football antisemitism and holocaust education



In January this year, Bayern Munich donated 100,000 euros for the reconstruction of a synagogue in Munich, as part of the ongoing commitment of the club to practice a culture of remembrance in different ways with the aim of combating racism and discrimination of all kinds. 


The club adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in another effort to further strengthen their culture of remembrance. 


In English football, Chelsea have had a Say No to Antisemitism project  since March 2018, part of their Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign. Chelsea work with a variety of organisations, including the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Jewish Museum, the Community Security Trust, Kick It Out, the World Jewish Congress, the Anne Frank House and Maccabi GB. Watch #We Remember  


The project is innovative and wide ranging, so football4community encourages you to visit the Chelsea Foundation website to find out more. The project includes information about the relationship between football and the British Jewish community historically, and also runs screenings of the documentary film Liga Terezin, that tells the incredible story of the football league which took place in Ghetto Theresienstadt, 40 miles North West of Prague (now in the Czech Republic). The film is used to promote knowledge of the horrors of the holocaust. See more, including a trailer for the film, here Liga Terezin http://www.ligaterezin.com/


An inspirational story about holocaust survival is the story of Bela Guttman, the Hungarian Jew who not only survived the concentration camps but went on to be successful professional footballer and a manager, winning the European Cup with Benfica in 1961. Read about his life in David Bolchover’s The Greatest Comeback - from Genocide to Football Glory. 


British football has a long history of relationship between Jewish communities and football, explored in the case of Leeds in the fascinating accounts written by Anthony Clavane – notably The Promised Land – A Northern Love Story about the relationship between the club and the community, and its importance to the Jewish community in Leeds. Also his brilliantly entitled Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here, about Jewish involvement in English professional football. 


Leeds have had a number of progressive owners from the Jewish community of the city. Leslie Silver was Chairman of Leeds United FC from 1983 to 1996 and had a strong and positive understanding of and commitment to the club community relationship, initiating the first projects at Leeds to require players to engage with community programmes. Read more about him in the biography by John Fisher, Painting the Town Silver.