Finding feet - and a flat - in Glasgow

By Isaac Ansell Forsyth, January 28, 2014
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Glasgow JSoc has taken a giant leap closer to establishing a Jewish student flat in Glasgow.

The thriving Jewish Society, which caters for all of Glasgow’s universities, was awarded runner up Developing Jsoc of the Year in 2013. We believe that this will allow for further growth and success for Glasgow’s Jewish students...All that we require now are residents for the flat!

Over the past 12 months, Glasgow JSoc has undergone a significant revamp. Committee members have worked determinedly to create a warm, inclusive atmosphere, while providing both traditional and innovative events for Jewish students on campus.

Scotland’s Jewish student chaplains, Rabbi Yossi and Sarah Bodenheim, have also been stalwarts for the committee - and the JSoc as a whole.

This success has been in spite of a total absence of any Jewish or kosher facilities near campus. Thus far, the formula has been a combination of long journeys to and from the nearest kosher deli (around one hour each way by public transport), and hosting events at different flats.

This proves to be especially challenging for events on Shabbat – Friday night dinners are our best attended events – as well as being a generally expensive and arduous process.

Although it has been a thorough challenge for all those who help out with the Jsoc, their phenomenal efforts have carried them though.

Glasgow has historically had a Jewish student flat, though this has not been the case for well over a decade. It was believed that a flat would not only offer residence for Jewish students, but would also provide a venue for events, as well as a place where kosher food could be delivered for students to pick up. Chiefly, a flat would be a home for the JSoc.

The process of trying to acquire a flat began around a year ago. It has consisted of enquiries and negotiations with the University of Glasgow and private firms. Talks with the university have recently proved successful, and the way to obtaining a Jewish student flat is potentially paved.

The final step in the process will be to sign up residents by the start of February. It would be a commitment of one academic year, starting from September 2014.

If you would like any more information, or perhaps see yourself as being the person to help Glasgow and Scotland achieve this historical feat, please get in touch. You could be a part of one of the most buzzing Jewish and wider student communities in the UK!

Last updated: 3:40pm, January 29 2014