Habs' thriving JSoc
It has been a fantastic year for Haberdashers’ Girls’ School Jewish Society, filled with a diverse and exciting programme. We have held a broad range of talks and events to enhance our Jewish education and are proud of the difference we have made to charities across the globe.
The Habs Girls’ JSoc provides a programme for both the Middle and Upper School each week, attracting many highly-respected speakers. Some of the many highlights from this year’s sessions have included hearing a UJIA representative discussing “Women in Judaism” and watching Israeli students give inspiring presentations on Yom HaZikaron, Remembrance Day.
We also enjoyed hearing from two university students about their experiences on Bnei Akiva and RSY gap year programmes. The weekly Shacharit service never fails to enlighten us with singing prayers to a guitar accompaniment.
A particular highlight from this year was Rabbi YY Rubenstein’s entertaining talk about his involvement in Jewish education in London and at Manchester University. This event was twinned with the Boys’ JSoc and attracted 150 students.
Saul Blinkoff also provided an excellent talk about working as a Jew in Hollywood’s Disney Animations department. We were so impressed to watch him draw cartoons of Little Mermaid and Mickey Mouse in less than 10 seconds.
During the weekly Jewish Assembly, the JSoc committee have engaged students of all ages with varied presentations. Several Year 12 students movingly recounted their experiences on the Tribe Poland trip last October, on Holocaust Memorial Day. Other interesting assemblies have discussed how we can make a difference on World Water Day, run by WaterAid every March, and an insight into combatting antisemitism, which is particularly important in these current times.
The society’s strong connection with the Boys' School JSoc has enabled us to increasingly support several charities. From collecting over 50 pairs of glasses for Vision Aid Overseas on Mitzvah Day to modelling balloons for Camp Simcha, Habs’ Jewish Societies have shown us that our efforts continually support others in need.
Earlier this year, both JSoc committees undertook the ‘live below the line’ challenge, spending only £1 on food, water and travel expenses for the day. Showing great commitment, the team woke up at four am in order to walk to school and contributed to Tzedek, a charity which targets poverty in African communities.
The joint ‘Chanukarnival’ and Purim party were celebratory occasions, filled with Jewish music, Israeli dancing and a plentiful supply of doughnuts. We were delighted to raise money for our chosen charity, Kisharon, which supports adults and children with learning difficulties.
The successes of both the Habs Girls' and Boys’ JSocs are a testament to the endless organisation of the JSoc committee and the support we receive from UJIA’s JAMS (Jewish Activities in Mainstream Schools) Programme. We are particularly grateful for Debra Green’s ongoing work and dedication to our JSoc. We thank all the inspiring speakers who gave up their time to visit us and hope that Habs’ Jewish life will continue to thrive in the future.