Our work on interfaith at UJS centres around bringing students of all faiths and none together to bring about cohesion and tolerance on campus. At times when hate crime and antisemitism are rising, it’s even more important to reach out to other faith groups to stand together against hatred.
Uniting around a common cause in the form of social action, particularly on Mitzvah Day, is one way through which UJS encourages interfaith on campus. National Interfaith Week this year featured events across 10 campuses including volunteering for local charities, interfaith Friday Night Dinners, guest speaker events and ‘speed-faithing’.
At NUS Conference 2017, our annual fringe event, attended by 120 delegates, featured the co-founders of Nisa-Nashim, Laura Marks OBE and Julie Siddiqi discussing ‘Friendship, Faith and Feminism’. Laura and Julie are co-founders of Nisa-Nashim, an organisation that aims to eradicate misconceptions of people who are different from each other by bringing Jewish and Muslim women together through leadership initiatives. They spoke about the need to unite in the face of hatred and division, with Laura noting that women of faith 'face oppression both within and outside their communities.’
Three Faiths Forum aims to build good relations between people of all faiths and beliefs through education, engagement and action programmes that bring diverse communities together.
In 2016, the then Campaigns Officer Liron Velleman spoke on a panel at the annual Interfaith Summit titled ‘Faith on campus – Islamophobia and Antisemitism.
UJS members have participated in ParliaMentors, Three Faiths Forum’s UN award-winning leadership programme, where teams of university students of different faiths and non-religious beliefs collaborate to create real social change while being mentored by MPs.
The Council of Christians and Jews is a forum for Christian-Jewish engagement and has branches across the UK.
The CCJ runs a Campus Leadership Scheme for Jewish and Christian students as well as an annual Student Conference (http://www.ccj.org.uk/student-conference/). In previous years, UJS has run sessions at CCJ’s Student Conference on engaging with Jewish students and combatting antisemitism.
CCJ and UJS often run events on individual campuses for example interfaith Friday Nights at Coventry and Warwick, attended by Jewish, Christian and Muslim students.
The Joseph Interfaith Foundation is a Muslim-Jewish interfaith organisation that is committed to fostering engagement through constructive and realistic dialogue and interaction between the Muslim and Jewish communities in Britain.
Joseph Interfaith Foundation often runs events on campuses alongside J-Socs. In 2016, LSE J-Soc co-hosted a panel with the Joseph Interfaith Foundation and the LSE Islamic Society featuring Josh Seitler, UJS President 2016/17.
Nisa-Nashim are a joint Muslim and Women’s Network Nisa-Nashim that aims to bring the Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain closer together by setting up groups of women to build personal friendships, grow as leaders and benefit wider society through our programmes and initiatives.
If you’d like to get involved, Nisa-Nashim are looking to work with Jewish women students. If you’re based in the South West, there is also a pilot Student Nisa-Nashim Group in Bristol, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org