Yom Sheini, 23 Elul 5779
Monday, 23 September 2019
LJ students

Liberal Jewish students are a minority within a minority on campus. Liberal Judaism Student Chaplaincy begins with support for our students, whether it is advocacy for the Liberal perspective within the greater Jewish community, helping them cope with anti-Israel demonstrations that spill over into expressions of anti-Semitism, or bringing them an LJ Shabbat filled with familiar music and a home-cooked meal.

website_photo_studentsWe also represent Liberal Judaism to young Jews across the spectrum, showing them that we are active in a contemporary and compelling way, and encouraging them to join us. This includes support of Egalitarian initiatives, in order to offer Judaism to liberal women as well as men.

Liberal Judaism maintains regular contact with around 300 people via the LJ Chaplain’s Facebook page. This is updated several times a week with a mixture of information and humour, and often leads to interactions with individual students as they comment on the posts. It also enables us to collect information about campus events and discussions across the country, giving us a sense of the issues that engage our young people during their student days and nights. This communication is supported by our sister Facebook page for the LJ Student-Worker that has over 400 ‘friends’, and an LJ Students Twitter feed. Experience has shown us that we are more likely to receive student responses via social media than e-mail, so these links are crucial.

Our most successful programme so far this year has been the Chanukah care packages we sent out, helping to make rooms on and off-campus Liberal Jewish homes away from home. The packs included a chanukiah, candles, a dreidel and gelt; along with basic information about the festival, and a student-orientated text study. However, the most important work that we do is 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.