Home  / 1304

Sport and British Jewish identity


Publication Name

Publication Date


This article examines the relationship between sport and Jewish identity. The experiences of Jewish people have rarely been considered in previous sport-related research which has typically focused on ‘Black’ and South Asian individuals, sports clubs, and organisations. Drawing on data generated from interviews (n = 20) and focus groups (n = 2) with individuals based in one British city, this article explores how their Jewish identity was informed, and shaped by, different sports activities and spaces. This study’s participants were quick to correct the idea that sport was alien to Jewish culture and did not accept the stereotype that ‘Jews don’t play sport’. The limited historical research on sport and Jewish people and the ongoing debates around Jewish identity are noted before exploring the role of religion and the suggestion that Jewish participation in sport is affected by the Shabbat (sabbath). Participants discussed how sports clubs acted as spaces for the expression and re/affirmation of their Jewish identity, before they reflected on the threats posed to the wider Jewish community by secularism, assimilation, and antisemitism. The article concludes by discussing how the sporting experiences of the study’s British Jewish participants compare with the experiences of individuals from other ethnic minority communities.



Geographic Coverage

Copyright Info

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Original Language

Page Number




Link to article, Sport and British Jewish identity

Bibliographic Information

Dart, Jon Sport and British Jewish identity. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 2020: 1-18.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1177%2F1012690220958624