Last night 150 people gathered for the ninth annual UJS Student Awards. Celebrating Jewish student life on campus, and honouring the incredible hard work put in by the students who make it happen, were representatives from J-Socs throughout the UK and Ireland.
We were also joined by guests representing CST, UJIA, the Alan Senitt Trust, Chaplaincy, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, Jami, Tribe UK, Mitzvah Day, JAFI and several Jewish youth movements; as well as several NUS Full-Time Officers and NEC members.
After a reception in which guests enjoyed canapés and cocktails, a photobooth and musical accompaniment from Josh Aroesti, UJS President Josh Seitler opened the evening and welcomed the hosts, J-Soc Officers James Graham and Louise Cohen. Interspersed with a delicious three-course meal, the winners were announced.
Over 120 students were nominated for 11 awards, all of whom have made fantastic and much appreciated contributions to creating Jewish student life on campus. The winners were:
- Best Education Project, presented by Sally Patterson: Liverpool J-Soc for their Holocaust Memorial Day event that attracted 270 guests to hear testimonials from survivors of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide
- Interfaith Project of the Year Award, presented by Yoni Stone: Hannah Kaufman (LSE J-Soc) for ongoing dedication, including a full week of programming during National Interfaith Week
- Oliver Sweeney Event of the Year Award, presented by Maurice Helfgott: Edinburgh J-Soc for their Burns Ball that married Jewish and Scottish traditions and was enjoyed by over 100 people
- Social Action Project of the Year: Nina Rauch (Cambridge J-Soc), for her project Pink Week, a breast cancer fundraising and awareness initiative that she started in celebration and in memory of her mother, journalist Dina Rabinovitch, who died from the disease in 2007.
- Communication Project of the Year, presented by UJS Communications Officer Hannah Sharron: Yoni Stone and Joel Kosmin (Oxford J-Soc), for their DJ pair the Yoelling Stones, bringing an enjoyment of Jewish music to Jewish and non-Jewish students alike through the university radio and J-Soc events
- Alan Webber Israel Engagement Award, in partnership with UJIA, presented by Anthony Ashworth-Steene: Daniel Voignac (Imperial J-Soc), for securing funding for and organising a hi-tech insight trip to Israel for 40 non-Jewish students from his university who are interested in Israel's technological developments
- Chaplaincy Developing J-Soc of the Year, presented by Chaplaincy CEO Rabbi Belovski: jointly won by Aberdeen J-Soc and Exeter J-Soc
- CST Campaign of the Year, presented by Erez Agami and James Palman: Jonathan Farrell (Exeter Friends of Israel Society), for his initiative 'Israel Peace Week'
- Dedication to Liberation Activism Award, presented by UJS J-Soc Officer Louise Cohen: Rebecca Filer (Bristol J-Soc), for her work as a campus representative for JOFA and leadership and initative demonstrated at UJS Liberation Conference
- J-Soc of the Year, presented by UJS President Josh Seitler: jointly won by Birmingham J-Soc and LSE J-Soc
- Outstanding Contribution to Campus Life Award, in memory of Alan Senitt, presented by Emma Senitt: Izzy Lenga (Birmingham J-Soc)
UJS President Josh Seitler said: ‘There are so many people who work hard to bring Jewish life to their peers on campus and without them, so much of our work at UJS would simply be impossible; tonight was a way for us to honour and recognise their contributions. I’m particularly proud that this year, more Jewish students from small and developing J-Socs have been nominated than we have seen in the past few years, reflecting the fact that J-Socs across the entire UK continue to go from strength to strength –thanks in no small part to the work of those who are here tonight.’