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The Star of David

We’ve contributed to a major UK parliamentary report into understanding the Jewish experience at universities.

The University, and Jewish staff and students, joined others from institutions around the country in giving evidence to the Parliamentary Taskforce on Antisemitism in Higher Education.

Supporting Jewish members of our University community

This was an opportunity to outline the work we’re doing to support Jewish members of our University community, including:

  • Annual events to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

  • The development of a new facility for Jewish students and staff, and potentially members of the local community, thanks to generous alumni funding.

  • A Kosher Kitchen providing Shabbat Friday Night Dinners for members of the Jewish Society.

  • A Jewish Chaplain, within our Chaplaincy Network, who works closely with the Jewish Society and Lead Chaplain.

Work to tackle antisemitism

We’ve also adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism. Our work to tackle antisemitism includes:

  • Encouraging University students, staff and visitors to report antisemitism via our online Report + Support tool, and accessing support through our well-established college and professional service networks.

  • Distributing a leaflet, produced by our Chaplaincy Network and the Jewish Society, to new students outlining support available to those who might experience antisemitism.

  • Staff training, including a previous online panel discussion on Understanding Antisemitism and planned Jewish Life workshop (to be held on 11 September 2023).

  • Liaising with the Community Security Trust, a charity protecting British Jews from antisemitism and related threats.

  • Close working with local police to report hate crimes and share information.

  • Appropriate support from the University’s Chaplaincy and Jewish Society in response to antisemitic incidents locally or nationally or political events that impact particularly on Jewish students.

Supporting faith/belief inclusion

In addition, our Chaplaincy service and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) unit have produced a guide to major religious observances in all world religions represented at Durham to support faith/belief inclusion in our University community.

Dr Shaid Mahmood, our Pro-Vice-Chancellor (EDI), said: “At Durham we celebrate difference, value one another, and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair to all.

“Our support for the Jewish members of our community is an important part of our wider efforts to ensure Durham continues to be a safe and respectful environment where people are comfortable to be themselves and flourish, regardless of their background.”

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