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#EnoughIsEnough - UJS statement

'It is only too clear that once again the Labour Party has categorically failed the Jewish community. After yet another instance of antisemitism from within the leadership of the party, UJS is compelled to stand with our community, and demand that enough is enough.

'We have seen Labour Students turn promises of ‘zero tolerance for antisemitism’ into action, working with UJS and JLM to provide antisemitism training to over 600 volunteers and taking action to expel members where appropriate, such as the co-chair of Manchester University Labour Club last year. The same, however, cannot be said of the national Labour leadership, which has consistently failed to live up to the Party’s own proclaimed standards.

'Later this week UJS will be hosting a fringe event at NUS National Conference, highlighting the insidious nature of antisemitic conspiracy theories. The blindness to the racist tropes in Mear One’s mural is just the latest example of how the current Labour leadership has failed to confront past transgressions, failed our community, and failed to tackle antisemitism wherever it surfaces within their party.

'I hope Jewish students in London will show their support in Westminster tomorrow and join all those demanding ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.'

- Josh Holt, UJS President 2017-18

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UJS initial response to suggested guidance on free speech on campus from the Joint Committee on Human Rights

As part of our work to protect and promote free speech and to counter hate speech and incitement towards violence, UJS provided oral evidence and a written submission to the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into free speech on campus.

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UJS statement regarding allegations of homophobia within a J-Soc

UJS is aware of allegations of homophobia made against a J-Soc committee member. As the national representative organisation for Jewish students in the UK and Ireland, providing cross-communalism for all Jewish students and promoting tolerance and understand between our members is fundamental to our organisation. We are therefore treating this matter with the utmost severity and will investigate fully. We are also providing support to the students involved and if any other student is concerned, we encourage them to get in touch.

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UJS President Josh Holt meets with Universities Minister Sam Gyimah MP

L-R: Josh Holt, Sam Gyimah MP, Jonathan Arkush and Joel Salmon

Yesterday the recently appointed Universities Minister Sam Gyimah met with Josh Holt, UJS President, in what was his first meeting with representatives of the Jewish community. Josh was accompanied by Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush and Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon.

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Electric atmosphere at Together in Tune

120 guests ranging in age from 10 to 85 gathered for a never-been-seen-before event last night at JW3. Hosted by UJS together with René Cassin and the Jewish Music Institute, Together in Tune brought the Jewish and Roma communities together for a night of music and dance, celebrating and recognising our communities’ cultural similarities. The atmosphere in the room was buzzing and everyone had a fantastic time.

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LGBT+ History Month at UJS

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David Davidi-Brown from UJS running a session with York J-Soc and York LGBT+ Society. The signs the group are holding say 'Some people are gay. So what?' in Hebrew - part of a Stonewall campaign. See the English poster here. Photo credit: Emmett Stone

February is LGBT+ History Month. With cross-communalism as one of our core values, we’re dedicated to being a fully inclusive union; a welcoming place for all our Jewish student members, regardless of their background. Moreover, with the passing of motion CO6 at UJS Conference 2017 we are proudly committed to celebrating and commemorating LGBT+ History Month (as well as the relevant months for other marginalised groups – see the full list in the motion text linked above.)

So how did we mark LGBT+ History Month at UJS this year?

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Another year, another BDS motion at City SU

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UJS are disappointed that City SU passed a motion to support the BDS campaign last night, for the second time in 15 months, at a meeting attended by around 150 students. A third BDS motion proposed to City SU last year was pulled by the proposers prior to being debated, due to lack of support.

BDS is a divisive movement that prioritises a single narrative in place of nuanced and respectful discussion. It divides peers, alienates Jewish students and creates an atmosphere that can and has fuelled antisemitism on campuses across the UK.

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Statement on KCL event with Dan Meridor last night

‘Once again UJS is deeply disappointed that those wishing to attend a talk by KCL Israel Society were intimidated and harassed. Approximately 60 protestors with placards and banners sought to drown out the speaker, Dan Meridor, former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel.

‘Debate and discussion are vital aspects of university life, as is the right to protest. However, intimidating those who try to hear a variety of views with chants of ‘Shame’ is not conducive to informed and respectful dialogue, which should be front and centre of university life.

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Sustained support for Brighton and Sussex J-Soc

Sabrina and Seth, co-Presidents

L-R: Sabrina Verby, co-President and Seth Marks, Treasurer of Brighton and Sussex J-Soc, with Jodeci Joseph, Hertfordshire J-Soc President and Dan Rafaeli, UJS J-Soc Officer at UJS Summit in November 2017

Brighton and Sussex J-Soc is an active, thriving campus community. This year the J-Soc have welcomed educational speakers, organised weekly Shabbat meals and festival celebrations, hosted a stand at the university’s Refreshers fair and commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day. Looking forward, we are excited for the second JFest party and the South Coast Shabbaton at Ralli Hall Community Centre in March.

On page 17 of this week’s Jewish Chronicle (in the Community News section) there is a story under the headline ‘Brighton rocked by UJS plan to sell Hillel’, which is not currently available online. We would like to clarify that the article does not reflect the full picture.  

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Statement of support for EUJS and WUJS' response to the Polish President signing the new Holocaust bill

Earlier this week, the Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a controversial new Holocaust bill. If also passed by the country's Constitutional Tribunal, the law would make it illegal to accuse Poland of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust. It would also ban the use of terms such as "Polish death camps" in relation to Auschwitz and other such camps located in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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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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