Universities

Students fear for safety as rallies grow

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Friend, January 22, 2009

The fallout from the Gaza conflict has been felt at universities around the country as Jewish students returned to their campuses.

At the London School of Economics, a students’ union anti-racism officer was responsible for an anti-Israel motion and involved in a similar rally.

Joseph Brown was pictured wearing a keffiyeh [traditional Arab head-dress] and “Free Palestine” T-shirt during a protest at the central London campus last week.

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Students resolve to fight campus antisemitism

January 15, 2009

The National Executive of the National Union of Students has passed a complex resolution on the Gaza conflict which has been warmly welcomed by the leadership of the Union of Jewish Students.

As students all over Britain began the new winter term with the fighting in Gaza still heading the news, the NUS was well aware that its membership covers both sides of the divide.

The NUS President, Wes Streeting, made it clear that “we shouldn’t pretend that NUS can speak with one voice on the complexities of this conflict.”

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SOAS Palestinians fail to ban Israel lectures

By Jonny Paul, January 15, 2009

The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies has refused to cancel a series of lectures marking the centenary of Tel Aviv.

A Palestinian pressure group demanded that the series, organised by the Centre for Jewish Studies, did not go ahead, claiming it was “morally repulsive” to be celebrating Tel Aviv “while Gaza burns”.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called on the university to cancel the “ill-conceived propaganda exercise.”

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Student rescue boat arrives in Gaza

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 9, 2008

Two British academics have arrived in Gaza to collect Palestinian students who would otherwise be unable to take up university places abroad.

Prof Jonathan Rosenhead and Research Fellow Mike Cusham went by boat from Cyprus to collect the 16 students, some of whom have scholarships at colleges in Europe and North America.

They docked on Tuesday afternoon and hope to leave within the next few days.

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Come to our party, and bring a ‘fit’ Jew

By Marcus Dysch, November 20, 2008

Student party organisers have caused a major row by asking guests to come in fancy dress - and be accompanied by "a fit Jew".

Guests were told to find female students as dates and dress up, complete with money-bags and wear fake peyot (sidelocks).

The event was cancelled following complaints from Jewish students and Oxford University's student union is now carrying out an investigation.

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Oxford rugby club planned ‘bring a Jew’ social night

By Marcus Dysch, November 13, 2008

A university rugby club invited its players to take part in a ‘bring a Jew' night and told them to find female Jewish students as dates.

Members of Oxford University's men's under-21 side were encouraged to ‘dress up as Jews' and carry money bags.

The event, due to take place on Wednesday, was cancelled after complaints from Jewish students, but it is thought some players went ahead with the night out as planned.

Officials from the university and student union had told organisers to cancel the social and are now investigating.

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Adults' initiative Jeneration building presence on campus

September 26, 2008

Reform-backed young adults' initiative Jeneration is building a presence on campus.

It has produced a 60-page freshers' pamphlet, The Ultimate Guide to Student Survival, listing contacts for student activity as well as for local Reform, Liberal and Masorti communities.

Launched last year by the Reform movement to promote informal networks among young people, Jeneration has a student fieldworker and eight regional representatives.

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Campus hate figures soar

By Leon Symons, August 1, 2008

Antisemitic incidents in universities shot up by 88 per cent in the first half of this year, according to figures released this week by the Community Security Trust.

There were 49 incidents in the first six months of this year compared to 26 in the first half of 2007. However, only two involved assaults and both of those were off campus; the rest were incidents of verbal abuse or graffiti.

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Scholar slams UCU for bias

July 18, 2008

A Shakespearean scholar from Anglia Ruskin University is the latest member to resign from the University and College Union over its policy calling on academics to review links with Israeli institutions. In a letter to the union, Professor Sarah Annes Brown wrote: “I am not Jewish, have no links with Israel, and don’t support all of its actions and policies. However I… don’t wish to belong to a union which singles out one country for such insistent scrutiny.”

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$4m for Yiddish studies

July 18, 2008

A veteran US comedy writer and producer has donated $4m (£2m) to endow an academic chair in Yiddish language and culture at UCLA. The gift by Michael “Mickey” Ross will go to the university’s Centre for Jewish Study, where Yiddish has been taught for 30 years.

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