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5 LGBTQ Team players with HJFC shirts standing, smiling to each other and holding a football in their hands

Hapoel Jerusalem and the "Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance" are proud to present: the LGBTQ team 🏳️‍🌈 

For the first time: a mixed gender football team ☭ for players from the LGBTQ community 

"I played football as a child, and as I grew older and discovered myself to be different, I moved away from it. To return to play today in this team is an amazing experience. I opened up a whole new space for myself," says Ofer Goren. 

Ofer is one of the players in the new team established by Hapoel with the "Jerusalem Open House". As part of the ongoing cooperation between the club and the home of the city's gay community, the idea came up to found a new sporting framework that has no equal. Not in Israel at least, certainly not under the wings of an established club. Simply put: a football team without gender definitions. which celebrates human diversity and takes another step towards an inclusive and equal environment.

We started with a pilot, to check the response. Within two days the team was full. Since then it has been meeting regularly on the field, under the guidance of a coach from the club. "I met LGBTQ people here from different neighborhoods in Jerusalem, with whom I had no way to form acquaintances in any other way," Ofer continues. "We quickly created a safe, fun and non-judgmental competitive sports environment."

4 LGBT Team players with HJFC shirts standing, smiling, playing with a football on the field
5 LGBTQ Team players with HJFC shirts standing on the field smiling

“This team allows everyone to be who they are”, says Hadar Brown, Community Vice President at the Jerusalem Open House. “This is a first project of its kind, which marks a path for Israeli and world sports to be more inclusive. We cherish and congratulate Hapoel's deep commitment to the rights of the community."

Lior Huga, Hapoel Jerusalem's director of community activities, is happy to make the team's existence public knowledge today, after completing the first stages of organization. "Our club operates according to the values defined by its fans: equality, tolerance and opposition to any type of discrimination," he says. "Our role towards the community is to create a pluralistic and family environment. When the need arose to establish an LGBTQ framework, we were happy to commit and help establish it. The feedback we are receiving is exciting, and our door is open to everyone." 

Do you want to join? 


Photo credit: Amos Zevulun, Hapoel Jerusalem

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