Jewish students from Birmingham and London shared the top prize at this year’s annual student awards, hosted by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).
More than 150 people came together for the ceremony on Thursday night, to honour those who take a leading role on British campuses, in everything from education and interfaith, to Israel advocacy and campaigning.
The Jsoc (Jewish Society) of the Year Award was shared by Birmingham and the London School of Economics’ societies, with the prize being presented by UJS president Josh Seitler.
Awards included ‘Best Education Project’, won by Liverpool JSoc for their Holocaust Memorial Day event, the ‘Interfaith Project of the Year Award’, scooped by Hannah Kaufman (LSE) for events during National Interfaith Week, and ‘Social Action Project of the Year’, won by Nina Rauch (Cambridge), for her project Pink Week; a breast cancer initiative in memory of her mother, journalist Dina Rabinovitch, who died from the disease in 2007.
Edinburgh JSoc won event of the year, for their ‘Burns Ball’, whilst Developing JSoc of the Year was jointly won by Aberdeen and Exeter Jewish societies.
Dedication to Liberation Activism Award, was presented to Rebecca Filer of Bristol JSoc, for her work as a campus representative for JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.)
In memory of Alan Senitt, a former student leader who was murdered in 2006, the Outstanding Contribution to Campus Life Award, was presented to Izzy Lenga of Birmingham JSoc, who has been active in NUS student politics.
With 120 students shortlisted for 11 awards, Seitler paid tribute not just to the winners but all who were nominated. He said: “Alongside those from larger JSocs, more students from small and developing JSocs have been nominated for UJS Student Awards in 2017 than we have seen in the past few years, underlining the many ways that Jewish students are thriving and their JSocs continue to go from strength to strength – thanks in no small part to the work of everyone here tonight.”
Among the guests at the awards, which took place at the VIP Lounge in Edgware, included representatives from the Community Security Trust, UJIA, the Alan Senitt Trust, Chaplaincy, Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council, mental health charity Jami, Mitzvah Day, Jewish youth movements and a number of NUS Officers.
Photos by Eli Gaventa: