Campus news

Analysis: We must tackle student unions' silence on hate

February 25, 2010

Picture the scene: a young man charges at a government minister and is removed by security while kicking, screaming and spitting antisemitic abuse at the audience.

Earlier this month I witnessed this disturbing sight first-hand in the chamber of the supposedly genteel Oxford Union - the "last bastion of free speech".

Unfazed by the incident, many students in the braying crowd continued to scream at the speaker, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, and attempted to mob him on his way out. Make no mistake: the atmosphere was not one a nice Jewish boy would feel comfortable in.

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Kosher kitchen plan gives Hull a recipe for revival

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

A kosher kitchen could be up and running for students in Hull in time for the next academic year as the university’s JSoc enjoys a revival.

The city’s Hillel house closed in 2004 after years of being under-occupied. It was hoped that after the property had been sold, funds could be allocated to support kosher facilities for JSoc members on campus.

But with too few Jewish students moving to the city, the project was shelved. It is now being resurrected as Hull JSoc enjoys its best year in more than a decade.

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Taking action in Africa

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

Jeneration, the pluralist initiative for students and young adults, is organising a two-week trip to Kenya which aims to encourage students to volunteer for social action programmes.

The trip, organised jointly with the conservation and development group Frontier, will include community-building projects, sessions working with local residents and sightseeing tours.

There are 10 places available for people aged 18 to 25. Jeneration has secured funding allowing places to be offered at the subsidised rates of £800 and £1,600.

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Lunches that fill a gap

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

Kosher lunches are back on the menu at Imperial College London after a six-month break in service.

A canteen offering kosher fare closed last summer, leaving students facing a challenge to find suitable food while on campus.

But Rabbi Mendy Loewenthal, director of South Kensington Chabad, has now intervened, securing funding from private donors to fill the gap until the canteen
reopens.

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Universities Minister grilled on extremism on campus

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

Universities Minister David Lammy has been quizzed by Jewish students concerned about hate speakers on campus and academic boycotts of Israel.

He was speaking to delegates at the Union of Jewish Students’ Parliamentary lobby day.

Around 100 students from 17 campuses and two schools took part in the event last week.

Many arranged individual meetings with their MPs. One group even attempted to corner opposition leader David Cameron as he walked through Parliament’s Central Lobby.

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Bnei Akiva offers students Brazil trip

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

British Bnei Akiva gap year students are to be offered the opportunity to work with Jewish communities in Brazil for the first time.

BA’s Hachshara programme, which prepares students for leadership roles, plans to send trainees to help run youth activities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Around 30 participants are expected to spend a fortnight in Brazil, probably at the end of next year’s programme in June 2011.

There are around 96,000 Jews in the South American country.

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Scottish JSocs' hungry for haggis

By Hayden Krasner, February 4, 2010

Students from across the north flocked to Edinburgh last weekend for the annual Burns Supper.

The event, organised by Edinburgh JSoc, began with a Friday night Tu B’Shvat Seder, which saw participants enjoy the experience of trying a range of dried fruits and nuts before moving on to a more traditional Shabbat dinner.

The highlight of the weekend was the formal supper, marking the 251st birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

The meal included kosher haggis and neeps and tatties (swede and potato those south of the border). Entertainment came from a Céilidh band.

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Warwick JSoc: Stepping out of Birmingham's shadow

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

The new president of Warwick University’s Jewish Society believes the time has come for the group to step out of the shadows of its neighbours in Birmingham.

Guy Israel and his eight-strong committee are working hard to establish Warwick JSoc as an independent force in the collective psyche of Jewish students, both in Britain and abroad.

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UJS sends out roast chicken 'Shabbat packs'

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

The Union of Jewish Students will be sending out Shabbat “packs” to campuses across the country next month for a one-off cheap food day.

The Shabbat UK initiative is run jointly with JNF.

Each pack for the March 5 event includes a roast chicken, challah, candles, grape juice, potatoes, vegetables and a prayer booklet.

The essentials must be ordered through JSoc or your national development officer before February 12 and cost just £1 per person.

Apply for a pack at www.ujs.org.uk.

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JSoc gives Mersey campus a reboot

By Dina Rickman, January 28, 2010

After years of decline, Liverpool’s Jewish student community is celebrating one of its most successful years by welcoming the return of an old favourite — Booze for Jews.

JSoc co-chairs Mickey Pearl and Gemma Nathan have seen membership numbers double this year.

Second-year law student Mickey said: “JSoc had declined a lot but we wanted it to go back to how it had been before — active and with a reputation as a great university for Jewish people.”

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