Stu­dents get their own com­mon room to meet ris­ing de­mand

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

THE UNI­VER­SITY of Sur­rey is build­ing a Jewish com­mon room on its cam­pus to cater for a grow­ing com­mu­nity. Part of a new chap­laincy cen­tre that opens next month, it will pro­vide a cen­tral hub for in ex­cess of 100 stu­dents and staff. The Jewish pop­u­la­tion

Cam­pus rabbi Alex Gold­berg (left) with Catholic chap­lain John McCarthy cam­pus has reached par­ity with the num­ber of Jews liv­ing lo­cally in Guild­ford.

The uni­ver­sity in­cor­po­rated the Guild­ford School of Act­ing sev­eral years ago and has also opened a vet­eri­nary school, law school and post-grad­u­ate med­i­cal re­search fa­cil­ity which have at­tracted in­creas­ing num­bers of Jewish stu­dents, many from over­seas.

“Be­ing far from a big city, Guild­ford has quite a small Jewish pop­u­la­tion with lit­tle ac­tiv­ity for young adults,” ex­plained Amer­i­can-born PhD stu­dent Made­line Young, who leads the Jewish so­ci­ety with Gemma Levy. “So Jewish stu­dents at Sur­rey of­ten lack solid so­cial and com­mu­nity foun­da­tions to find our ground­ing. On a cam­pus that has had is­sues with an­tisemitism and an­tiIs­raeli ac­tivism, JSoc can be a pos­i­tive voice for interfaith un­der­stand­ing and cul­tural tol­er­ance.”

Ms Levy, an un­der­grad­u­ate vet­eri­nar­ian stu­dent, re-reg­is­tered the Jewish so­ci­ety to the Stu­dent Union this year and more than 60 peo­ple have joined.

“It has com­pletely changed my uni- ver­sity ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. “The events we host not only al­low us to cel­e­brate who we are as Jews but also to ed­u­cate non-Jewish stu­dents about Ju­daism and our fes­ti­vals.”

Stu­dents cel­e­brat­ing Chanu­cah at the Uni­ver­sity of Sur­rey

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