Anti-extremism legislation will help students

By Naomi Firsht, September 24, 2015

The Union of Jewish Students has welcomed new legislation to tackle extremism on campus.

Universities must have risk assessment procedures for speakers and provide a counter narrative at events where those with extreme views are speaking, according to the legislation that came into effect this week.


Chaplaincy offers advice on festival class clashes

By Naomi Firsht, September 24, 2015

A chaplain is usually a student's first port of call for a hot Shabbat meal or some religious advice. This year, the majority of universities begin term during the Yom Tov period, with some fresher's fairs falling on Yom Kippur and classes clashing with Sukkot.


Liberal students' needs are not met, says rabbi

By Naomi Firsht, September 24, 2015

Progressive students are missing out on Jewish opportunities on campus, according to Liberal Judaism chaplain Rabbi Leah Jordan.

"A campus could have an amazing chaplain who is cross-communal, but it is nearly always a man and Orthodox," she said.

"A lot of students grow up in other movements and would like a more Progressive chaplain on campus."


A taste of university life

By Charlotte Oliver, September 17, 2015

With weeks to go until the new university term begins, more than 100 soon-to-be undergraduates interrupted their Ikea runs and reading lists on Thursday to attend UniFest 2015.

The day-long festivities, which were hosted by JW3 in north London in association with the Pears Foundation, UJS and UJIA, offered a crash course on all areas of student life - from networking and cooking on a budget, to


A model solution

By Simon Johnson, September 16, 2015

So-called academic conferences on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have been a constant thorn in the side of our community.

They are not only an affront to us by questioning the legitimacy of Israel but they have also sought to undermine the position of our community by “weaponising” academic discourse to advance a political cause.


This is a way forward others can follow

By Sir Steve Smith, September 16, 2015

It is a primary duty of universities to uphold the fundamental principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law.


Exeter University agrees to compromise over Israeli settlements conference

By Naomi Firsht, September 16, 2015

The organisers of a conference on Israeli settlements “in Palestine” have agreed to let pro-Israel academics take part after fears from the community that it was biased.

Exeter University said it would invite two lecturers to present the Israeli position, and would also hold a second academic event later in the year co-hosted with the Jewish Leadership Council.


Reading students union halts boycott vote

By Naomi Firsht, May 21, 2015

A vote to boycott Israel was halted by Reading University Students’ Union over concerns it conflicted with the union’s charitable status.

Voting began last week for a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions policy against Israel, which if passed would have tied the union to the international political BDS campaign for the next two years.


Southampton University cancels anti-Israel conference over 'safety concerns'

By Naomi Firsht, April 2, 2015

Southampton University has confirmed it has cancelled a conference challenging Israel's right to exist, citing police concerns over safety.

A statement published on the university website officially withdrew permission for the conference to take place on the campus.


University's lesson in bigotry

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 26, 2015

What are we to make of recent events at the School of Oriental & African Studies, where a ballot of students and staff appears to have resulted in a 73 per cent majority in favour of "a full academic boycott of Israel?" The ballot was organised by the SOAS students' union, with the support of two campus trade-union branches known for their anti-Zionism, the University & College Union and Unison.