What a year this has been, truly unforgettable. I know this is every UJS president’s experience but I’d like to think the added factor of a pandemic can give me a few brownie points on that front.
But allow me to rewind a bit more for a second. To be cliché, I could have never imagined heading the Union of Jewish Students of the UK & Ireland, representing 8500+ students and all the other great talking points; let alone have an English accent. I arrived at university four years ago not knowing what a Jewish society is and now ended being the keeno of the year! A title I carry proudly.
UJS has played such an important role in my young adult formation, giving me memories, friends and lessons for a lifetime. And I know for a fact UJS has done the same for so many others, even if you haven’t realized that yet. We have the privilege and beauty to experience the best Jewish student community in the world! With J-Socs left, right and centre, amazing leadership and development opportunities and a platform on a regional, national and international level that truly seeks to do the best and always give its all for Jewish students – by Jewish students.
I have always disliked the concepts of elitism and exclusivity within organizational and communal structures. On the other side of those issues is exactly where UJS shines, and why I fell in love with our organisation and community. UJS is there for everyone, really cares and really wants you to engage and explore your Jewish pathway. I mean it! Throughout my uni time that is where I found my people, my representatives and the voices that were always there for me, as a Jewish student but also as Esther.
So when I came into this year, that was what carried me all the way through. Striving to make UJS your UJS and provide you with the best Jewish experience on campus, whether through your J-Soc, UJS directly or any other way. Yes we ran incredible events, provisions, trainings this year; represented and fought for Jewish students on countless platforms; even turned into one massive Jewish Society over corona, while creating great content and provision with you – it’s all out there for you on the interwebs, and I strongly encourage anyone to have a browse. But what always stood out to me most where all the individual people making up the whole that is our beauty of campus. The connections me and my team got to build with students, the support we got to provide – it infused us with energy over and over again. So thank you for that.
And just on the topic of team, I would like to declare now that I had THE best team!
So it seems I did manage to compile some sort of reflection. This blog post by far doesn’t do justice to the incredible year we have behind us, but I hope it encourages you to peek beyond your comfort zone and see what deliciousness is out there for you, your new comfort zone might just be being UJS President.