Being Jewish at University
From Katarzyna Stoinska on September 1st, 2021
Welcome to the ‘Being at University’ podcast. I’m Harriet Harris, Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, and in this first series we explore what it is like being people of particular faith or belief at University.
What I love about this series is hearing students talk about how their faith or beliefs bring them connection and community, exposure to different perspectives, and the grace to negotiate difference. They also talk about challenges, including discrimination and micro-aggressions. And we hear lots throughout this series about choosing a university, arriving at university, making friends, joining societies – the stuff of student life.
Today I am joined by Stav Salpeter, a 4th year International Relations and International Law undergraduate from Israel and Norway, and the Interfaith and Intrafaith Officer within the Jewish Society. Stav found a warm welcome at university, and also some resistance to her as a Jew and an Israeli. She responded by bringing people together: co-creating the Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue Society, which now has global reach, working with the Student Association to have Jewish Students recognised within their minority ethnic work, and being part of the inspirational Co-Existence initiative which brings students together from all faiths and none.
Stav gives us a taste of the vibrancy and diversity of Jewish community. Coming from a largely secular Jewish background herself, Stav has been able to discover at university so many other ways of being Jewish. She gives the most delightful account of the Friday Night (Shabbat) dinners, which will make us all want to go along – and to which we are all welcome!
Music: ‘Avulekile’ by Soweto Melodic Voices, from their CD Harambee, 2014.
Soweto Melodic Voices is a youth choir from Soweto, supported by the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, to inspire young people and schools in Edinburgh, and to record music in Soweto. For details of the Edinburgh-Soweto link see here.