The Centre-Left Candidate: A Response

Adam Schapira

In their analysis of this UJS election, Bz Gilinsky and Ella Taylor argue that there is no centre-left candidate. I am on the right, they argue, and progressive students must choose between centrist Joshua Holt and radical left-winger Eran Cohen. I have been attacked by all circles: the orthodox have accused me of coshing to the progressives; the progressives have accused me of being a ‘right winger’.

The truth is, as my policies should demonstrate, I am the centre-left candidate with the vision needed to take UJS in the right direction.

I am running to be UJS president to deliver real change for our student movement. I want to energise our student movement. I want to talk about and engage with the crucial issues of our time.

This UJS election is the most critical election in UJS history. It comes at a time of great concern for Jewish students around the country. Your vote is crucial.

We need a strong leader to counter the whirlwind of hate faced on so many university campuses. As UJS president, I will take a hard line against the voices of hate, but never waver in my commitment to two states for two peoples. Whilst I will resolutely oppose the BDS movement, I will be equally vocal in all efforts to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis can one day live side-by-side in peace, equality, and dignity.

But anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric should not define our university experience. UJS exists to enrich our Jewish experiences: from Friday night dinners, to drunken nights at booze for Jews, to lighting Chanukah candles in your university halls, it is the memories we share together that last a lifetime. UJS’ core mission should never change.

My campaign is about talking about issues previously unrepresented in our student movement.

It’s about building a dynamic, engaged, and ambitious UJS.

In short, it’s about Transforming the UJS that we love.

We will do this in four ways.

First, we need strong leadership to present our voice in the national media. As president, you can expect a much more vocal and proactive leader, defending our vital interests on campus.

Second, I want to think globally and act locally. The Syrian refugee crisis is the most pressing humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Millions have been displaced from their homes. Thousands have been tragically killed. As Jewish students, we have a unique responsibility to help those most vulnerable. Last Monday, working with World Jewish relief, I launched a campaign to raise £100,000 to support the humanitarian relief efforts surrounding the refugee crisis. I hope you will all join me in our fundraising efforts.

Third, I will mandate UJS to create a bespoke women in Jewish leadership programme. It’s time we end the systematic gender inequality that exists within our community. That starts with Jewish female students, who represent the future talent of our community.

Fourth, I will empower Jewish societies by giving them more responsibility and autonomy over their JSocs. A significant upfront annual grant will free UJS’ sabbatical officers and JSoc committee members from endless bureaucracy, and lead to better events at your JSoc.

This election is about ideas that will deliver real change.

So I urge you: go beyond the rhetoric and think about the candidate offering something genuinely different. Share my ideas, get involved and let’s begin a conversation that will transform the UJS that we love!

Read more about Adam’s campaign here.

Jewish students can vote in Presidential elections here. If you are not currently a member of UJS, register to vote here