Manchester’s Jewish student community has insisted it is “staying resolute” after the shock of Monday’s terror attack in the city.
Lawrence Rosenberg, a former president of Manchester Jewish Society and current JSoc committee member, said the response to the attack had been “fantastic”.
Mr Rosenberg, who is also a managing director of the pro-Zionist Pinsker Centre, said: “There has been a concerted effort in the JSoc Facebook group, with people seeing what we were going to do and how we could respond to this tragedy. People have organised blood donations, and things like that.
“They’re a very resolute bunch. Regardless of the attack, it’s a very happy student community and there’s a lot of solidarity.
“This incident has affected all students in the same way, I think. I don’t think we feel any different from non-Jews.”
He added that morale had not been affected following the controlled explosion carried out by police in the Fallowfield on Tuesday, an area of the city where many students live.
Rabbi Ephraim Guttentag, the campus Jewish chaplain in Manchester, led “subdued” morning prayers the day after the attack, and a prayer evening at the GE Centre on Wilbraham Road, in Fallowfield, the same street reportedly where Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who carried out the attack on the Manchester Arena, once lived.
The rabbi said he was pleased to see the students were determined to “get on with their lives”.
He said: “The atmosphere might have been a bit more subdued than usual. Perhaps it’s normally more lively. A lot just didn’t realise what had hit them. Students were in a bit of a state of shock.
“There was one student – I wouldn’t say she was traumatised – but her flatmate is a nursing student. She was up all night assisting casualties
“Our students are aware of terrorism all around the world, but this really shocked people because it was right on our doorstep.
“The students just carry on with their lives, which is a good thing. They are determined and there is solidarity with other students and the city in general.
“A lot gave blood at the local NHS blood donor centre, which was very impressive, and important.”