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September 2019 Newsletter
Are you ready to start another academic year?
We hope you had an amazing last academic year, and a brilliant summer! 

You may have had a year full of highs, or a year of challenges, or a year filled with both. Either way, well done to getting to this point, we're proud of you!

We hope you are ready to tackle a new academic year. We are so excited to see you again on campus, so don't forget to follow all our social media to keep up with what we're up to ('Progressive Jewish Students UK on FB, @PJS_UK on Instagram and Twitter).

This edition has a look back on highlights from the last academic year - and a look forward to the amazing programmes we are putting on this coming year. So keep on reading!
Highlights from 2018/2019:
Our PJS End Of Year Party!
Our Shabbat with Leeds Egal.
Our retreat, 'Reconnect' in the Peak District.
Our Chizuk leadership programme on their training weekend in the Peak District.
Our Shabbaton at Oxford University with Oxford Egal.
Our Shabbaton in Durham with Durham JSoc.
Fresher Alert!
Are you starting your first year of university? Still have questions on what to pack, what to expect, and how to make the most of it? We got you! Click the image link below to read our guide for getting ready for university:
Reflections On The Last Year:
Rabbi Daniel Lichman 
There are two verses from Psalm 126 that I love and find myself returning to again and again:
הַזֹּרְעִ֥ים בְּדִמְעָ֗ה בְּרִנָּ֥ה יִקְצֹֽרוּ׃
"They who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy."
הָ֘ל֤וֹךְ יֵלֵ֨ךְ ׀ וּבָכֹה֮ נֹשֵׂ֪א מֶֽשֶׁךְ־הַ֫זָּ֥רַע בֹּֽ֬א־יָב֥וֹא בְרִנָּ֑ה נֹ֝שֵׂ֗א אֲלֻמֹּתָֽיו׃
"Though he goes along weeping, carrying the seed-bag, he shall come back with songs of joy, carrying his sheaves"

Sometimes the metaphor of sewing tears and reaping joy resonates powerfully and deeply. Other times I sit and read the two verses over again and again contemplating them curious about how they might apply.
Our leadership course, Chizuk, began with each participant identifying a situation that was not ideal: the lack of Jewish community on their campus, the lack of an egalitarian prayer space in their JSoc, feeling unwelcome at their JSoc or a lack of meaningful Jewish learning in their lives. By identifying your moments of lack or alienation – the tears referred to in the Psalm – you were able to identify what you were seeking and plant the seeds to create it.
The seeds came in different forms: sometimes a conversation with another student where you discovered that they had a similar experience; sometimes conversations with Fran, Maya or myself. You planted these seeds and I have been inspired by what has grown. And over the summer as you transition from university to home and back again or on to pastures new: the seeds will continue to grow. Make sure you water them with your hopes, fertilise them with your learning and allow your conversations with friends to shine upon them.
Francesca Kurlansky 
Although I was only in the role of PJS fieldworker for 5 months, I have been incredibly inspired by the students I have met. From lunch ‘N’ learns and dine ‘N’ discusess, to our Chizuk leadership programme and student-led shabbatons, the passion and love for Progressive Judaism evident amongst our community of students is amazing. We have run two retreats, one being a leadership training weekend for our Chizuk participants and the other being a weekend for our participants to reconnect to their spirituality. On both of these retreats I was astounded by the student’s depth of engagement and insight into their sense of their own Jewish journey. As well as this, we have had really interesting discussions particularly exploring Jewish feminism and the Shekinah. Although my time with PJS has come to an end as I am moving on to work with LJY-Netzer, I know that PJS is in very safe hands not only with the wonderful students I have worked with, but also with my inspirational colleagues: Maya Skaarbrevik and Rabbi Daniel Lichman. 
Maya Skaarbrevik
The last year has been such a joy, filled with moments of learning, laughter, and new people. I particularly enjoyed teaching sessions on the 'Me Too' movement, Climate change and Feminism. Our retreats really were a highlight, I'm proud of all of our Chizuk participants and the things they've brought to campus, and our Jewish spirituality retreat. One of the most powerful things that was taught was how to bring a sense of presence, vulnerability, and awareness to our everyday lives. 'Hineni' - Here I Am, the words that Moses says to G-d as he calls out for him by the burning bush. Sharing these words with yourself at the beginning of a transformative journey, a moment of anxiety, or when you are feeling joy can ground you in the present moment and make you more connected to life. Will you be saying 'Hineni' before you return to campus? [On the right, a stitching made by our Reconnect Retreat participant Katie Marks!]
Get Ready For Next Year!
We're getting ready to make some campus visits this term!

Want us to come visit you for a Lunch N Learn, Dine N Discuss, or partner with you for FND? Get in touch now! 

For more info on events email: 
Are you studying abroad next term? Have no fear, you can get involved with your new Jewish student community with Kahal! 

KAHAL creates and facilitates transformational Jewish experiences for study abroad students. Working with local Jewish students, families, organizations, and community leaders, KAHAL connects Jewish students to exciting opportunities. Check out some of their student opportunities on their website and Facebook page!

Save The (Provisional) Date!
Our infamous Jewish spirituality retreat 'Reconnect' is happening again! Come together with friends for a weekend of self-discovery, with the goal to restore and develop the elements of themselves that often become lost or pushed to the side over the academic year.
Keep the date in your diary - March 27th- 29th 2020
Chizuk (meaning emotional or spiritual support or encouragement) is our incredible leadership programme for students. As part of the programme we teach and support you in how to create your own Progressive Jewish student communities on campus. The programme has grants for personal developments, as well as grants to fund events on campus. If you are interested in getting involved for our 2020 cohort starting in January, email
Interested in a weekend filled with Jewish Learning? Rabbi Daniel Lichman is looking to run a Beit Midrash weekend for students, learning Talmud, and engaging in transformative Jewish learning. If you are interested in learning more, speak with Rabbi Daniel. Email him at
What is Progressive Jewish Students?
Progressive Jewish Students is a collaborative project between Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism. The goal is to create a space for all Progressive students, and those looking to learn more about what Progressive Judaism is. We invite all students to get involved, and we work closely with students of LJY- Netzer and RSY - Netzer.
See You In September!
A gentle reminder to be kind to yourself, give yourself room to grow and change in this new chapter of your lives.

B'Hatzlacha - Good Luck!

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Jeneration · The Sternberg Centre · 80 East End Road · London, N3 2SY · United Kingdom

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