Campus news

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.


Election plans get under way

By Marcus Dysch, October 29, 2009

Dozens of Jewish candidates are standing for election to regional and national student organisations this month.
They hope to win faith, welfare and education positions on their own student unions, as well as achieving general National Union of Students delegate posts.

More than 1,500 students will attend the NUS annual conference in Gateshead in April next year.

Jewish students have traditionally worked hard to ensure substantial representation at the conference in an attempt to secure favourable motions and an equal footing with other minority groups.


Analysis: Fear for Jewish students on campus

By Marcus Dysch, October 29, 2009

Jewish students are renowned for their positive activism, standing up not only for their own rights and to support Israel, but for other minority groups as well.

They should be applauded for their conscientious efforts.

But reporting their election hopes this week has, unintentionally, revealed a problem.

Senior figures at UJS, and individual students from campuses, contacted me with fraught pleas that the JC should not run the story. Many candidates initially asked to be included in the coverage before dropping out.


Birmingham’s big JSoc weekend

By Marcus Dysch, October 28, 2009

Birmingham’s student community has enjoyed its busiest weekend of the year with three major events in as many days.

First up was a J-Soc-prepared Friday night dinner. In the past five weeks, the society has provided 750 Shabbat dinners for students in the city.

On Sunday, more than 200 Jewish footballers from campuses across the UK took part in the annual five-a-side competition, the Juefa Cup.


Bristol JSoc meet Israeli ambassador

October 28, 2009

Bristol JSoc enjoyed a positive meeting with Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor last week.

Committee members who had been on year course schemes took part in the lunch meeting, discussing Israeli politics and the Goldstone Report.


Outdoor activities for Scottish Jewish students

By Marcus Dysch, October 28, 2009

An outdoor scouting centre hosted students from across Scotland and north east England for the annual Northern Region weekend.

After traditional Shabbat services and meals, more than a dozen students, including a number from the United States and Canada who are studying in Britain, took part in a communal campfire and singsong at Lapwing Lodge near Glasgow.

Representatives from the Union of Jewish Students and Mitzvah Day UK spoke about the opportunity for assisting with social action programmes.


Wes Streeting: Our friend at the NUS

By Marcus Dysch, October 22, 2009

Few non-Jewish presidents of the National Union of Students can have found themselves the victim of an antisemitic attack.

But Wes Streeting’s experience of being verbally abused while reading Alan Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel on the London Underground provided him with an insight into the impact of antisemitism and anti-Israel action.

Since being elected in April 2008, Mr Streeting has worked hard to support the Union of Jewish Students, promoting a zero tolerance stance to antisemitism and academic boycotts.


Bnei Akiva in blood donation drive

By Marcus Dysch, October 22, 2009

Bnei Akiva’s national blood donation campaign arrived on campuses this week.

It is the second year that “Bleed BA Dry” has taken donations from students in Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge and London.

Zak Jeffay, BA national director, said: “Many young people know about giving blood but see it as something that their parents do.

“You can give blood from the age of 17 and we are encouraging all of our eligible members to donate and save lives. We are celebrating 70 years of BA ‘leading the way’, and now we are delighted to also be ‘bleeding the way’.”


New York inspires Reps

By Marcus Dysch, October 15, 2009

Eight campus representatives from Jeneration, the Reform-backed project to engage young people, have travelled to the United States looking for tips on running vibrant university projects.

The reps, from universities in London, Cambridge, Sussex, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds, visited institutions including the Hebrew Union College — the development centre of Reform Judaism — and the Jewish Theological Seminary during the week-long stay in New York.