Jewish students organised a star-studded virtual celebration to mark the end of term at Cambridge University, which was viewed by more than 10,000 people.
High-profile alumni such as Dame Emma Thompson, Clare Balding, and Griff Rhys Jones joined more than 500 students and staff in a live-streamed video on Sunday, as £6,900 was raised for two charities combating the impact of coronavirus.
The ‘Mega Event’ was arranged after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the annual ‘May Week’, which usually features a series of extravagant ‘May Balls’ to celebrate the end of the academic year, in June.
Its president, George Rosenfeld, who attends New West End Synagogue, said: “May Week is a highlight of the Cambridge calendar, and with a whole term taken away from us, we wanted to give students the chance to reconnect – albeit virtually – and have a taste of the May Week atmosphere from their homes.”
May Week is such an old tradition and it’s been exciting to take it in a new direction to bring the university community together and raise money for two important causes.”
During Mega Event black tie was ‘strictly optional’, with many participants even wearing pyjamas as they watched from the comfort of their own homes.
Other Jewish students on the committee organising the event included Jacob Smith of Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, Abe Tolley of New North London Synagogue and Jake Mendel of Mill Hill United Synagogue.
The Cambridge University Israel Society featured with a hummus-themed contribution, and the Jewish Chaplain and JSoc President both appeared in the event’s Finale.