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The Alliance for Progressive Judaism’s Progressive Jewish Students team offers educational and religious support for Progressive Jewish university students, as well as rabbinic and pastoral care and connections by our Student Chaplaincy. Progressive Jewish Students support students in building a vibrant Progressive Jewish life on their university campus, including egalitarian initiatives in order to empower everyone to engage with their Judaism.

Progressive Jewish Students focuses on two main areas: external advocacy and internal support and development.

As part of external advocacy, Progressive Jewish Students aims to lift up the Progressive Jewish voice on campus to combat anti-Semitism, strengthen the connection between students and the media, provide pastoral support to students running for on-campus elections, enable students to engage in serious dialogue with one another, and advocate for Progressive Jewish voices in the context of Orthodox-normative Jewish student life.

Through internal support and development work, Progressive Jewish Students continues to help build egalitarian and Progressive Jewish tefillah (prayer) spaces connected to university Jewish Societies, help students participate and build relationships with local Progressive Jewish communities and rabbis, run educational sessions, and respond to the mental health crisis by offering proactive resilience building workshops.

Progressive Jewish Students offers a range of programmes and resources during the year including Chizuk, our student leadership programme; Reconnect, our weekend retreat for students to relax and re-energise themselves for the rest of the year; and our famous care packages which we send out throughout the academic year.

Previous care packages have included: a Chanukah pack with chanukiah, candles, dreidel, gelt, and the blessings to celebrate far from home; a Pesach pack with matzah and recipes; a Purim pack including a mask and noise maker; and an end-of-year exam stress pack to help students through the revision period.

However, the most important work that we do is through immeasurable quiet conversations with individual students, getting to know who they are, with what they are concerned, and how we may provide the help that they need.