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Tributes to Alan Senitt

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-07-11

Alan Senitt

Alan Senitt

Tributes from all sections of the community to former Union of Jewish Students chairman Alan Senitt have been coming in following his brutal murder on Sunday morning in Washington DC.

"The Jewish community as a whole has lost one of its bright young leaders and the wider world has lost a champion of peace and goodwill, " said Mr Senitt's parents, Jack and Karen, sister Emma and brother James in a statement. "It will take us a lifetime to come to terms with our tragic loss." 

In a statement, the Union of Jewish Students said: "Alan was a student officer who led the Jewish student movement with distinction and pride. Positively affecting the lives of thousands of students, from his time at Birmingham University to becoming UJS Chairperson, Alan was a leader and a friend. His passion for Jewish life on campus and love of Israel has inspired people across the student movement whilst his message of tolerance and peace between communities will motivate us for the future."

"He was a serious contender for mainstream political life. He was up and coming. He would have been brilliant, I'm sure of it," said Danny Stone director of the Co-Existence Trust, an organisation which Mr Senitt was previously director of and which worked towards dialogue between Jews and Muslims.

"I am utterly appalled. The snuffing out of any young life is more terrible than words can express. Murdering someone of such talent and decency is the very embodiment of evil," said Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of The Movement for Reform Judaism. "Alan was a highly talented and committed communal activist with a hugely promising career ahead of him. Our hearts go out to the Senitt family."

The Board of Deputies issued a statement: "The president, honorary officers, deputies and staff of the Board of Deputies are deeply shocked and saddened at the untimely death of Alan Senitt.  Alan’s was an outstanding example of the passionate and committed involvement of our student leadership in our community and our support of Israel."

It further added: "As president of the Union of Jewish Students, Alan also served as the UJS Deputy to the Board, representing the Board at meetings with the Prime Minister and others at the highest level.  His commitment and enthusiasm for the community and its interests continued after UJS, to the present and his time in Washington should have been a further step in a glittering career.  We deeply mourn his loss and send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

BICOM, an organisation Mr Senitt worked for said: "We deeply mourn the tragic loss of our dear friend and colleague Alan Senitt, whose life was brutally taken from him on Sunday. Alan was a true shining star, a friend and a caring, peace-loving human being. Despite his young age, his contributions to the community and to peace-making in the world were already making a difference. The BICOM family will miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with his family at this time."

Speaking to the Press Association, Lord Janner said of Mr Senitt with whom he worked at the Co-Existence Trust: "He was a delight to work with and this is a terrible tragedy."

In a statement, the Jewish Leadership Council which is made up of a number of leading Jewish organisations and individuals said of Mr Senitt:

"Alan was a communal professional who brought great distinction to every role that he held.  Alan became a true friend of those that he worked with.  He was an outstanding and passionate advocate for Israel, whilst articulating a message of tolerance and co-existence.  Alan will be remembered as somebody who regarded service to the community as a privilege and was always determined to make a positive impact on communal life.  His example of Jewish leadership will inspire many future leaders of our community.  He will be remembered with affection and admiration."