AUJS campaign receives international award

AUJS delegates at the WUJS Congress.

THE Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) was recognised on the international stage when the organisation won the Campaign of the Year award at last week’s World Union of Jewish Students Congress.

Committed to the fight against antisemitism on campuses, AUJS received the noteworthy award at the annual congress in Jerusalem for its work in passing motions supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism over the 2017-2018 period.

“One of the most important things that AUJS does is protect Jewish students on campus,” said AUJS chairperson, Josef Wilkinson.

“The Executive Council of Australian Jewry reported a 59 per cent increase in antisemitic incidents over 2018, and knowing that AUJS has gained the support on campus and from the National Union of Students (NUS) to stand up against these issues is all thanks to the hard work of our volunteers throughout our ongoing IHRA campaign.”

At the NUS national conference last year, AUJS, despite holding no votes at the conference, passed a motion supporting the IHRA definition. Since then, they have had similar motions passed on five campuses in Australia.

“By having a motion supporting the definition passed on campus, we are far better placed as a club and society to effectively fight antisemitism on campuses,” said Wilkinson.

“Not only do we have full support from the student associations, but with a refined definition for antisemitism, identifying incidents and getting support in fighting against them is far easier.”

The award comes prior to the commencement of the university year – a time when displays of antisemitism on campuses have dismayed AUJS in recent years.

In an AUJS and NUS joint statement last year, it was reported that 2018 was the third consecutive year of antisemitic activity on university campuses during the first week of classes.

The statement also referred to the We Must Act Against AntiSemitism resolution that was successfully passed by AUJS at the NUS National Conference in December 2017.