‘It’s like one big family’ – Warwick students win Jewish Society of the Year award

Warwick University’s vice-chancellor said the win was ‘a shining example of resilience at a time of national and international upheaval’


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

Warwick Jewish Society has scooped the JSoc of the Year award at the annual UJS Students Awards. 

As well as boasting vibrant and occasionally themed Friday night dinners, where attendance has almost doubled, the society offers weekly lunch and learns with bagels and frequent social events. The JSoc has also launched an array of new initiatives, such as interfaith dinners, which have attracted over 100 attendees and a JSoc football team.

Warwick JSoc co-presidents Daniel Dutch and Amit Gad Asraf told the JC they were “thrilled” to win.

Daniel, who accepted the award and gave an impromptu speech, said: “We had no clue we were going to win. It was a bit of a shock. Our JSoc is a big team effort, and its strength comes from every person, so the win is testament to the great team and members we have.”

Amit credited the JSoc’s success to ensuring everyone’s voice was heard, delegating tasks based on people’s talents and building on momentum. He said: “It’s not just Daniel or me; it’s not just a friendship group; it’s like one big family and one united by the purpose that Jewish life remains with purpose.”

In the week leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day in January, Warwick JSoc invited Holocaust survivor Mindu Hornick MBE to share her story with students and Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis, who said afterwards: “What a great group of students! I enjoyed my trip to Warwick JSoc immensely.”

Warwick JSoc has also built and maintained strong relationships with the University of Warwick and the Student Union to ensure Jewish students are kept safe amid rising antisemitism.

Professor Stuart Croft, vice-chancellor and president of the University of Warwick, told the JC that Warwick JSoc winning this award was “testament to their commitment in preserving and cherishing Jewish traditions and their engagement with our wider campus and University community. The dedicated students who make up this society are a shining example of resilience at a time of upheaval nationally and internationally. Congratulations everyone involved.”

Nearly 250 students attended the awards night in central London to celebrate Jewish student life on campus and acknowledge the achievements of Jewish students this year.

Over 200 nominations were received for the 15 award categories, with a total of 80 nominations shortlisted.

UJS President, Edward Isaacs, said: “In the face of the worst antisemitism seen on campus in a generation, Jewish students have responded with resilience and leadership, and the 2024 UJS Student Awards gave recognition to this work across the UK and Ireland.

"Jewish students have led campaigns for the hostages, rebuilt interfaith relations, begun new JSocs and so much more. As the next generation of community leaders, our future is certainly bright.”

UJS oversees some 9,000 Jewish students across 75 Jewish Societies on campuses across the UK and Ireland.

Some other winners on the night included Rebecca Myers from Bristol JSoc, who won Volunteer of the Year. Emma Levy from Leeds JSoc won Campaigner of the Year; Saul Sutcliffe from Edinburgh JSoc won Interfaith Initiative of the Year; Ofrrie Haddi from Edinburgh JSoc won Inclusion Champion of the Year and Jenna Morris from Nottingham JSoc won Sports Person/Team of the Year. Cork JSoc won Social Action Project of the Year, while Nottingham JSoc won event of the year.

Winning students received a certificate, trophy and a copy of Rabbi Sacks’ Haggadah.

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