Latest Updates

Refugee Shabbat 2021

This year, UJS is partnering with HIAS to mark Refugee Shabbat, which is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers. This is part of our wider commitment to campaigning for refugee rights following overwhelming student support for such initiatives in the 2020 Conference.

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Planning for the future

As 2021 rings in a new national lockdown, your UJS team have been preparing fresh new ways full you to engage with Jewish life on hey digital campus.

Whilst most students this term, and this year, have so far not experienced in person teaching, we will be continuing to enrich your Jewish campus experiences through diverse and engaging content, featuring some big-name speakers, whist campaigning on the issues that matter to you.

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Tu B'shvat - A Collection of Student Blogs

Tu B’shvat is an annual Jewish festival that is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Shvat. This year, this falls on the 28th January. A different name for the festival is Rosh haShana la’Ilanot, or the new year of the trees. For us at UJS, this name captures the beauty of Tu B’shvat, as we welcome spring, and the Earth begins to regenerate. As such, this festival has become seeped in messages of tikkun olam, it is a time to consider at greater length how we care for our environment, ensure the cleanliness and liveability of our shared, communal spaces, and protect our world for the generations to come. Traditions surrounding the festival are diverse, and Jews around the world celebrate it in different ways. To find out just some of the ways which Jewish students in the UK celebrate Tu B’shvat, take a read of the testimonials below! 

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Holocaust Memorial Day Blog - Amanda Sefton

Today is 76 years on from the liberation of Auschwitz, and the day that the global Jewish community comes together to remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered. This day is not just about commemoration, but also about looking back and learning the lessons from this time to make sure it never happens again.

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Woahhh, We’re Halfway There!

Though the past six months at the helm of UJS have certainly been anything but normal, I have been blown away by the tenacity and perseverance of Jewish students across the country. Whilst many saw this year as being a write-off for Jewish life on campus, the reality could not be further from that, and I am proud to represent the 8,500 Jewish students in the UK and Ireland and their J-Socs who have not just been surviving, but thriving, creating new and more innovative ways than ever before to engage with their Judaism.

Being a student now is not easy, but the determination of Jewish students to see Jewish life on campus booming has been admirable.

Do take a read to see what our amazing team have been doing to support Jewish students during these unprecedented times to ensure that “more Jewish students [are] doing more Jewish things” digitally.

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NEW REPORT UNCOVERS WIDESPREAD ANTISEMITISM AT BRITISH UNIVERSITIES

A new report by the Community Security Trust (CST), has found 123 antisemitic incidents affecting Jewish students, academics and student bodies in 34 different towns and cities across the UK during the past two academic years. These incidents, revealed in a new report Campus Antisemitism in Britain 2018-2020, included antisemitic incidents perpetrated by fellow students, academic staff, students’ union officials and student society officers.

The response of some universities to complaints of antisemitism was found by CST to be inconsistent and, in the worst cases, increased the harm felt by Jewish students. In one example, a Jewish student at the University of Warwick was subjected to a disciplinary complaint by academic staff after he reported that a lecturer had made an antisemitic comment in a lecture. The complaint against the student was later dropped with no action taken.

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Conference 2020 - Looking back

Like many things in 2020, this year’s UJS conference was completely transformed to allow democracy, voting and debating of UJS policy to continue. Moving conference online could have been a challenge, but out of that adversity we saw students signing up in droves to engage in what the future of our Union looks like. This virtual conference saw over 50 motions submitted and with over a hundred students, from all over the UK and abroad, taking part. Conference is an opportunity for every Jewish student to have their say and guide the work of UJS moving into the future. Not every motion could be discussed, not every motion passed, but every Jewish student was given an opportunity to join the conversation.

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UJS President-Elect ANNOUNCED

For the first time, UJS Conference 2020 was held online. Jewish students across the country and abroad saw Nina Freedman, from Bristol J-Soc, voted in as UJS President 2021/2022. After a very exciting election, with 4 candidates going head to head, Nina came out on top by and will step into office taking over from James Harris in June 2021.  

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Virtually a week on: Reflecting on a virtual Mitzvah Day

The name of the game this year is TO ADAPT, and that is exactly what Jewish students up and down the country have done. Mitzvah day is an annual day to do your Jewish duty and to give back to our community. Usually, this involves large groups of people coming together, close contact with people in need, and a helping hand for tasks or food collection. Obviously, in the midst of a pandemic and a national lockdown, these activities had to become strictly socially-distanced or virtual… and actioned fast. 

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UJS Presidential Candidates 2020

Here are your UJS Presidential candidates 2020!

In order to vote, you will have had to register on the UJS website as soon as possible as voting closes at 12pm on Friday, 4th December. Registered members will receive a voter key via email with a link to vote from Election Buddy - make sure you check all your mailboxes as well as your junk mail. Please contact us if you have any issues.

Results will be announced on the first day of Conference - Sign up here!

Register on our website to vote here!

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