EUJS board meetings are always an important occasion. It’s the time when motions are submitted and discussed, when the President is able to share his outlook for the organisation for the upcoming months and is also the time when the entire EUJS team meet and, besides anything, are able to enjoy each other’s company and have a good catch up.
This weekend, the team held its second board meeting of the year in Amsterdam. Before EUJS got down to business, however, the team were able to enjoy the City of Canals as on Thursday night the team attended a big Chanukah lighting ceremony in Dam Square which included its fair share of suvganiot-eating. After this, a special falafel dinner was held in the town centre where Rabbi Yanki Jacobs from the community gave a meaningful talk on Chanukah and the significance of the Festival of Lights. He also spoke about the work of EUJS as a Jewish student organisation.
Friday morning saw the start of many hours of important work as President Benny and Executive Director Jonathan gathered the team to discuss the most recent news and events at EUJS. During this, a report was given which clarified what each member union had been doing; their successes and their struggles. The session was positive as board members were able to identify specific areas for improvement, some of which were simple, but are clear to have long-lasting effects. Discussions continued with a round table session on communications and outreach where Communications Officer Elliot opened the floor to suggestions, comments and ideas for the organisations outreach strategies.
Friday ended with sessions on policy and advocacy before laptops were closed and candles were lit in preparation for Shabbat. The team enjoyed a Dutch style Shabbat dinner, hosted by Jonathan and his family.
On Saturday, sessions reconvened at Jonathan’s house and the team were ready to start their second day of discussions. After an introductory session on policy-making, the group split into teams and worked on particular topics and motions. On ending Shabbat, the team then sat together and voted on its new policies. Although this was only the beginning of the process, it was agreed that this would lead to more transparent, coordinated efforts within the organisation. After dinner, policy-making continued as Board Member Hester van Trommel hosted the final working session of the board meeting.
The end of the board meeting was made significant by an exclusively specially organised visit to the Anne Frank House. On the visit, Benny explained, “It was important for us to reflect on the past after having spoken so much about EUJS’ future. The story of Anne Frank is not only touching, but also a unique story of young Jewish perspectives and narratives”.