Union of Jewish Students
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The Union of Jewish Students of the United Kingdom and Ireland (UJS) was established in 1919, when it was known as the Inter-University Jewish Federation (IUJF). The organisation was renamed UJS in 1973 and currently represents a constituency of approximately 8,500 Jewish students, with somewhere between four and five thousand being members of its affiliated Jewish Societies (J-Socs) on individual campuses. It is an executive member of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) and the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS). The current President is Ella Rose, a History and Politics graduate from the University of Nottingham.
UJS is a confederation of Jewish Societies (J-Socs) but also provides further opportunities for student engagement through our national programming.
UJS full-time staff are recent graduates led by an elected President.
The core values of UJS are:
Cross-Communalism: They believe that UJS and J-Soc activities should be open to all Jewish students regardless of religious affiliation or denomination.
Peer-leadership: They believe in empowering students to run their own programming for their peers.
Representation: They believe that Jewish students should have their voices heard both locally and nationally. J-Soc committees and the UJS President are elected roles which consider the views of their members and in turn represent the views of Jewish students to the wider community.
Engagement with Israel: They believe that Jewish students should have the support and space to explore their connection and relationship with Israel.
UJS's work is divided into 5 areas:
J-Socs: They currently provide training and funding for over 60 J-Socs situated around the country. UJS offers J-Socs this support in order to enhance their activities and Jewish student life on campus.
Campaigns: UJS campaigns to defend its members' interests. They work with universities, NUS (National Union of Students) and the government to ensure that the needs of Jewish students are met and represented at every level.
Careers and Networking: Members of UJS are offered the opportunity to participate in career networking events, master classes and a summer placement scheme.
National Events: Each year UJS hosts and runs national events to bring together Jewish students from across the country. These include: JUEFA Cup football tournament, UJS training Summit, UJS Conference, UJS Student Awards, Shabbat UK and Jewniversity Challenge.
Services: They work with universities to secure Jewish student accommodation and spaces for J-Soc activities as well as sourcing kosher food for students on campuses around the country.
UJS is, for a student group, a well funded organization, employing a number of recent graduates alongside several support staff..
One of the oldest constituent organizations in the UJS is the Liverpool Jewish Students' Society. Started in 1921, it has grown to cover Liverpool John Moores University, University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and other surrounding colleges.
UJS also takes a leading role in the politics of the National Union of Students with at least one member of the National Executive Committee being closely linked to UJS for many years. UJS has supported Wes Streeting and Aaron Porter, who became successive Presidents of the National Union of Students in 2008 and 2010. The UJS funds delegations of Students’ Union leaders to visit Israel. Through this it has had a close involvement with the NUS Anti-Racism and Anti-Fascism campaigns in recent years. UJS does not locate itself anywhere specific on the right-left political spectrum, claiming to be a pressure group supporting the interests of Jewish students, rather than a political faction. UJS works with those it believes to support the interests of Jewish students.
In addition to its political role, UJS is active in representing Jewish students' specific religious needs to academic institutions, providing informal Jewish education to members, promoting inter-faith dialogue, and social activity. For many of its members the political aspect of its activities are secondary.
The UJS Student Awards
The annual UJS Student Awards were inaugurated in 2009 to recognise the hard work and dedication of Jewish students who have made an exceptional contribution to Jewish life on campus. These students devote countless hours of their time on top of university work, extra curriculars and spending time with their friends to ensure that Jewish student life on campus is thriving, vibrant, safe, and fun. The winners of the awards are listed below.
|Year||Education Award||Events Award||Social Action Award||CST Campaigns Award||Communications Award||Israel Engagement Award||Interfaith Award||Liberation Award||Developing J-Soc of the year||J-Soc of the year*||Alan Senitt Award**|
|2009||Adam Parker, Oxford J-Soc||Aaron Kienwald, London J-Soc||Yoav Farbey, Bristol J-Soc||Adam Langleben, Leeds J-Soc||Brighton & Sussex J-Soc||Jeremy Foreman, Bristol J-Soc|
|2010||Gideon Julius, Bristol J-Soc||Ben Curtis & Alex Green, Birmingham J-Soc||Daniel Heller, Nottingham J-Soc||Marcelle Jennings, Brighton and Sussex J-Soc||Durham J-Soc||Rachel Wenstone, Leeds J-Soc|
|2011||Aurel Diamond, Bath J-Soc||Benjy Levey, Stu Bernstein & Charlotte Sapier, Birmingham J-Soc||Ricky Kaplan, Nottingham J-Soc||Gabi Kobrin, LSE J-Soc||St Andrews J-Soc||Birmingham J-Soc||Ilana Fenster, Nottingham J-Soc|
|2012||Charles Braunstein and Michael Kosky, Leeds J-Soc||Fleur Freedman, Shushu Aberbach, Simon Fidler & Natasha Nassimi, London J-Socs||Dan Clyne, Sarah-Jayne Grahame & Rebecca Shapira, Nottingham J-Soc||Jay Stoll, LSE J-Soc||Robert Prager, Leeds J-Soc||Exeter J-Soc||Nottingham J-Soc||Joseph Moses, Birmingham J-Soc|
|2013||Joseph Hyman, Leeds J-Soc||Stacey Abendstern, Birmingham J-Socs||Abigail Kay, Heythrop College J-Soc||Claire Sackman, Birmingham J-Soc||Sam de Kare-Silver, Nottingham J-Soc||Simon Leigh, Nottingham J-Soc||Reading J-Soc||Imperial J-Soc||Robert Prager, Leeds J-Soc|
|2014||Edinburgh J-Soc||Saul Gaunt, Brighton and Sussex J-Soc||Noah Nathan, Imperial J-Soc||Miriam Rose, Middlesex J-Soc||Mark Larah, Manchester J-Soc||Samantha Magnus & Jordan Grabski, Leeds J-Soc||Ben Kasstan, Durham J-Soc||Melissa Leigh, Manchester J-Soc||Middlesex J-Soc||UCL J-Soc||Joe Cohen, Nottingham J-Soc|
- For 2011 & 2012 this award was known as the Large J-Soc Committee of the year award before becoming the J-Soc of the year award in 2013
- The Alan Senitt Award is given each year to a student who has given an outstanding contribution to Jewish student life. The award is given in memory of Alan Senitt (UJS Chair 2001-2003), who was murdered in Washington DC in 2006 aged just 27.
The UJS President is elected by Jewish students to represent their voices within the community, universities, colleges and wider society.
|Title||Name||Years in office||University|
|President||Joe Tarsh||2013-2014||Manchester Metropolitan University|
|President||Alex Green||2012-2013||University of Birmingham|
|President||Daniel Grabiner||2011-2012||University of Leeds|
|Chairperson||Alex Dwek||2010-2011||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Adam Pike||2008-2010||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Jessica Truman||2007-2008||Manchester Metropolitan University|
|Chairperson||Jonathan Levy||2006-2007||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Wallace Rosenberg||2005-2006||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Dan Sacker||2004-2005||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Mark Ross||2003-2004||Queen Mary, University of London|
|Chairperson||Alan Senitt||2001-2003||University of Birmingham|
|Chairperson||Ashley Hirst||2000-2001||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Ruth Bookatz||1999-2000||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Adam Dawson||1998-1999||University of Leeds|
|Chairperson||Danny Newman||1997-1998||University of Oxford|
|Chairperson||Susie Simmons||1996-1997||Manchester Metropolitan University|
|Chairperson||Nick Cosgrove||1995-1996||University of Hull|
|Chairperson||David Kaplan||1994-1995||University of Glasgow|
|Chairperson||Tony Danker||1993-1994||University of Manchester|
|Chairperson||Robert Sumroy||1992-1993||University of Cambridge|
|Chairperson||Ian Myers||1991-1992||Manchester Polytechnic|
|Chairperson||Howard Silverman||1990-1991||Keele University|
|Chairperson||Jonny Mendelsohn||1989-1990||University of Leeds|
|Chairperson||Stephen Kurer||1988-1989||University College London|
|Chairperson||Paul Frosh||1987-1988||University of Cambridge|
|Chairperson||Ashley Harshak||1986-1987||University of Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Chairperson||Adrian Cohen||1985-1986||London School of Economics|
|Chairperson||Simon Myerson||1984-1985||University of Cambridge|
|Chairperson||Matthew Kalman||1983-1984||University of Cambridge|
|Chairman||Sam Clarke||1982-1983||University of Sheffield|
|Chairman||Danny Joseph||1980-1981||University of Leeds|
|Chairman||Rowel Genn||1979-1980||Queens University, Belfast|
|Chairman||Simon Caplan||1976-1977||University of Oxford|