After years of decline, Liverpool’s Jewish student community is celebrating one of its most successful years by welcoming the return of an old favourite — Booze for Jews.
JSoc co-chairs Mickey Pearl and Gemma Nathan have seen membership numbers double this year.
Second-year law student Mickey said: “JSoc had declined a lot but we wanted it to go back to how it had been before — active and with a reputation as a great university for Jewish people.”
The highlight of the society’s return to form will come next week, with the first Booze for Jews to be held in the city since 2006.
Students from across the country, including universities in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, will join the party.
Gemma, 20, said: “Unfortunately, due to declining numbers, B4J had to be crossed off the agenda. Bringing it back means great things. It is a way of attracting more Jewish students to come and study here, as they can see that there is a thriving JSoc to provide for their needs on campus.”
The society has always been closely associated with the city’s Jewish community, but the co-chairs have worked hard to further strengthen those ties.
After helping to run local youth groups, attending synagogue services and appealing for Shabbat hospitality, JSoc members have found themselves in turn being assisted by “mummies and daddies” from the community during term time.
Gemma explained: “The students and community have a wonderful relationship where anybody from any walk of life is welcome. Liverpool has a warm, welcoming community and its members often do a spot of laundry for us or send us away with food parcels.”
Among the most successful activities JSoc has been involved in during the current academic year was an interfaith event co-hosted by the Christian and Islamic societies which attracted around 600 students.
There are also big plans for the future. In March, the annual charity ball will raise money for the Greenbank project, which provides services for disabled people in the city; and a charity fun run will see another fundraising opportunity for worthwhile causes.