Q & A: Daniel Grabiner, Union of Jewish Students Outgoing President

1. What motivates you to be involved in communal life? 

I have always been involved in the community and after being the President of a Jewish Society when I was on campus in Leeds, UJS simply felt like the next step. I truly value our community and am a product of what it offers. I have been on summer camps, a gap year; involved in music and theatre and put on events in the community. This involvement has strengthened my Jewish identity and I wanted to give something back to a community that has already provided me so much.

2. What is the most exciting project that you have been involved in during your time at UJS?

The thing that I have found most exciting over the last year has been working with passionate, dynamic and innovative students. We have seen a number of new projects this year from across the country with different aims, motivations and outcomes. Nottingham J-Soc’s fundraising initiative and event 100 for 100 raised upwards of £11,000 purely by inspiring their students to all take part in small scale fundraising initiatives, coming together to raise this enormous sum for the good of eight different charities! Not all initiatives are so widely and publicly recognised. An example of this is the educational programme, Lishma, the brainchild of Leeds students that encourages students to facilitate discussions for their peers and the Blood Donation project, pioneered by Abigail Kay, a London student. What these students share is their roles as peer leaders. They inspire each other to learn more, achieve more and do more and after a spending a year with them, I am confident that this will stand us in good stead for the future.

3. How has the JLC added value to the work that UJS carries out?

The JLC has been enormously helpful to the work that UJS has done this year. We always look for partners who understand the values that underpin the work of UJS; peer leadership and cross communalism and the JLC is one of our closest partners. Not only do the professional staff and all members of the JLC appreciate that student leadership is important but they continue to offer support, assistance and guidance when asked. For this we are truly grateful.