Chelsea’s players have been enthusiastic supporters of all our anti-discrimination work and the Say No to Antisemitism campaign is no different. Across the club, players from all our teams have lent their support to this important campaign. In 2018, Chelsea became the first Premier League club to send a delegation to the March of the Living in Poland, returning in 2019 along with New England Revolution.
The March of the Living, which draws 10,000 visitors, is an annual event where people walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp, to commemorate the death march. Chelsea Academy players, club directors Bruce Buck and Eugene Tenenbaum, club ambassador Sir Steve Redgrave and former manager Avram Grant have all represented Chelsea at the March.
In 2018, Chelsea FC partnered with the Anti- Defamation League (ADL) on an educational project promoting an Anti-Bias Climate in UK schools. The joint project will provide the tools, training and oversight to launch ADL’s ‘No Place for Hate’ framework.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has contributed towards the ADL’s Center on Extremism, which is monitoring extremist activity in the U.S. and abroad, and assisting law enforcement with investigations to disrupt and prevent terror attacks. Chelsea have hosted several delegations from the ADL at Stamford Bridge, and also joined their global conference Never is Now.
In 2019, club owner Roman Abramovich donated $5 million to the Jewish Agency, the largest Jewish non-profit organisation in the world. This donation was to help support its work with Jewish communities, especially in countries where they are particularly vulnerable and was announced in response to the growing wave of antisemitism around the world.
Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, said: “Jewish communities around the world are coping with record numbers of dangerous, antisemitic attacks. I applaud Roman Abramovich for taking the strong initiative to combat antisemitism and am grateful for his contribution to The Jewish Agency’s efforts to ensure Jews are safe in their communities around the world. Unfortunately, as I’ve said after too many recent attacks,
Jews are once again unsafe on the streets of Europe. It’s a fact. I continue to urge global leaders to unite in a joint and organised effort to fight antisemitism and all forms of hate crimes”.
Alongside our colleagues at the World Jewish Congress (WJC), we were proud to have participated in the ‘We Remember’ campaign to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, for two consecutive years. We are also honoured to be working with the WJC on the Red Card for Hate initiative, which is an innovative three-pronged approach to combat racism, xenophobia, discrimination and antisemitism in sport.
Chelsea supported the Pitch for Hope competition, which called on young people aged 18 to 30 in the UK, United States and Israel to propose creative ideas to harness the spirit of camaraderie in sport and build bridges between people of all backgrounds, faiths and walks of life.
Winners from the three nations were subsequently invited to present their ideas at Stamford Bridge in front of club directors Bruce Buck and Eugene Tenenbaum, and representatives from the WJC.
In 2018, World Jewish Congress President, Ambassador Ronald Lauder, hosted a reception for ambassadors at his residence in New York.
In January 2020, renowned street artist Solomon Souza painted a commemorative mural of Jewish football players and British POWs who were sent to Nazi camps, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January. The artwork is displayed on the outside wall of the West Stand at Stamford Bridge and is part of Chelsea FC’s Say No to Antisemitism campaign and funded by club owner Roman Abramovich.
On 15 January, the mural was presented during an event at Stamford Bridge commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020, which this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
Artist Solomon Souza grew up in London and immigrated to Israel in his late teens. He has become known for his art around the Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, where he has created over 250 murals, predominantly featuring famous Israeli and Arab personalities. Solomon is the grandson of artist FN Souza, whose works are featured in many prominent museums and galleries in London, including the Victoria and Albert, British Museum and Tate Modern.