Student Joe Tarsh wins race to be next UJS president

UJS president-elect Joe Tarsh

UJS president-elect Joe Tarsh

A youth and community work student has been elected as the next president of the Union of Jewish Students.

Joe Tarsh said he would work to “build inclusivity” at the union and introduce services including open surgeries for students to raise concerns and suggest ideas for UJS to develop.

The 21-year-old former Manchester Metropolitan University Jewish Society chairman won the race to secure the top role in Jewish student politics at the annual UJS conference in London on Sunday.

He defeated fellow candidates Adam Charlton and Abigail Kay, receiving 223 votes to Mr Charlton's 185 and Ms Kay's 118.

Mr Tarsh, from Radlett, Hertfordshire, will take up the role in the summer of 2013. He plans to make aliyah and join the IDF following his time as president.

“I'm still a little overwhelmed. I had two very accomplished competitors; I never assumed I would win. I am delighted with the result and hugely excited about the challenge ahead,” he said.

Efforts would be made, he said, to “make sure that UJS plays a key role in bringing Jewish students together, providing the practical services and support that help them to live a Jewish life on campus, and… help them to prepare for the future in the world of work and the wider community”.

Mr Tarsh said UJS should support Israel and encourage debate about the country on British campuses. He also praised the number of Jewish students elected to the Board of Deputies earlier this year.

Last updated: 10:17am, December 20 2012