More than 35 university students attended a Friday night dinner at their local Liberal Judaism community.
Open to all students, of any or no denomination, the idea is to give people, who are away from their families and communities, the chance to celebrate Shabbat and meet other local Jews.
The idea came about after our new student chaplain, Rabbi Leah Jordan, took up the post at the start of the year. She said: “Shabbat dinner hosting was one of the main things I had requested by Progressive Jewish students, especially as there are already established Orthodox Shabbos offerings on campus.
“It was wonderful to see so many Progressive Jewish communities reaching out to their local university students to create a warm Friday evening together. Such a seemingly small connection can make a big difference to your term.”
The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, in St John’s Wood, welcomed 17 people who are studying at different London universities (pictured above). At Nottingham Progressive Synagogue, Rabbi Gili Zidkiyahu opened her own home for six local students and members of the community.
Dinners were also hosted by Sukkat Shalom in Edinburgh, Norwich Liberal Jewish Community (pictured left) and Birmingham Progressive Synagogue. With no Progressive community in Exeter, the Orthodox Exeter Hebrew Congregation hosted our student.
One of those taking part was Tali Ehrlich, a student at the University of Nottingham, who said: “I sometimes feel out of touch with my Jewish community at uni, so to be hosted by Rabbi Gili and her family on Shabbat was a reminder of the special and generous Liberal Jewish community I am a part of. With many students in the UK having their Friday night simultaneously, we all felt especially connected this Shabbat.”
Another dinner is planned for later this year. Follow @ProgChaplain on Twitter for updates.
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