Cam­pus & Youth Note­book

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS/ - By Nathan Jeffay

Are ten­sions be­tween the Is­rael and Pales­tine lob­bies about to calm? In Cam­bridge, Jewish stu­dents reckon so. Not only have the J-Soc and Is­rael So­ci­ety joined forces with the Pales­tine So­ci­ety to host a joint bagel brunch next month, but in a blow to cham­pi­ons of the boy­cott the speaker will be an Is­raeli aca­demic. Pro­fes­sor David New­man of Ben-Gu­rion Univer­sity will talk, aptly, on his ex­per­tise — Is­raeli-Pales­tinian ne­go­ti­a­tions. Daniel Gueta, J-Soc ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer, says: “It’s great that we are co-op­er­at­ing.”

One mo­tion that met suc­cess at FZY was a land­mark change to the move­ment’s found­ing aim of aliyah. Mem­bers ar­gued that mov­ing to Is­rael must be fol­lowed with a com­mit­ment to con­trib­ute to Is­raeli so­ci­ety through so­cial ac­tion and com­mu­nal in­volve­ment. They passed a change to the move­ment’s aim — which cur­rently shares the lime­light with three other aims — to “Aliyah Nimshechet”, a prin­ci­ple bor­rowed from the Re­form move­ment to this ef­fect. In­com­ing na­tional di­rec­tor Jonathan Bunt praised the move­ment’s re­vised ide­o­log­i­cal stance: “I ap­plaud the move­ment’s de­ci­sion to en­sure that, within the act of mov­ing to Is­rael, en­gag­ing with our whole ide­ol­ogy is paramount.”

There were im­pas­sioned dis­cus­sions at FZY’s an­nual de­ci­sion-mak­ing fo­rum (veida), when a fac­tion moved to change the move­ment’s def­i­ni­tion of the “who is a Jew?” is­sue. FZY is a plu­ral­is­tic move­ment, and tra­di­tion­ally ac­cepts any­one who de­fines them­selves as Jewish. The move to im­pose a ha­lachic def­i­ni­tion of who is Jewish, and ad­mit only those who are part of the faith ac­cord­ing to Ortho­dox law, met strong op­po­si­tion, and was de­feated in a vote by an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the 80 mem­bers in at­ten­dance.

As you will read else­where in this news­pa­per, the Lim­mud con­fer­ence in Not­ting­ham was a big hit. An in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar part of the event is Young Lim­mud, the pro­gramme for those aged three to 18. This year, 235 peo­ple took part in a pro­gramme that com­bined fun ac­tiv­i­ties with pre­sen­ta­tions given by speak­ers. Par­tic­i­pants took on the role of me­dia cor­re­spon­dents and pro­duced news­pa­pers and videos that they show­cased in a clos­ing gala. “It has be­come the largest res­i­den­tial win­ter ac­tiv­ity in the Jewish com­mu­nity — there was even a wait­ing list,” claims Lim­mud’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Ray­mond Simonson.

Mind out Jamie Oliver. If any­one needs ad­vice on nu­tri­tious school meals, they can ask Young Lim­mud’s teen pro­gramme. A dozen sixth-for­m­ers teamed up with the UK friends of Ne­tanya’s La­ni­ado Hospi­tal to raise the profile of healthy liv­ing. They in­vited younger Lim­mud par­tic­i­pants and their par­ents to at­tend a hands-on lunch­box-pack­ing ses­sion. An­other Young Lim­mud group col­lected cloth­ing and toi­letries which they do­nated to a nearby shel­ter for the home­less. In the two projects, young­sters “showed re­spon­si­bil­ity in ac­tion”, says Ben Levy, joint head of teenage ac­tiv­i­ties.

Lib­eral Jewish stu­dents from the UK joined their coun­ter­parts from 12 Euro­pean coun­tries for a Shab­ba­ton in Paris. Birm­ing­ham­based Lib­eral Ju­daism field­worker Jake Welford says the trip — the first of its kind — marked the in­creased pro­vi­sion for nonOrtho­dox stu­dents since his ap­point­ment in Septem­ber. The pro­gramme in­cluded a talk on the his­tory of Lib­eral Ju­daism in France. He adds: “Visit­ing such a beau­ti­ful city was great, but Paris was just the ic­ing on the cake; spend­ing Shab­bat with young Jews from all over the world is what made the week­end a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.” Par­tic­i­pants at the Lib­eral Shab­ba­ton in Paris

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