Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem Football Club (HKJFC) was established in 2007 by longstanding supporters of the Hapoel Jerusalem soccer club who were unhappy with the way the team was run by its owners. The club is unique in Israel, as it is fully owned by its fans through a registered association. Thousands of fans throughout Israel support the club, most centered in its hometown of Jerusalem.
The club’s aim is to harness the immense popularity of soccer and the intense local patriotism it inspires, in order to bring about social change in a city often characterized by tensions between its different religious and ethnic groups.
Today, the association has almost 900 registered members, who elect four representatives to the club’s Board of Directors (three additional members of the Board represent strategic partners of the association). The elected Board members are volunteers who take responsibility for managing the club’s ongoing operations, including oversight of its budget. The annual membership fee is NIS 1200. Association members include men and women, young and old, of all backgrounds.
All of HKJFC’s community activities are led by the fans, with over 120 volunteers on a daily basis. All activities are subsidized for those participants who, for a variety of reasons, cannot afford to pay.