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Friends pay tribute to former Leeds University student who died

A Jewish student hailed as “a witty, free spirited, and warm person” has died in an accident during a holiday in Albania.

Zohar Dean Collins, 22, from Rotherhithe, “always had a smile on his face”, say tributes in an online memorial.

The University of Leeds physics student was on holiday with friends to Dhërmi, on the Albanian Riviera, after finishing his third year of university.

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An online fundraiser set up to support Mr Collins’ parents and three siblings will contribute to the costs of bringing his body back to the UK and his funeral. Any funds on top of that will go to the family to use as needed.

It has already raised £23,000 from more than 800 donors.

It says: “We are all unbelievably heartbroken from the tragic news of the death of Zohar on Wednesday 1st June 2022.

“We are all remembering Zohar as the witty, free spirited, and warm person he was. He was truly special and touched many hearts along his journey and He leaves behind a massive family including three beautiful siblings, two parents, two grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and a community of close friends.

“We will keep the memory of our beautiful friend alive by keeping all these precious moments close to our hearts.”

In one of many tributes to Mr Collins, former schoolmate Tal said: “He got along with everyone like he had been there since day 1. He was the life of the party and his energy was a joke. I am only now realising how many things I learnt from him.”

Friend Ryan said: “He always doing the things he loved whilst being a free spirit, which is one of the things that people loved about him.

“Zohar was the happiest, most positive and full of energy and life person that I’ve ever met and I had the pleasure of calling him one of my best friends. From the moment we met at the start of sixth form we became friends and started to create memories together and within our friendship group. From travelling round Europe on trains for 3 and a half weeks, countless trips to the pub, music festivals and concerts and out for dinner with friends,

“Zohar was always smiling, making jokes, laughing and was genuinely the life and soul of every situation. He was always up for anything as he loved a challenge or an adventure. He never wasted time and was always doing the things he loved whilst being a free spirit which is one of the things that people loved about him. As a fellow Chelsea supporter as well I was lucky enough to go to a match with Zohar this year which was something we had not done together in the past so this match will forever be special in my eyes.

“I will forever cherish the memories we shared together and the friendship we created and I am going to miss him so much.”

Also in the online memorial page, a former teacher Miss Feaver said: “You were an incredible young man. I loved teaching you. I loved your passion, determination, brilliant intelligence and wit, to name a few of your wonderful qualities.”

In a statement, Leeds University Physics Society recalled a “dear friend” and “incredibly valued member”.

It said: “The loss of Zohar leaves a huge hole in our lives and the committee will not be the same without him.”

The Union of Jewish Students said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Zohar and all those who are impacted by this tragic news. If any Jewish students need support, visit ujs.org.uk/mental_health or reach out to any of our team.”

Source: Jewish News

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