Lesson Plan

Antisemitism and Sports

Rear view of boy wearing a jersey and other sports attire and sitting on a ball

Augustas Cetkauskas | EyeEm

What can sports teach us about antisemitism? Sport is the setting of some of humanity’s greatest stories. Through the perspective of athletes, teams, fans, coaches, and others, we experience narratives filled with emotions and learn life lessons, like the fulfillment of success and the devastation of failure. The stories of Jewish people in sports help us learn about these triumphs and tribulations but also, the story of the Jewish people. By examining manifestations of antisemitism as they appear in sports, we have a connective vignette through which to examine the dangers of antisemitism. The intersection between sports and society offers the opportunity to analyze antisemitism as a complex system that harms society at large, not only the Jewish community. 

This collection of middle and high school lesson plans utilizes sports narratives to help guide students to explore Jewish identity, examine and challenge antisemitism and champion justice.  

In these lessons, students will: 

  • Students will explore narratives of Jewish athletes throughout history to embrace diverse experiences of Jewishness and connected identities.  

  • Students will explore common antisemitic myths and tropes about Jewish people and their manifestations in sports. 

  • Students will examine historical antisemitism and analyze antisemitism as a system of oppression.  

  • Students will evaluate the role that the sporting world can play in combatting antisemitism.