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Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)


Inaugural Jewish Student Summit

6 November 2022

Inaugural Jewish Student Summit

SCoJeC was delighted to coordinate the first ever Scottish Jewish Student Summit, which brought together Jewish students from Scottish universities and representatives of several communal organisations, to explore new opportunities of working together. The event, in the Jewish Community Centre in Giffnock, was convened by SCoJeC Public Engagement Manager Kirsty Robson, and was brought to life with support from Ábel Keszler, Joint President of Glasgow J-Soc and SCoJeC’s newly appointed Community Engagement Officer.

The leaders of six Scottish J-Socs were joined by the both the Jewish Chaplaincy families, other members of Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland, officers of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), the National Student Security Co-ordinator from the Community Security Trust (CST), and the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, as well as SCoJeC staff who chaired the event.

The day was jam-packed full of opportunities for networking and brainstorming and sessions aimed at increasing the students’ knowledge about the Scottish Jewish Community. After introductions from Tim Lovat, President of the Glasgow Rep Council, SCoJeC Director Ephraim Borowski gave a presentation about the structure and demography of the Scottish Jewish community. He also spoke about SCoJeC’s engagement with the Scottish Government, including organising opportunities for Jewish students to speak directly to the First Minister and others, antisemitism in Scotland, and some of the differences between Scotland and the other parts of the UK.

Inaugural Jewish Student Summit

After a lively discussion session over lunch about the issues Ephraim had discussed, the CST National Student Security Coordinator shared tips and best practice for running events on campus safely, and information on how to report antisemitism, and the UJS Sabbatical Officers Grace and Guy spoke about the work being done by UJS, as well as encouraging students to get involved in the organisation. There was also an opportunity for the students to get to know the Jewish Chaplains, Aharon and Hodayah Lemberger, who previously covered the whole country, but are now concentrating on Glasgow where Aharon is also a communal rabbi, and Eliran and Ayalah Shabo, who have only recently taken up their post and are providing a home away from home and offering support to Jewish students at all the East Coast campuses.

Inaugural Jewish Student Summit

Nicola Livingston, Chair of SCoJeC, said “As the Chair of SCoJeC, and as a past Chair of Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland, I found this event incredibly powerful, and I left enthused by the students’ energy. By better supporting our students, we can help them play active roles in our local communities whilst they are studying, and by forming positive links, hopefully be encouraged to stay in Scotland when they graduate."

The event also provided the opportunity for the students to elect a new student representative to the SCoJeC Council. The successful candidate, Bella Nathanson-Tanner, a Mathematics student at St Andrews, said “I am really excited to represent students’ best interests on the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities and help promote dialogue between Jewish students and the wider Jewish community in Scotland!”

Following the success of this inaugural event, SCoJeC plans to work with the Chaplains and the Chaplaincy Board to facilitate future Jewish Student summits at least twice a year in different locations, and to seek another round of meetings with Scottish Government Ministers and officials to make them aware of the lived experience of Jewish students in Scotland.


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