Campus news

UJS pledge to lead anti-BNP campaign

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Undergraduates should be at the forefront of campaigns against the BNP and other far-right groups, according to Union of Jewish Students chairman Adam Pike.

Mr Pike said he had “watched with horror” as the extreme right-wing English Defence League held demonstrations across the country and the BNP achieved two seats in the European Parliament.

He was speaking on the topic of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus at a Joseph Interfaith Foundation conference held at SOAS.


Jeneration will run trip to Poland

November 19, 2009

Jeneration, the pluralist initiative for students and young adults, has announced it will run a trip to Poland next year — its first overseas visit for students.

Educator Jeremy Leigh will lead the four-day tour, which takes in Auschwitz and Krakow, covering the high and low points of Jewish life in eastern Europe.

Jerusalem-based Mr Leigh is a history lecturer who has been organising education trips for more than 20 years.

There are 20 places available for people aged 18 to 25.


Edinburgh students' Israel boycott fails

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Edinburgh University Students’ Association has failed in an attempt to introduce a full boycott of Israel.

A motion advocating comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanction action against the Jewish state was heavily defeated at EUSA’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Around 700 students attended the debate, split across two lecture theatres, with only “a handful” backing anti-Israel action.

The motion had called on EUSA to join the global BDS movement and lobby the university to adopt the same approach.


I ruined university with gambling and escort work

By Michael Sophocles, November 12, 2009

Edinburgh University
September 2001 to May 2005

I have always found it difficult to embrace an independent lifestyle. Throughout my school years I thoroughly enjoyed being under pressure to produce results. I always needed an aged disciplinarian standing over me, his putrid coffee-breath emanating from above, to give me the impetus to do my best. During my years in Edinburgh I had a troubled time. It was well-documented in various newspapers during my stint on the Apprentice that I had a rather colourful career as an undergrad.


UJS puts chicken on menu with Friday night initiative

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

From Aberdeen to Exeter, the Shabbat UK experience arrives on campuses next weekend.

The UJS initiative provides every Jewish student with the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Friday-night dinner, regardless of where they are studying or whether their university has a dedicated JSoc.

Packs of Shabbat essentials will be delivered ahead of November 20 and will include a chicken, candles, challot, grape juice and a prayer booklet.


Interfaith groups support campus tour

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

Dialogue and understanding were top of the agenda during an interfaith campus tour this week.

Campus Faith Hub: From Dialogue to Action offered students the opportunity to discuss global issues, including conflict resolution and poverty.

The project was backed by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the Three Faiths Forum and the Coexistence Trust.

The tour visited the universities of Leeds, Nottingham, Leicester, Salford and Birmingham.


Sussex Students' Union agrees Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Israeli goods will be boycotted by the University of Sussex Student Union after an unsuccessful UJS campaign to defend the Jewish state.

The union voted ‘Yes’ by 562 votes to 450 in a referendum with the question “Should USSU boycott Israeli Goods?”

A passionate statement was put forward by the anti-boycott campaign, explaining how during the Gaza conflict earlier this year the Sussex campus had become “like a war zone” for Jewish students.


Birmingham students set up text ticketing service

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Two Birmingham University graduates have devised an electronic mobile pre-payment system allowing students to buy tickets for gigs and events by text message. was set up by Simon Rabin and Daniel Rosenberg late last year and is currently being used in Manchester and Leeds.

The 23-year-olds became friends through FZY and spent a year researching the feasibility of their plans.

Simon said: “We originally approached the networks with the intention of billing purchases to students’ phone bills and were more or less ignored by them all.


Sir Alistair Horne's Shabbat dinner at Oxford Chabad

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Distinguished historian Sir Alistair Horne was treated to his first Shabbat dinner, courtesy of Oxford University Chabad Society.

Sir Alistair was invited by Rabbi Eli Brackman to speak about his book on Henry Kissinger and the Yom Kippur War.

Around 100 students attended the American-themed dinner and heard recollections of Kissinger’s role in the war and the Israeli reaction to the historian, who had served in the British Army during the Second World War.

“I enjoyed the evening. It was flattering to be asked to speak and to be invited to don a yarmulke,” said Sir Alistair.


Danny Ayalon booed during LSE talk

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon gave a lecture at LSE during a trip to Britain last week.

Speaking on the topic “The situation in the Middle East: The view from Israel”, he told around 300 students that both Israel and the Palestinians hope to achieve reconciliation.

Security for Israel, he said, would be recognised with sovereignty and economic prosperity for Palestinians.

The event was interrupted several times by students who shouted at Mr Ayalon. After the lecture he took part in a question and answer session.