The communities secretary Robert Jenrick said he was “struck” by the “bravery and resilience” of Jewish students after meeting university delegates in London.
The Union of Jewish Students’ (UJS) campaigns organiser Daniel Kosky said the group was “pleased” to meet the Conservative minister in London on Thursday.
“We raised some of the issues Jewish students are facing on campus, including a rise in antisemitic incidents. We reiterated to the secretary of state that the best way to combat antisemitism on campus is through education, and highlighted the brilliant interfaith work taking place on campuses throughout the country,” he said.
The meeting at the London School of Economics came after Jenrick announced on Monday a £500,000 Holocaust education project to stamp out campus antisemitism to be rolled out over three years.
The project, launching in the autumn, puts the onus on participants to pass on the lessons of the Holocaust to their classmates, as they embark on educational trips to the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Krakow and deliver workshops with fellow students upon their return.
Kosky said students “thanked” Jenrick for the project, to be led by UJS and the Holocaust Educational Trust. “We look forward to working with the ministry of housing, communities and local government over the next few years to create safer and more cohesive campus communities,” he said.
Jenrick said it was a “pleasure” meeting the students to “discuss how the funding I announced this week will help educate future generations in the horror of the Holocaust. I was struck by their bravery and resilience.”
“We have been clear that all universities in this country should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism,” he said about the international definition formally adopted by the UK in 2016.
Adopting the definition, he said, “sends a very clear symbol that they appreciate how serious the vile poison of antisemitism is, and that they want their Jewish students to feel safe on campus.”