Rap star Matisyahu will perform an exclusive concert for Jewish students in London later this year.
The American rapper, who shocked fans by shaving off his beard and apparently rejecting his Chasidic beliefs, has been signed up by the Union of Jewish Students.
The concert is due to take place at the O2 Academy in Islington, north London, in late December. Around 800 tickets will soon go on sale to students through the UJS website.
Matisyahu, born Matthew Paul Miller, has released a number of albums featuring rap and reggae infused with Jewish inspiration including Hebrew liturgy, Yiddish stories and Kabbalah references.
His tour of Britain in 2010 was enormously successful, with concerts quickly selling out.
The new UJS leadership team will welcome students back to campuses in the next fortnight. Many universities’ Freshers’ Week events clash with Rosh Hashanah, but JSoc stalls will appear at Freshers’ Fairs from next week and into October.
UJS president Alex Green and campaigns director Judith Flacks are expected to steer the union away from the heavily-politicised campaigning around Zionism and the Middle East of recent years.
It is understood efforts will be concentrated on encouraging JSocs to be more welcoming to students from all Jewish backgrounds, and addressing issues raised by last year’s national Jewish student survey.
There will also be educational programmes aimed at informing non-Jewish students and student union officers about Jewish life on campus.
To mark the start of the new academic year, UJS is also expected to launch an app for smart phones and tablet devices in the coming weeks.
It will allow students to search for JSoc contact details and information and buy tickets for upcoming events on their campus. The app will be free to download and was developed by a UJS member.