By Milan Perera, News Reporter
University of Bristol student Edward Isaacs has been elected new President of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). Isaacs won the election after just one round of voting, seeing off the challenge of two other candidates – Ábel Keszler and Gavriel Solomons.
His election was announced on Sunday, February 5, at the Annual UJS Conference 2022/23 which was attended by 400 Jewish students from across the UK. UJS is the umbrella organisation of nearly 9000 Jewish students from over 70 universities and Isaacs' appointment as President puts him at the helm of the organisation after the tenure of the current President Joel Rosen.
Isaacs who is reading Politics and International Relations was the President of the University of Bristol Jewish Society (JSoc) between 2020 and 2021 where he fronted a concerted campaign against antisemitism on campus which eventually led to the dismissal of Professor David Miller over antisemitic remarks on Israel and Zionism.
During his presidential campaign Isaacs suggested a ‘progressive prayer space on campus’ and mental health first aid training amongst his list of goals. In his manifesto he also promised to improve the experience of LGBTQ+ students and introduce training with Keshet - an education and training charity with a mission to ensure that Jewish LGBT+ people and their families are included throughout Jewish life in the UK.
The three candidates took part in hustings events at Cambridge and Leeds prior to the election in order to present their vision to Jewish students across in the UK.
Edward Isaacs secured a comfortable margin of 150 votes over the next candidate and more than 50 per cent of the overall votes to seal his victory in the first round.
Isaacs, a former pupil of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School is the current Treasurer of Bristol Debating Society and a serving Trustee of UJS.
He congratulated his fellow candidates and said he is looking forward to the task ahead of him as he represents the interests of Jewish students across the country. Speaking exclusively to Epigram, Isaacs pointed out that:
‘UJS has been a huge part of my life over the last 3 years and it is such an honour to now have the opportunity to lead an organisation that means so much to so many people. It was a privilege to run alongside Abel and Gav. Joel Rosen is leaving enormous shoes to fill with Jewish students being better off for his leadership of UJS. I am really looking forward to getting to work!’