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Being Jewish in Oxford

Accommodation

One general issue is that Oxford is a City attracting millions of visitors each year. Accommodation is therefore expensive and can be hard to find. This applies both to hotel rooms and apartments or houses used by longer term visitors. So book early. If you are looking for an apartment then making a reservation a year in advance is highly desirable. A good place to start looking for accommodation is via www.oxfordcity.co.uk. There are no kosher hotels in Oxford. It can be worth e-mailing the OJC as some community members take lodgers in their homes.

Kosher facilities

There is the Oxford Kosher Café at The David Slager Jewish Student Centre, 61 George St, Oxford, OX1 but there are no kosher restaurants or shops in Oxford. Challot (non kosher) can be found at Marks and Spencer food store in Summertown. The large supermarkets normally stock some of the Tival vegetarian range (sausages etc.). The facebook group Kosher in Oxford https://www.facebook.com/groups/oxkosher/ allows local people to co-ordinate their shopping trips and buy for other people at the same time.  The Sainsburys store on Cowley Rd in East Oxford has a small kosher section.  Some Kosher food can also be purchased at the Chabad House 61 George Street OX1 2BQ. To make an order, email oxfordchabad@aol.com or call (01865) 200 158.

Occasionally community or student “Challah bakes” take place; contact the student chaplain on michael@mychaplaincy.co.uk

There is also a very wide range of vegetarian food available in Oxford and content labelling laws are very strict. Even some very orthodox British Jews will eat such items. If you plan to spend a period in England it is worth downloading the ‘is it kosher app’ from isitkosher.uk

Just Kosher in London also delivers to the synagogue every three or four weeks in term time – contact connections@ojc-online.org for details of the next delivery.

Otherwise members drive to one of the major Jewish areas of North West London (Golders Green, Hendon, Edgware) where there are numerous kosher shops and restaurants. This takes about an hour by car. Without a car, the journey involves a train or bus to London and then a tube (subway) ride. See transport section below.

Kosher evening meals - term time

There is a kosher meals service at the Oxford Jewish Centre in Richmond Road during University term times but they must be booked in advance by calling the centre on 01865 514 356 or contact enquiries@ojc-online.org. In term time dinner is served on weekdays, and lunch is served on Saturday. Charges are reasonable. Look on the J-Soc website for further details www.oxfordjsoc.co.uk.

Some kind congregants may offer hospitality to visitors in their own homes on Shabbat and festivals. If you would like to arrange this, please contact us at enquiries@ojc-online.org. It would be very helpful if you could give your home address or contact details, and an indication as to your degree of kashrut and Shabbat observance, for example, how far you would be prepared to walk.

Other Jewish Activities in Oxford

Oxford Jewish Activities

On the one hand Oxford has a mid-sized thriving Jewish community similar to that found in any city that has a large University and range of hi-tech industry, on the other hand Oxford attracts leading Jewish scholars who come to visit the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the Clarendon Institute,  and the Bodleian Library (which houses one of the world's leading collections of historic Jewish books and manuscripts).

The variety and frequency of Jewish and Israeli speakers and activities is exceptional and takes place in a large variety of frameworks, many of which are to be found below.

Transport 

Trains: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Oxford Bus Company OX90  http://x90.oxfordbus.co.uk/timetables-fares/ OX4 2DJ. Tel: 01865 785400

The Oxford Tube http://www.oxfordtube.com/ . Tel: 01865 772250

http://www.tourinaday.com/oxford/london-to-oxford.html

Jsoc

JSOCwww.oxfordjsoc.co.uk/jsoc

Oxford Jsoc is NOT just a religious society; our aims and likewise our events are varied in their nature. JSoc organises social, educational as well as religious events for students of all shades of observance - ranging from those who go to shul three times a day to three times a year. With prestigious speakers, cocktail parties, bagel brunches and of course Friday night meals, Jsoc provides a unique opportunity to mix with other Jewish students. We also provide meals every night of the week at the OJC (Oxford Jewish Community Centre) so eating kosher food in Oxford should never be an issue.

See further details on the student page

Oxford University Israel Society

Oxford University Israel Society aims to promote an appreciation of Israeli culture and foster open discussion about Israeli politics and current affairs. While we run events of a political character, Israel Society does not align with a particular political party. We are however a society that adheres to the principles of Zionism - originally a movement for the re-establishment, development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. It was established as a political movement in 1897 under Theodor Herzl, and was later led by Chaim Weizmann. We are also broadly in favour of a two state solution.

See further details on the student page

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish studies

www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/hjs/index.html

The Hebrew and Jewish Studies Unit, housed in the Oriental Institute, and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, are the university’s principal bodies devoted to these subjects. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the field, teaching and research staff belong to various faculties, including Oriental Studies, Modern Languages and Literature, History, Theology, and Classics. For information about our staff, please see the Hebrew and Jewish Studies section of the staff list. The Unit and the Centre sponsor a broad range of seminars and lectures each year, as well as hosting an active program of visiting scholars from all over the world. Two leading international journals in the field are based in Oxford: the Journal of Jewish Studies and the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.

www.ochjs.ac.uk

www.ochjs.ac.uk/mullerlibrary

The centre houses the Leopold Muller Memorial Library.

Chabad

The Chabad House aims to function as a resource for Jewish learning, education

Oxford Chabadwww.oxfordchabad.org

for Jewish students, complementing the existing Jewish Society activities. They also work together with the Oxford community on educational projects for children, teenagers and adults, as well as developing contacts with Jews in the surrounding areas where there is no established Jewish community. The major part of their time is dedicated to providing programs for Jewish students studying at Oxford and Brookes University, whatever their affiliation, so as to strengthen their attachment to their Jewish roots. They provide kosher food at events and now run a midweek cafe.

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