Manchester University 'good for students'

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

Manchester University is still a good place for Jewish students was the message echoed by members of a panel at a Manchester Jewish Representative Council Meeting on Sunday.

The campus saw a violent pro-Palestinian protest last academic year, but Manchester Jewish Students' president Alex Prinsley told 35 local delegates at the meeting that tensions for Jewish students created by pro-Palestinian student group Action Palestine were an insignificant part of campus life. She said compared to JSoc charity ball arrangements, a successful Booze4 Jews social night, which attracted Jewish students from around the UK, and charity volunteering projects "the positive events outweigh the negative".

Campaign officer Ruth Arkush for MJS, the umbrella group for three JSocs, said an interfaith initiative started by Jewish and Muslim students would redress relations between the groups.

Aish Manchester campus rabbi Benji Silverstone, standing in for student chaplain Rabbi YY Rubinstein, who was at a charity event, said the unified campus atmosphere in which Jewish organisations worked together was "a fantastic model for the community".

Co-director of Manchester University's Centre for Jewish Studies, Prof Philip Alexander, told delegates political tensions are typical of student life. "Don't put a stress on that, but it does show an underlying tension on campus."

Last updated: 9:46am, October 15 2010