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Interfaith conference plan wins student £5,000

Sally Patterson, a University of Bristol undergraduate, was named ahead of three other finalists as the inaugural winner of the UK Campus Pitch Competition

    A student will get a £5,000 grant to run an interfaith conference of Jewish and Muslim women after winning a national competition on ways to address “on-campus Jewish issues”.

    Sally Patterson, a University of Bristol undergraduate, was named ahead of three other finalists as the inaugural winner of the UK Campus Pitch Competition, a joint venture between the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the Board of Deputies.

    Head judge Josh Holt, the president of the Union of Jewish Students, praised Ms Patterson’s proposal, called Women of Faith in Leadership, as an “excellent” way of tackling both antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred.

    Ms Patterson plans to hold the one-day conference at Bristol towards the end of 2018. She told the JC that both communities face similar challenges, including a lack of female representation in leadership roles, and prejudice.

    She said: “Coinciding with a rise in antisemitism is an increase in Islamophobia, too. We will hopefully run some workshops to learn how to tackle both forms of hatred.

    “And when it comes to Israel and Palestine, it feels as though people on either side are speaking different languages. But things will start to change when we share commonalities and experiences.”

    The panel, also featuring Gillian Merron, the Board’s chief executive; Stephen Rubin, chairman of Pentland Group; and Marina Gerner, a WJC representative, awarded £1,500 to each of the runners-up.

    Ideas that didn’t win included an interfaith gardening project at Queen Mary University in London, and an Israel-focused photography and film competition at the University of Warwick.

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