017 the organization was vocally critical of the Donald Trump Administration,[3][6] claiming it has failed to counter anti-Semitism and for his policies concerning refugees and immigrants. In February 2017, after the administration condemned threats against Jewish institutions, Goldstein called Trump's "sudden acknowledgment" of anti-Semitism " a "Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration." [12]

Goldstein called for Sean Spicer's resignation after his comment that, unlike Bashar al-Assad, "Hitler didn't even sink to the level of using chemical weapons."[14] He called for Sebastian Gorka's resignation in response to allegations that the Order of Vitéz, of which Gorka is a member, is an anti-Semitic, Hungarian ultranationalist group.[13]

The Atlantic and the daily online Jewish news site Tablet Magazine criticized the center for politicizing Anne Frank's legacy in its criticism of the Donald Trump administration.[6][14] The magazines said that the media has paid undue attention to the Center because of its use of Anne Frank's name, and The Atlantic said that by "politicizing Anne Frank" it may undermine her legacy.[6]

Abraham Foxman, former head of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he believed Frank's name was abused and that "every time I read that he [Goldstein] says something under her banner, I feel uncomfortable.” Foxman was himself a hidden child during the Holocaust.[10][15]

In a Washington Post profile, Goldstein rejected accusations that he is politicizing Anne Frank and called her “one of the greatest feminist and social justice leaders in history.”[10]

Goldstein resigned from the center in September 2017.[16]


  1. ^ "Meet Our Staff". Anne Frank Center USA. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer: Anne Frank Center USA". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Landler, Mark (2017-01-11). "Trump Under Fire for Invoking Nazis in Criticism of U.S. Intelligence". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c Taylor, Adam (2017-01-26). "A charity named after Anne Frank has become a fierce critic of Trump's plans for refugees". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-01-26.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ a b Abbey-Lambertz, Kate (2017-01-25). "Anne Frank Center: Trump 'Is Driving Our Nation Off A Moral Cliff'". The Huffington Post.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Green, Emma (2017-04-24). "Who Does the Anne Frank Center Represent?". The Atlantic. Updated for clarification on June 29, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "About Us - Mission". Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Worldwide Partners". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  9. ^ "The international partners of the Anne Frank House". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Selk, Avi (2 May 2017). "Meet the activist who calls Trump an anti-Semite using Anne Frank's name". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d Zax, Talya (23 February 2017). "Meet Trump's Latest Nemesis — Steven Goldstein From The Anne Frank Center". The Forward. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  12. ^ a b Krieg, Gregory (February 21, 2017). "Anne Frank Center: Anti-Semitism has 'infected' Trump administration". CNN. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Estepa, Jessica (March 16, 2017). "Organizations call for Sebastian Gorka's resignation for ties to far-right group". USA Today. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Leibovitz, Liel (2017-04-20). "How Anne Frank Was Astro-Turfed". Tablet Magazine.
  15. ^ "A face off between Anne Frank and Donald Trump". Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  16. ^ Nathan-Kazis, Josh (14 September 2017). "Anne Frank Center Chief Abruptly Steps Down — Led Strident Anti-Trump Push". The Forward. Retrieved 13 October 2017.

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