Meet the runners in the race to be UJS boss


For the first time in almost a decade, four candidates are standing to be elected president of the Union of Jewish Students.

Jake Berger, Joel Salmon, Josh Seitler and Alex Tansey will run their campaigns over the next two weeks, with the winner to be announced at the UJS conference on December 16.

This is the largest field since 2007 - last year current president Hannah Brady won an un-contested election. Below, the candidates make their pitch for students' votes.

Alex Tansey

● From Temple Fortune, north London, Mr Tansey, 21, studies history at Durham University. He was JSoc president in his second year and remains involved with Reform youth movement RSY Netzer. He is also a member of grassroots activism group One Voice Europe and president of his college at Durham.

He says his campaign will focus on "broadening interaction and engagement with students" as well as "cross-denominational dialogue".

"I want to make people aware of different strands of Judaism through education, workshops, and programmes," he said. "It opens up JSocs to a wider group of people and brings in more members to UJS. It can also lead to engagement with the non-Jewish community."

If elected, Mr Tansey intends to survey JSoc leaders so that UJS can provide tailor-made resources.


Jake Berger

● The 21-year-old Oxford University psychology and philosophy student is JSoc vice-president. From Manchester, he attends Whitefield Hebrew Congregation and works as a madrich (leader) for Bnei Akiva.

He said: "I have loved being involved in the Jewish community - it's something I'm really passionate about."

He believes UJS could do more cross-communally. "Some students don't feel their JSocs represent them, either because they're too Orthodox or cannot provide for their religious needs. UJS and JSocs should be there for all Jews." He also wants more religious speakers on campuses, and plans to raise the fun factor by supporting more big social events.

Slogan: BERGER4UJS - the kosher choice

Joel Salmon

● A former JFS headboy, 21-year-old Mr Salmon studies international relations at St Andrews University. During his time as JSoc president he launched an interfaith initiative called Coexistence, bringing together Jews and Muslims. He aims to establish more interfaith activity within UJS. He said: "When it's been done before it's been a token gesture, and I think we would benefit from interfaith as a community."

He will tackle antisemitism through an educational campaign. "Jewish students can feel very uncomfortable, partly because others don't understand what they are saying is antisemitic."

Slogan: Joel Salmon for UJS: Anyfin is possible

Josh Seitler

● Josh Seitler from Manchester studies social policy and criminology at the London School of Economics. The 21-year- old was president of the Israel Society last year and took part in UJS Israel activism trip Manhigut. He said: "I feel like I have a responsibility to give back to Jewish students."

He plans to set up a JSoc committee network to improve communication between UJS and students and boost participation in UJS campaigns. He will also offer support to Jewish students at events outside the Jewish sphere.

On anti-Israel activity on campus, responses should focus on individual incidents rather that take a one-size fits all approach, he said.

Slogan: Swipe Right for Seitler

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