Chelsea FC Foundation and ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) have announced a three-year partnership expanding their existing joint efforts to harness the power of sport to tackle discrimination and online abuse, as well as a renewed commitment from Chelsea to further provide financial support to the work of ADL. The partnership forms part of the club’s Say No to Antisemitism programme and is funded by club owner Roman Abramovich.
The financial support will help expand the capacity of ADL’s Center on Extremism, which gathers and tracks intelligence for law enforcement agencies seeking to stop threats materialising into violence. It will also enable ADL to partner with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based leading counter-extremist, ‘think and do tank’. This partnership will help understand how antisemitic content spreads internationally.
Chelsea and ADL will continue to collaborate on their ‘No Place for Hate’ education initiative that offers multi-module antibias education training to school-aged children. The programme provides lessons and activities to schools and pupils to talk about difference and diversity, celebrate inclusion, and understand discrimination and its effects. The programme was introduced in selected schools in the UK earlier this year in partnership with the Chelsea Foundation and will be expanded as part of the new partnership.
The partnership will also see the development of the project BINAH Europe – a digital education product on Jewish identity and antisemitism for non-Jewish high school students in Europe and around the world.
To launch the partnership, representatives from Chelsea FC and ADL came together for a webinar hosted by Lord John Mann, the UK Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism.
Lord Mann spoke on the importance of the cross-Atlantic partnership.
‘To have these two powerhouses, ADL and Chelsea FC through the Chelsea Foundation, forming this new three-year partnership is hugely significant,’ he said. ‘The timing is appropriate considering what we’ve experienced worldwide in terms of increased antisemitism – undermining, damaging and threatening the Jewish community across all generations. This partnership to me and our government is so exciting and important.’
ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, expressed gratitude to be in partnership with Chelsea. ‘The support of Mr. Abramovich and the active engagement with Chelsea has been a tremendously positive experience for ADL. Chelsea is a global brand with an immense and passionate fanbase – allowing our friends to be in a position to be agents of positive change in the fight against antisemitism and other forms of racism and hate. We are truly humbled at ADL to be able to collaborate and partner with them in our shared commitment to combat this form of intolerance.’
Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea FC, said: ‘ADL has been fighting discrimination and antisemitism for more than 100 years and have an excellent track record. The immediacy that caused the ADL to be formed in 1913 mirrors the situation we are in now. The online hate towards our players, both men and women, towards our executives and towards our owner has increased several-fold in the last year alone. Whilst we are attacking this problem with new social media tools, policies and professional support from outside agencies, our partnership with the ADL will support us in monitoring and developing better tech to fight hate. As we develop the new technology in this partnership, it will become available to others too.’
Sharon Nazarian, Senior Vice President of International Affairs at ADL, concurred. ‘For us at ADL, we are tremendously honoured to partner with not only one of the most impressive football clubs in the world, but a club that has had the bravery and the courage to take on the challenges that it has fighting hate and antisemitism. You don’t often see a club take on its global responsibility the way Chelsea has.’