A Week ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, initiatives to tackle antisemetism in the UK are being unveiled in a variety of fields, from soccer fields to university campuses to Parliament.
Chelsea Football Club announced Tuesday that it will launch a campaign to raise awareness among players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism in soccer.
The club will officially kick off the initiative on January 31 at its Premier League game against Bournemouth, with an apparently high-profile activity that has yet to be announced.
The initiative will be run as part of the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign, which strives to promote equality and celebrate diversity.
“Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club,” Chelsea FC said in a statement. “Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included.”
The club will work together with the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Jewish Museum, the Community Security Trust, Kick it Out, The world Jewish Congress and the Anne Frank House on the Campaign.
Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich said ” with people around the World observing International Holocaust Memorial Day later this month, We are reminded that there is still so much to be done in the fight against Antisemetism. That is why I am Proud to have launched, together with Chelsea Football Club, this initiative to challenge Antisemetism in all its forms.”
”I am very Impressed by the important work the world Jewish is doing in this area and am delighted, therefore, with the partnership we have entered into to jointly raise awareness of Antisemetism in Sport and together making an effort to tackle it” Abramovich added.
The Campaign will include a focus on Jewish faith and culture in equality and diversity workshops run in primary schools and an education program for supporters banned for anti-Semitic behaviour to help them to Understand the impact of their actions. Participation in the course could result in a reduction in the length of their ban.
Chelsea fans have recently been accused of of employing anti-Semitic songs, chants and gestures.
The campaigns steering Committee, led by chairman Bruce Buck, Includes prominent Jewish leaders such as President of World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder, Vice chairman of the Conference of presidents of Major American Jewish organizations Malcolm Hoenlein and National director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblat.
Activities set to take place throughout the year will also include an exhibition at Chelsea FC Museum and screenings of ‘Liga Terezin’ a documentary about a soccer league run from a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
The club has also invited Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro to Chelsea to Share his and his families story.
Educational Visits to former Concentration camps for staff, fans and stewards are also planned, similar to an initiative launched by the government to take students leaders to visit Auschwitz.