University of Bristol undergraduate Sally Patterson has won the UK’s first ever Campus Pitch Competition, a contest for students to pitch their idea for addressing Jewish issues on campus.
In the competition finale, Sally picked up £5,000 investment for her project ‘Women of Faith in Leadership’. She defeated three other teams to clinch the prize which will see her run an interfaith conference for Muslim and Jewish women at Bristol University.
The judges, who included Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron, Union of Jewish Students President Josh Holt, Pentland Group Chairman Stephen Rubin and World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomat Marina Gerner, also unexpectedly announced that the three runners up would each receive £1,500 to implement their ideas on campus.
The other pitches included a coexistence campaign at Birckbeck, University of London, an Israel focused photography and film competition at the University of Warwick and an interfaith gardening project at Queen Mary University.
Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron said “We were delighted to partner with the WJC to bring the Campus Pitch Competition to the UK. This innovative competition has encouraged and showcased creativity and the excellent entrepreneurial work being done by our Jewish students and their peers on campuses across the country. It was inspiring to hear from students committed to meeting challenges in a positive way. They gave a real sense that the future is bright.”
UJS President Josh Holt, who was the Head Judge on the night, said “Sally’s proposal was excellent. It specifically addresses the very real problems of antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred on campus in a positive way and we were delighted to award her the grand prize. We look forward to seeing her project go from strength to strength. Congratulations too to the worthy runners-up.”
World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said “College campuses have become one of the strongest frontlines in the fight for Israel’s legitimacy. It is a fight that we shouldn’t have to have, but it is one that we must have, as Jewish and pro-Israel students feel silenced and threatened by the dangerous initiatives of those seeking to boycott and delegitimize Israel and Jewish communities. The groups presenting have proven their courage and determination in striving for a more balanced dialogue and a safer space. The World Jewish Congress stands fully behind their advocacy efforts. Together, we can and will change the conversation about Israel and antisemitism on campus.”
The Campus Pitch Competition is a WJC initiative which sees student teams pitch for investment in a project which will address Jewish issues on campus. As a leading affiliate of the WJC, the Board of Deputies ran the competition outside the US for the first time, in association with UJS.
Photo: Sally Patterson speaks about her project