By Erez Agami, UJS (Union of Jewish Students) developing Jsocs officer
In the most Northern J-Soc in Scotland, on a freezing night in November, an amazing event unfolded.
Ten people from as far afield as Venezuela, Canada and Réunion Island, gathered in a university accommodation flat to celebrate the first official J-Soc Shabbat dinner of 2014.
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Aberdeen J-Soc, combining Jewish students from all the Higher Education institutions in Aberdeen, proudly lit Shabbat candles, made Kiddush and ate homemade challot in what was truly a special night.
We all stayed up until around 1am talking, drinking wine and chatting about plans for the year ahead and the future of the J-Soc.
This is the first year that Aberdeen has been an official J-Soc affiliated with the student union, enabling them to access university resources as well as have a stall at the freshers fair, attracting even more members.
At a time when there seems to be a lot of negativity from the outside community and the media surrounding Jewish student life, it is uplifting to see more and more J-Socs around the country getting bigger and stronger, offering a growing Jewish experience at universities from Aberdeen to Exeter, Dublin to East Anglia and a variety of places in-between.
Prospective Jewish students can be confident in the knowledge that almost anywhere they choose to go to university; they will have access to a J-Soc and if, on the off chance, this is not the case, there is nothing UJS loves more than forming a new J-Soc.
Racheli Goldstein, an Israeli student who prepared dinner said: “This was my first proper Friday Night Dinner since coming to Aberdeen; there was such a great atmosphere and it really made me feel at home”.
Daniel Perlmutter, J-Soc President said: “Aberdeen J-Socs’ first Shabbat dinner of 2014 was amazing. Students had a great time, enjoyed homemade Israeli food and laughed all night.”