This week UJS hosted its annual Israel Student Awards to celebrate the work of students on campus in engaging with Israel over the past year. The event was attended by over 80 students, the Israeli Ambassador, and also representatives from other communal partners and organisations. A range of awards were up for grabs, from Educational Event of the Year to Israel Campaign of the Year. With so many amazing Israel events which have taken place over the last year, from Eurovision parties to dialogue events, it was hard to narrow it down to winners. However, we’re pleased to announce the winners of the UJS Israel Student Awards 2019 below:
Academic Event of the Year – Kent J-Soc
Kent Jewish Society won the coveted Academic Event of the Year award for hosting one of the highest attended Israel events on campus this year, an event in conjunction with their local Palestinian Society, hosting an Israeli Diplomat and a representative from the Palestinian Mission to the UK!
Social Event of the Year – Inbar Langerman – TLV takes LDN
Inbar Langerman of UCL Israel Society won the Social Event of the Year award for putting on one of the biggest parties of the year, TLV takes LDN. The event brought over 400 people to celebrate the culture of Tel Aviv in the heart of London. Inbar has shown incredible leadership over her time on campus, having been on Manhigut and the UJS Freshers trip, Inbar has gone onto become a Campus Liaison for StandWithUs UK.
Resilience Award – Eliana Friend, City Israel Society and Joshua Samuels, Leicester J-Soc
The first recipient of this award was Eliana Friend, President of City Israel Society and Campus Liaison for StandWithUs UK. Eliana won this award for her work in organising the visit of Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev to City, University of London. Unfortunately, the event with the Ambassador was cancelled for security reasons, despite this, Eliana kept going, attending multiple meetings with the university and students’ union to make sure the event could go ahead. Eventually, the event went ahead successfully.
The other recipient of this award was Joshua Samuels, President of Leicester J-Soc. Josh has proudly engaged with Israel as J-Soc president, on a campus in which it sometimes can be challenging to do so. Josh has hosted a number of Israel related events on campus, including a diplomatic visit.
Honorary Israel Fellowship Award – Sigalit Freeman
The Honorary Israel Fellowship is an award given to a non-student to recognise their efforts in Israel Engagement on campus. This year we were delighted to recognise Sigalit Freeman of the Jewish Agency for all the amazing work she has done during her time in the UK. A close friend and partner of UJS, Sigalit has been vital to the success of so many Israel-related projects over the last few years.
Social Media Campaign of the Year – Ben Freeman and Zak Wagman
The winners of this award goes to two students who have displayed exemplary online leadership. Whilst their activism was reactive to a negative campaign, they mobilised hundreds of students to support a positive message surrounding the Eurovision song contest. Pushing a message of diversity and unity, these students created a campaign that you may have seen, called ‘UKStudents4Eurovision’. The campaign’s reach on social media covered over 13,000 people on Facebook, over 12,000 on Twitter and garnered support from across the political spectrum.
Educational Society of the Year – Warwick JI-Soc
The winner of this award, Warwick Jewish-Israeli Society, is a society that have gone above and beyond this year in their educational programming. The society has hosted events with high profile Israeli diplomats, a special visit from the former Vice President of the Israeli Supreme Court, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein in partnership with the Warwick Bar, panel debates on Zionist perspectives, conversations between Egyptians and Israelis and talks from Israeli minority speakers. This society has been exceptional this year and fully deserve to win this award.
Emerging Society of the Year – Lancaster J-Soc
Lancaster J-Soc, the winner of Emerging Society of the Year, have taken on the fight of divisive political campaigns and taken to the streets to educate students about Israel and promoting dialogue. The students involved hosted a major Eurovision party, with hundreds of students in attendance, and they have reached out to new student audiences to teach about Israeli culture and Jewish life.
Israel Campaign of the Year – Cardiff J-Soc
The Israel Campaign of the Year award goes to a Jewish Society who this year made headlines when they stood up for the welfare and safety of Jewish students by challenging and successfully defeating a BDS motion in their students’ union. The motion, which seemed to define antisemitism for Jewish students without any consultation with the J-Soc, played merely lip service to antisemitism and was a blatant attempt to ‘Kosher’ BDS, a movement that the vast majority of Jewish students see as an attack on their identity.
Outstanding Contribution Award – Sarah Emsalem
This award recognises a significant contribution an individual has made to campus life. The pioneer behind LSE’s Tech Trips, Sarah’s initiative has taken over 100 students from all faith backgrounds and none to Israel. She has had to fundraise over £100,000 over the course of the two years and has developed relationships between students from countries who don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel. Sarah fully deserves this award, Mazal Tov Sarah!
UJS are proud to support Jewish students in engaging in a range of different political perspectives with a diversity of connections with Israel. To find out more about our diverse Israel programming, from the political to the cultural, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.