Star pupils aim for world record with giant human Magen David

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Star pupils aim for world record with giant human Magen David

Rob Rinder joined JCoSS students in an attempt to break the world record for the largest human Star of David.

Drone footage: Howard Raphael/ JCoSS
Drone footage: Howard Raphael/ JCoSS

Some 531 people, comprising JCoSS students, teachers and TV personality Rob Rinder, stood together to create a giant Magen David in the Guinness World record-breaking attempt, organised by the school’s Head Student Team in partnership with Jewish News.

While it could take up to 12 weeks for the official confirmation from Guinness to come back, the attempt, overseen by two independent witnesses more than doubles the previous record of 250 people, held in Hong Kong since 2011.

Students in the JCoSS star wore their white school shirts, others were asked to wear a white top top and everyone was given a white hat. And even the weather got its memo – definitely no need for a rain contingency plan.

Drone footage Howard Raphael/ JCoSS

The record-breaking event was the brainchild of JCoSS deputy head boy Luke Godfrey, 17, who came up with the idea as part of his application for the Head Student Team in autumn last year.

He told Jewish News: “The aim was to make JCoSS ‘officially’ amazing and to stand up to antisemitism together as a community and show the world that we won’t back down.

Drone footage Howard Raphael/ JCoSS

“When I was younger, the Guinness Book of World Records was the only book I was ever obsessed with. I used to read it from cover to cover, whilst attempting to remember as many of the records and facts as I possibly could. It was a dream of mine to become a record breaker, and due to this project, I have done so alongside my peers at JCoSS.

“It’s been a year in the making and it feels special to have planned an event that has broken a world record, but I am equally happy for everyone else involved and proud to have helped others experience such excitement and help them to be able to stand up for something that they believe in and show they are proud to be Jewish.”

The record-breaking feat made for a particularly warm welcome for the new cohort of Year 7s and 12s, who were the only year groups to be in school that day and participate as part of their first day back. It was witnessed by the Mayor of Barnet, Nagus Narenthira and Rabbi Miriam Berger of Finchley Reform Synagogue before being submitted to Guinness for official judication.

Head Student Team, Mrs Raven (Head of Year 13), Dr Melanie Lee (Headteacher) and Rob Rinder

Rob Rinder told the Jewish News: “What better expression of what the Jewish community can achieve alongside each other. This is Jewish education at its best and to do such an attempt in an amazing place of Jewish education – something I am so proud of – there’s nothing better.”

Headteacher Dr Melanie Lee said: “I think today epitomises that JCoSS is about so much more than just what goes on in the classroom. JCoSS is a special school with such a strong sense of community and it felt extremely special to see all the students, new and old, stand together in the star.

“Seeing Luke’s initiative enrich and inspire the whole JCoSS community really reflects the focus we have on helping to develop accomplished mensches, which is a key part of our ethos.”

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