Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) has always been a hostile environment for Jewish students around the world. Given South Africa’s Apartheid history, IAW poses a threat to students who want to study in a peaceful and respectful environment. In 2014 the ruling party of South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) have officially endorsed the IAW (which is to take place 10-16 March) and with that legitimized this hate campaign.
Last week over 70 members of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) met in Sydney for Basic Training, the annual four-day territory training conference. The conference included high-level guest speakers, leadership training, skills and team building, as well as opportunities for students to informally meet and plan social events for the year ahead. AUJS is Executive Member of WUJS, working closely with the WUJS team all year long.
WUJS is in contact with a number of students in Venezuela. Reports coming out of the country are deeply disturbing and WUJS calls for an immediate cessation of violence towards students. Student leaders have told WUJS Chairperson, Andi, of beating and imprisonment by the government. The situation appears to be deteriorating and there are reports of shortages of basic food items and medicines. WUJS is looking for ways of helping both the students on the ground and the Jewish community in general.
The World Union of Jewish Students has held its annual General Assembly on January 1st 2014 in Jerusalem. This year was an election year and Andi Gergely, from Budapest, won the election with a majority of votes and thus will serve as WUJS Chairperson until January 2016. Previously, Andi Gergely served as President of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) between 2011-2013 and ran numerous international project and campaigns during her mandate. Andi is a member of the Executive Board of the World Jewish Congress, representing young adults.
Over 100 student leaders gathered for the annual WUJS Congress in December 2013. Delegations from as far as Australia and Chile met with North American and European Jewish students to map out a plan of action for grass-roots campaigns aimed at restoring proportion and fairness into Israel discourse on campus. The delegates also attended seminars on Holocaust education, inter-faith workshops and a tours of the Negev courtesy of KKL.