by Josh Rom, Nottingham Trent University Campus Correspondent
Despite Nottingham Trent University being labelled as one of the worst universities for free speech in the country, I walked into the newsroom to work on my student television show with pride. It is holocaust memorial day, a day to commemorate and remember all the victims of the worst genocides the world has ever seen and it is important that Jewish Students should commemorate this day in some form.
It has come to my understanding that recently a protest at Kings University at an Israel society event spun out of control. But we as Jewish students need to show that these acts, despite their disgusting nature, should not stop us from doing what we need to do. These events are designed to make the community feel afraid and to encourage less engagement and activity. Well we need to be fearless.
Mendy and Brocha Lent from Chabad started this initiative within the Nottingham Student Community, to get as many of us to wear our kippa’s with pride. The Nazi Party tried to destroy European Jewry in its entirety, they wanted to eliminate the community.
It is also a good way to raise awareness, I never normally wear the kippa on a day to day basis and because of the nature of inquisitive student journalists asking why the kippa is being worn, it means that the message of the holocaust and the day of commemoration is being spread.
But wearing my kippa today for me is not just about commemorating the holocaust. It is a statement to show that I am not afraid to say I’m Jewish and that I, as a Jewish student, am extremely proud of my identity and I am not letting the nature of the debates surrounding my religion deter me from my day to day activities.
Even though I and a lot of other students are in my situation with a secular attitude to daily life, and I am not as involved in the Nottingham Jewish community as I used to be, this statement means a lot to me and the initiative is a bold statement to say that despite attempts to destroy us, we are still standing and we are strong whilst reminding the communities around us about the atrocities and keeping the legacy of the victims alive.