If after my A-level results you said to me “you are going to go to Israel for the first time, become J-Soc president and work in the Jewish community” I would have laughed at and probably with you.
For many British Jewish teenagers the real shocker would have been not going to Israel before the age of 18. But for me, the Canadian turn Hampshire girl that I am, this was the first big step I took into the Jewish bubble. Upon starting at Leeds Beckett University I was approached by now a good friend to become J-Soc president. Long story short upon election I didn’t know what would happen next. Luckily for me, I was greeted by a friendly face from UJS and asked to sign up to a Shabbaton in Chippenham, where the rest is history.
It is not all plain sailing entering a community you do not know anything about, and I was not only entering it but also leading it. I was supported by people unconditionally, both staff members of UJS and fellow students. To the people that greeted me with open arms and made me feel welcome I am forever grateful. I especially want to mention my contact at UJS when I was a student. Upon starting my job as a J-Soc officer I set a goal, to do for at least one student what they did for me.
I will continually be in awe of the students that make our union what it is, for the last 5 years going from a student activist to a member of staff I have been inspired and impressed by the people I have met. I am so privileged to have worked with so many trail blazers and I am excited to see what they all come to achieve in the future.
In the last 18 months I have had the most exceptional experiences with two teams that will be truly unbeatable in laughs, creativity and intelligence. I would not change a thing, and I would do it all again. If you aren’t sure about working at UJS or doing sabbatical work, take this as a sign to be sure. You will learn a lot, experience more and won’t want to forget a moment.
I am really excited to be starting a new role as a Sales Executive at Inflecto Media; UJS really was the best first step in my career I could have asked for. So, in the wise words of Ariana Grande “Thank u, next”.
Grace Diamond - Sabbatical Officer 2017-2018