Leeds and Nottingham Jewish students join forces for charity event

Jsoc teams in football and netball matches to raise money to support children with cancer


The Year of Student Sport (YOSS) project was set up in 2022 to provide Jewish students at universities across the UK and Ireland with sports teams. Last month four of those teams get together for a day of football and netball to raise money for charity.

Leeds and Nottingham JSoc joined forces to put on an event in aid of the Doing It for Daniel Foundation, which provides financial assistance for children and young people with cancer.

The charity was set up in memory of Daniel Caplan, a Jewish boy from Glasgow who sadly passed away at the age of 17 due to a brain tumour.

Leeds and Nottingham Jsocs took part in a morning netball game, with a football match between Leeds’ Hapoel Hyde Park and Nottingham’s Lenton Orient following in the afternoon.

The event raised more than £3,000.

Since its inception the project, which works in conjunction with Maccabi GB and The Union of Jewish Students, has made a noticeable difference to Jewish student life on campus.
Jasper van Veen, of Leeds Beckett University, who plays for Hapoel Hyde Park, said: “The YOSS has given me the opportunity to play the sport I love in a competitive position with fellow Jewish students.

"It has really improved mental health and morale throughout the community and has given us the amazing to chance to play other Jsocs from around the country.”

Alfie Keene, a student at the University of Nottingham, plays for Lenton Orient, who won the match against Hapoel Hyde Park. He said: “It may have been our first match together, but we bonded well and trained like we had been playing together for years.

"The YO SS allows Jewish students who attend both the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent to play football thanks to the support of Maccabi GB and the UJS.

"Not only does the funding allow students to not worry about the costs of kits and other playing fees, it brings Jewish students from all around the country together, creating a real sense of community within the city. Without the funding, many Jewish students may find it hard to find their feet in the city, but with the football team, students instantly feel connected.”

The netball match between Leeds and Nottingham Jsocs saw the former claim a 40-31 victory, their first inter-Jsoc win.

While her team may have lost, Nottingham’s Jena Morris said: “Myself and the other players really feel part of something special. I speak on behalf of the team when I express my utmost gratitude to the YOSS for giving an unforgettable university experience to so many Jewish students.”

While they may not have taken part in this fundraiser, other Jsocs have also benefited from the project. Shalom Treblow plays for Jewventus, a Manchester Jsoc men’s football team. He said:

“Student sport brings people from all backgrounds together.

“We have players ranging from completely secular to ultra-Orthodox backgrounds allowing unlikely and unique friendships to bloom. Additionally playing football every Sunday morning gives the weekends structure and leads to healthier lives with less drinking and more exercise.”

Marc Smith manages Maccabi Selly Oak at the University of Birmingham. He said: “The YOSS is an incredible opportunity, giving numerous Jewish students the chance to be involved within sports.

"I’ve witnessed first-hand improvements regarding both individual and team performance. Being a part of a Jewish sports team can provide support, friendship, and also invaluable teamwork skills.”

Jake Lanzkron, who was elected as a sports representative, a role created in December on the Jsoc committee, said: “Sport in Leeds was growing exponentially with the resurgence of Hapoel Hyde Park and increasing demand for a netball team.

“Over the winter break, we were successful in establishing our very own Jsoc netball team.

“Both the netball and football teams have led to Jewish students being engaged in more Jewish activities and have massively contributed to a more active Jewish student life on Leeds campus.”

The project continues to go from strength to strength, with it reaching five of the UK’s largest Jewish student populations. The funding now supports a total of ten different sports teams, with plans to expand into a further four universities over the coming months.

Anyone interested in taking part in Jewish sport with your campus JSoc, visit:

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