President’s Update, 5 of 12: feat. elections, interfaith and more!

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Hustings at UJS Summit with our three Presidential candidates

Somehow term is already drawing to a close, and there are only six months left until a new President takes the reins!

In the last blog, you heard about Bridges not Boycotts Conference, The EUJS Board Meeting in Budapest, the opening of nominations for UJS President, our National Council Meeting, the representation of Jewish students in Balfour 100 and at a meeting with Netanyahu, and our support for Friday Night Dinner on over 25 campuses.

This past month has been about representation. From Summit to Conference and the presidential election, Jewish students have had their say! So here are some of the highlights… 

J-Soc Elections

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We attended J-Soc elections across the country, as new committees were elected to continue working for Jewish students on their campuses. We are proud that our J-Socs are peer-led by you, the students, and by holding elections, J-Socs ensure that the students facilitating Jewish life on their campus are right for the job.  

St Andrews J-Soc Ball

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We visited St Andrews for their Red-Carpet Affair J-Soc Ball, stopping off in Glasgow on the way for Friday Night Dinner. At UJS Conference, we recently got mandated to help financially support J-Soc Balls, and we cannot wait to visit more of these incredible events across the country!

Interfaith Week

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Throughout Interfaith Week, we helped to support over 30 events on campus, the most successful and wide reaching Interfaith Week we have had! We also engaged in the Three Faiths Forum’s Interfaith Conference, where our Campaigns Manager, Liron Velleman led a session. Interfaith work is a key part of what we do, and we are proud to work closely with partners in the Jewish and wider community.

Mitzvah Day

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Over 20 J-Socs put on events for Mitzvah Day, where students gave time instead of money to affect social change. The UJS Team joined SWAT, the Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team, to hand out food to homeless people in London (pictured.) Read our Communications Officer Hannah's Facebook post about this experience here. Tikkun Olam (healing the world) is one of the guiding principles in Judaism, and UJS continues to prioritise this in the work we do.

Saw over 100 student leaders at UJS Summit

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UJS Summit is where we train new J-Soc Committees to ensure their J-Socs are as successful as possible. We were lucky enough to be joined by Rabbi Laitner, the Director of Education at United Synagogue and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, the Senior Rabbi to the reform movement, as well as Rabbi Lichman, the progressive Chaplain for the North, and Rabbi and Rebbetzin Dvir and Pe’er Baris from UJC. Students chose between 5 different Friday Night Services, and attended sessions on inclusivity, leadership, finance, as well as having the opportunity to hear from educators on topics ranging from Jewish Atheism to Israel education, and the need for a Jewish ethic in social media. Read the full article about Summit here.

Ran the UJS Presidential Election

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The UJS Presidential election saw close to 1000 Jewish students vote to elect their next representative. With 519 of the votes cast, we are delighted to announce Hannah Rose will be the next President of UJS, leading us into our 100th year! Read more here.

Held UJS Conference

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UJS Conference is where Jewish students can submit motions and vote to shape their union. Braving the snowy weather, Jewish students made their way into London, voting on motions that become our union’s policy for 3 years. We also held elections to the Board of Deputies, and our National Council, the body that holds the UJS President to account.

Ran a focus group to hear from Sephardi and Mizrahi students

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As a representative organisation, it is incredibly important to us that we are properly representing all Jewish students. Through hearing from our Sephardi and Mizrahi students and learning if and how we can do better for them, we can ensure our union is as representative as possible and accommodating our members in the best way.

That may be it for this term, but we can’t wait to be back on campus with you in the new year. Chanukah Sameach and happy holidays!

Josh Holt, UJS President 2017-2018

About UJS

We are the voice of over 8,500 Jewish students, spanning 60 Jewish Societies (J-Socs) on campuses across the UK and Ireland. We are traditional, progressive, cultural and spiritual; we come from the left, centre and right and can be found across religious and political spectrums.

Together we create and deliver powerful campaigns; fighting prejudice, advancing inclusion, and inspiring education and action on the issues that matter to us. 

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