Chelsea has announced it will be hosting a conference on antisemitism in collaboration with the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli newspaper, in March.
The March 29 event is being organised by the Chelsea Foundation, the football club’s charitable arm, and will feature politicians from the UK and Israel, as well as leading members of the Jewish community.
The conference, which will be held at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium, will also deal with the British-Israeli bilateral relationship with a view to deepening ties in both “diplomatic and security spheres” and “trade and tech”.
Among those attending will be Israeli Transport Minister Israel Katz and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, as well as Israeli ambassador Mark Regev. The government’s antisemitism Czar Lord John Mann, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Conservative MP and head of the Conservative Friends of Israel Stephen Crabb will also be present.
Yaakov Katz, the Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief, said that he was “excited” about participating at a time when “British-Israeli relations are flourishing,” but when “antisemitism is on the rise”.
The event comes as part of the club’s ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign that was launched by Russian-Israeli owner Roman Abramovitch in January 2018 and which aims to educate fans, players and staff about Jew-hate.
Mr Abramovitch, who has owned the club since 2003, has been active in donating to Jewish causes and has made antisemitism a core theme of its ‘Building Bridges’ campaign, created after repeated instances of racist and antisemitic incidents involving Chelsea fans.
In November, Chelsea donated towards the Imperial War Museum’s new Holocaust Galleries, while on Holocaust Memorial Day the club unveiled a mural outside its ground depicting footballers imprisoned and murdered at Auschwitz by British Jewish street artist Solomon Souza. In January, Chelsea became the first professional football club in the UK to adopt the IHRA’s working definition on antisemitism.