Comedian Modi supports UJS emergency fundraiser

Money raised will help Jewish students combat antisemitism on campus


University of Warwick JSoc wins 'JSoc of the Year' award at the UJS Annual Student Awards 2024 (Credit: UJS)

American Israeli comedian Modi Rosenfeld has endorsed the Union of Jewish Students’ emergency fundraiser, which is taking place today.

The campaign – Will you safeguard Jewish life on campus? – aims to raise £500,000 for projects to help combat antisemitism on campus, deliver antisemitism training to university and union leaders, provide welfare support and run events for 9,000 Jewish students at 78 Jewish Societies across the country.

In a witty social media post, Eylon Levy, former Israeli government spokesperson, is seen with a $100 dollar bill, which he says was given to him by Rosenfeld, who is known on the comedy circuit simply as Modi.

Levy tells his followers that he is going to do a magic trick to show them how to turn the $100 bill into $200.

“When I was in New York, the comedian Modi gave me this $100 and told me to pass on the mitzvah….I am giving it to Jewish students in the UK, who are fighting a wave of antisemitism. Students actually tried to push them out of campus, off university spaces, and we can’t let that happen.”

He then says that every donation made will be doubled.

In the post, ex-UJS sabbatical officer Grace Silverstein says the money will help Jewish students “thrive and build their communities in the coming year and help fight against antisemitism on campus”.

At last month’s NUS Conference, a group of delegates voted to stop recognising UJS – Jewish students’ main representative body – because of its support for Israel. NUS apologised for the vote, which it said was non-binding.

There have also been a number of anti-Israel protests set up on campus, including several encampments and building occupations. 

According to CST, in 2023, antisemitic incidents increased by nearly 150% from the previous year.

A spokesperson for UJS said: “For over 100 years, UJS has proudly been the representative voice for Jewish students. This year, under the most difficult circumstances for Jewish students, more students than ever before have stepped up to participate and lead Jewish life on campus.

 “UJS is the first port of call for Jewish students when antisemitism occurs, with our welfare line receiving over 700 calls since October 7th. UJS is also the first port of call for universities and politicians, including the Prime Minister, when they recognise the need to act against campus antisemitism. Day in, day out, UJS is safeguarding Jewish life on campus for our Jewish students.”

According to UJS’ national Jewish student survey, nine out of 10 students say that attending Jewish Society and UJS events is integral to their university life.

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