Students raise £1,000-plus for charity at ‘secret’ venue

Defiant students raised more than £1,000 for Jewish and Israeli charities after ensuring their annual ball went ahead despite attempts from anti-Israel groups to stop it.

St Andrews University Jewish Society was forced to relocate its event after the St Andrews Golf Hotel cancelled its booking with only 48 hours’ notice.

The ball, organised jointly with the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Fraternity, eventually took place at a secret venue in the town last Friday evening with more than 50 students attending.

The original booking was cancelled over safety concerns after members of organisations, including the Palestinian student group We Are All Hana Shalabi and Scottish Jews for a Just Peace, contacted the hotel.

Security of guests will always be our primary concern

A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that police had been alerted by the hotel manager, Niall Thompson, but the JC understands they felt no action was necessary.

Mr Thompson declined to comment.

Students attending the ball were collected from meeting points around
St Andrews and driven to the new venue so that it would remain secret.

A number of Jewish organisations and individuals donated money to the JSoc to assist with the relocation.

Joel Salmon, president of the JSoc, said: “The security of our guests will always be our primary concern. We have been overwhelmed by the support received from the Jewish community, the university and the local authorities.

“JSoc will not cave in to intimidation or bullying.”

Members of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council and Scottish Jewish Chaplaincy spoke to police and the hotel on the students’ behalf.

The same groups claimed last December that a rising number of anti-Israel incidents at Scottish universities had contributed to Jewish students quitting their courses.

Last updated: 5:45pm, May 2 2013