UJS awards recognise top student achievers

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2011

Students from Nottingham and Birmingham JSocs were among the biggest winners at the third annual UJS awards.

Birmingham JSoc won the inaugural Large JSoc honour, voted for by students during the event in Camden on Sunday evening. President Elliott Park picked up the glass trophy alongside his committee.

The society's events team – made up of Stuart Bernstein, Benjy Levey and Charlotte Sapier – won the Israel Connect Events award, and a trip to Berlin as their prize.

The trio have run a series of Shabbat meals on campus and catered the awards ceremony, attended by around 150 students from universities across Britain.

Nottingham provided a number of winners, with JSoc chair Ilana Fenster collecting the highest individual honour of the night, the Hillel Alan Senitt Outstanding Contribution award.

Prizes include visits to the US, former Soviet Union, and Berlin

Her overwhelming efforts to help Jewish student life has seen her campaign for UJS not only in Nottingham, but as an NUS delegate, at Parliament, and on other campuses.

Members of her committee were also prize-winners, with Andy Lawrence taking home the TrainE-TraidE Communications award and Ricky Kaplan's V-Scheme volunteering programme collecting the WJR Social Action category.

Andy receives a place on the UJS Apprentice scheme, while Ricky can look forward to a trip to one of WJR's projects in eastern Europe.

St Andrews JSoc won the UJC Developing JSoc award after a year of impressive events which have seen it become Scotland's biggest Jewish student society. It now has more than 50 members and hosted the Northern Region weekend for the first time.

Despite missing out on the development award, Bath JSoc was still recognised, with Aurel Diamond winning the UJIA Education award. He is one of the four founding members of the university's interfaith panel.

One of the biggest ovations of the night was reserved for LSE Israel Society's Gabi Kobrin, who collected the CST Campaigns award.

Gabi was at the forefront of efforts to defend Jewish and Israeli interests on campus, leading a walkout at a controversial event in February during which Jewish students were accused of "bombing Gaza".

UJS chair Alex Dwek closed the awards with his operatic performance of O Sole Mio after students collected £250 to hear him sing.

The evening was hosted by UJS local campaigns officer Natalie Samuel and education and programmes director Richard Verber.

Mark Gardner of CST said the awards showed how Jewish campus life "goes beyond friendship and becomes comradeship" in the face of antisemitic and anti-Israel activity.

Last updated: 12:58pm, April 7 2011