To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we are delighted to launch Chelsea Football Club’s Jewish Supporters Group, with the opportunity to become a member already open.
The group, set up and run by Chelsea fans, will bring supporters together to celebrate Jewish culture and identity, and work closely with the club on initiatives and campaigns to help ensure Chelsea FC is a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.
The creation of the group builds on the work Chelsea FC and Chelsea Foundation have delivered over the last five years. In January 2018, the club and Foundation launched Say No To Antisemitism – a consolidated campaign and programme focusing on education, support and awareness with the message that antisemitism, or any form of discrimination, has no place in our club or society.
Stephen Nelken, founder of the Jewish Supporters Group, said, ‘As a life-long Chelsea fan, I have been impressed and proud of the work the club has done to combat antisemitism and discrimination.
‘The intention in founding this group is to celebrate Jewish identity, support the excellent work the club is doing and encourage like-minded fans to come together to support Chelsea. We are looking forward to welcoming new members to the group and are hopeful we can provide a voice for Jewish fans all over the world.’
Lord Daniel Finkelstein, club director and chairman of Chelsea Foundation, said, ‘We at Chelsea FC are delighted to announce the launch of our Jewish Supporters Group. Football and faith bring people together and we are excited to provide a forum for our Jewish supporters to connect and celebrate their religion and culture together.
‘Chelsea FC and Chelsea Foundation have long been committed to ridding football and society of antisemitism through our award-winning Say No To Antisemitism and No To Hate campaigns. This group is another example of the club and Foundation working with our supporters to help promote tolerance and understanding in football and beyond.’
Hollie Varney, Kick It Out COO, commented on the launch of the group: ‘We're delighted to see Chelsea FC and their community of Jewish supporters working together to create a space for Jewish fans to express and celebrate their culture and identity.
'Chelsea FC has been at the forefront of the drive to combat antisemitism in football and this announcement is a fantastic step to creating an inclusive and welcome environment for the club’s Jewish fanbase.
'Football is unique in its ability to unite communities and we’d encourage all clubs to take similar steps to celebrate and champion their diverse group of supporters. Kick It Out looks forward to developing our working relationship with Chelsea FC to tackle antisemitism and ensure that the game is welcoming and inclusive for all.’
Lord John Mann, UK Government’s independent adviser on antisemitism, said, ‘I am so pleased to see the creation of Chelsea FC’s first Jewish Supporters Group. The group will provide a brilliant opportunity for Jewish fans to celebrate their culture whilst enjoying the sport they love.
'Chelsea have been pioneering in their efforts and dedication to eradicating antisemitism from football and society, and the creation of this group is another example of that. I would urge other clubs to follow their example and celebrate their Jewish supporters.'
The Jewish Supporters Group will hold its first official event on Monday 11 December at Stamford Bridge, supported by Chelsea Foundation.
The first Chelsea FC Chanukah Party will welcome Chelsea supporters of all backgrounds and faiths, alongside key figures within the Jewish Community.
If you would like to join the Jewish Supporters Group, please complete this form by providing your details. The group will share details with all members about the Chanukah Party in due course.
Click to find out more about Chelsea’s Say No to Antisemitism campaign