Universities Minister Jo Johnson discusses antisemitism and religious freedoms with Jewish groups

Jewish community organisations this week held a meeting with Universities Minister Jo Johnson, arranged by the Board of Deputies, to discuss topics including antisemitism and freedom of speech, religious freedom issues and ways in which the new government will be able to support Jewish students and academics.

Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman led the delegation, which comprised colleagues from the Union of Jewish Students, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community Security Trust, and University Jewish Chaplaincy.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:

“I am pleased to have met with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and other members from Jewish representative groups today to discuss Jewish students and academics’ experience in higher education.

“I have listened to the concerns and challenges Jewish students face and I am clear that there is no place within higher education for any form of hatred or discrimination – including antisemitism. That is why the Government is working with the Office for Students and UUK to take action to ensure everyone can thrive at university.”

Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman, UJS President Esther Offenberg, the JLC’s Claudia Mendoza, CST’s Jonny Newton and Jewish Chaplaincy representative Rabbi Michael Rosenfeld-Schueler said:

“The Jewish community is pleased to welcome Minister Jo Johnson back to the role of Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.

“We would like to thank the Minister for meeting with us, and for the opportunity to discuss key areas of importance for Jewish students, academics, and the wider community.

“The Minister’s previous work in the role on the issues of antisemitism and freedom of speech on campus reassures us that under this government, Jewish life on campus will thrive in a safe and welcoming environment for all. We look forward to working with the Minister addressing our shared priorities.”

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