Latest Blogs

President’s Update, 4 of 12: feat. trips, events and democracy!

Two months into the new term, and the exciting projects we have been planning are finally here!

In the last blog, you heard about our freshers’ visits, the Home and Abroad Network launch, our Succot homelessness project and the release of our J-Soc committee handbook. The past month of term has been jam-packed with events, so here’s some highlights from UJS this last month…

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An interfaith encounter that changed my perspective

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Kathryn with the other seminar participants in Budapest 

Two weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to participate in a week-long study session in Budapest about combatting online hate speech, focusing on antisemitism and antigypsyism. Run by EUJS, Phiren Amenca and the Council of Europe, it brought together young Jewish and Roma adults from all over Europe. We covered a variety of topics, including the history of antisemitism and antigypsyism, different forms of online hate speech, and how to combat them and protect ourselves. 

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'A sense of hope and positivity for peace' - Raffles' blog on Freshers Israel Experience

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Raffles with the group from Freshers Israel Experience 2017 at a viewpoint in the north of Israel

This summer I was privileged to be accepted on the Freshers Israel Experience trip, run by UJS and a few other organisations. It was designed to teach us about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by allowing us to see and hear all the narratives from various sides, and more importantly from the decision makers themselves. It was by the far the most informative trip I have ever been on.

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President’s Update, 3 of 12: feat. freshers, Succot and more!

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J-Soc Officer Grace, left, visited Goldsmiths J-Soc at their Freshers Fair this month

A month into the new term, and the exciting projects we have been planning to deliver are now just around the corner!

In the last blog, you heard about our rebrand, the launch of our new website, our representation of students to government and in EUJS, as well as the relaunch of our Women’s Network and trips to Israel. This month of freshers has been all about supporting local J-Socs as they go into the new year, with a few new and exciting opportunities from the voice of Jewish students along the way.

So here’s some highlights from UJS this last month…

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World Mental Health Day 2017: students, stress and the world beyond university

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It’s World Mental Health Day 2017 and the conversation around mental health at university has shifted over the past year. It’s no longer about recognising that mental health is just as important as physical health, but about improving university facilities, tackling the effect of stress on students and the looming prospect of debt and seeking post-graduation employment.

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President’s Update, 2 of 12: August, feat. representation, trips, a new look and more!

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Work hard, play hard: J-Soc Officer Dan Rafaeli, second right, participates in a colour run at EUJS Summer U, where UJS President Josh Holt was elected to serve on the EUJS Executive Board

The past two months have been jam-packed full of planning to deliver new projects on campuses across the UK and Ireland, and we are all so excited term is finally beginning!

In the first blog, you heard about our staff training, meetings with organisations and programme planning, and this month we have ensured our representative voice is louder and prouder than ever.

So here’s a rundown of a few highlights that have gone on at UJS this month…

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Israel through a new lens: my experience on The Real Deal

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Isabelle, left, with friends at the top of Masada during The Real Deal 2017

When thinking about Israel (or pretty much any subject), we, as Jews, tend to hold strong opinions; whether Orthodox, or Reform, or secular, Zionist, or not, we have an opinion on every aspect of the State of Israel, from religious and cultural importance to the Jewish people, to its place within the wider world. Yet some reports would suggest that increasing numbers of Jewish students are choosing to disassociate from Israel, what with the increasing pressure to justify the actions of the Israeli government, and the growth of the BDS movement across many universities.

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Rediscovering a love I didn't know I'd lost on The Real Deal

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My younger sister recently began her IDF service. She is currently completing various training components before she goes out to be a combat soldier until 2020… And yes, I'm proud and terrified in equal measure. Her training programme keeps her on base during the week, returning home to rest each Shabbat. She was therefore not at home when I arrived at my parents’ apartment on Sunday afternoon, having just completed a week unlike any other. I promise that my sister’s absence on that day will become relevant soon.

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Summer U 2017 - an unforgettable experience!

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Last week, I had the pleasure of being one of 350 attendees at Summer U 2017 on the beautiful island of Lefkada, Greece. This trip was truly an incomparable experience.

Summer U is a week-long trip organised by the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) every year, bringing together Jewish people between the ages of 18 to 30, from all over Europe. To clarify, EUJS is the umbrella organisation for Jewish student unions of Europe, with their office in Brussels.

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New challenges, new opportunities: the year ahead for UJS Campaigns

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I am proud to work for UJS, the national representative body for Jewish students, supporting their social, cultural, educational, religious and political needs on campus. For the campaigns team, this first and foremost means ensuring the safety and welfare of Jewish students.

We are devoted to supporting Jewish students dealing with incidents of antisemitism, lobbying politicians, universities and student leaders on understanding the needs of Jewish students and providing training on the subject.

However, if we only talk about antisemitism then we have failed to do our jobs properly, because Jewish students are not defined exclusively by the discrimination that they face, nor for being Jewish. 

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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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