Hull University’s Jewish Society has finally secured enough members to gain official recognition from the campus student union — by recruiting a majority of non-Jews to its ranks.
Of the 15 students enlisted to meet the union’s minimum membership requirement, eight are non-Jewish.
JSoc president Meir Zobin, a marine biology undergraduate, spent months canvassing non-Jews on campus to rally interest in the society — a familiar tactic at universities with small Jewish student populations.
He described being granted accreditation by the union after a gap of many years as a “great relief”.
“We can now set up a stall at next year’s Freshers’ Fair, which will enable us to reach out to Jewish students who don’t know about us,” he said. “We already have a close connection with the local rabbi and the wider Jewish community. By becoming official, we can put the society back on the map.”
The society now boasts Christian and Muslim members as well as those with no religion.
First to sign up was Hrishikesh Nimal-Raj, a 21-year-old from London, whose family are Hindu.
“Judaism has always fascinated me,” he said. “We hear about these resilient people suffering at the hands of persecution. I think we can all learn something important about human spirit and determination when hearing such remarkable stories.”
Mr Nimal-Raj said it had been important for him to join the JSoc to “show that you don’t have to be born into something to be a member”.
He added: “Creating this awareness is pivotal if there is ever going to be any social change in a more accepting and understanding world.”