Campus news

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.”


Rabbi fills dinner gap

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Students in Nottingham may have been stressed out during the exam period this month, but they have not been going hungry.

Chaplain Rabbi Yochanan Pereira and wife Jodie have been feeding students in record numbers — hosting up to 70 at a time as JSoc committee members took a break to concentrate on their studies.

Rabbi Pereira explained: “On two weekends we held Friday-night meals in our house and on one occasion managed to fit 72 people into our house, 10 more than our previous record.


Comment: Time to leave the ghetto

By Roseanna Lewis, January 21, 2010

University is all about meeting people and gaining an understanding of other cultures. But are the large groups of Jewish students at universities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham really gaining all they can from the experience?

I have enjoyed my time at Birmingham so far, but I feel the number of Jewish students here could turn from a positive to a negative.

There are a few options for accommodation in your first year. You can live off campus at Hillel, which is good for some, but immediately isolates you from all non-Jewish freshers.


My holiday job dream flopped

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

“A couple of friends were going abroad as au pairs and the thought of returning to Spain appealed to me. Living with a family would help keep up my Spanish and I had previously enjoyed working with children.

“My friends recommended a website where they found jobs, so I logged on and posted a profile.

“I got a few responses, including one from an agent in Majorca. She rang to tell me she had a suitable family. I was interested, so she put us in touch.


Alex Dwek wins UJS chairman election

By Robyn Rosen, December 11, 2009

Manchester University student, Alex Dwek, tipped by the JC to win, has been elected the next chairman of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).

Mr Dwek, 21, heard of his victory last week in Leeds after five days of elections across the UK where almost 600 students turned up to vote.