Student Life

Texas Hillel AIPAC policy conference group photo

Texas Hillel is the center of Jewish student life at the University of Texas and other Austin area schools.

We serve the largest population of students in a nineteen-state region with our award-winning, diverse programing. Texas Hillel connects students to their Jewish identities and to each other on their own terms and based on their personal interests. We cultivate micro-communities and invest in what students are passionate about, helping them to connect those passions to their Jewish identity.

Students desiring to get involved and connect with other Jewish students and the wider community can do so through our diverse programming opportunities. We are recognized by The University of Texas at Austin and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life as invaluable partners.

Texas Hillel’s program pillars are:

Jewish Life and Learning

Hillel’s weekly Shabbat dinner is one of our students’ favorite times to step away from their busy weeks and enjoy a bit of calm with old and new friends. Everyone is welcome to join us. A delicious free Shabbat dinner attracts an average of 120 students each week. We are proud to offer three different service options every week before dinner – Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox, as well as an alternative Jewish themed discussion. There is an Orthodox service Shabbat mornings. Once a year the Jewish community comes together for Shabbat 500, a special Friday night experience on campus.

We also offer services and meals for all Jewish holidays. All students, faculty, alumni and community members are welcome at Texas Hillel’s High Holiday services. We have Rabbi and student-led Orthodox, Conservative or Reform services throughout the holidays. Following services, we offer kosher meals. On Passover we host a traditional seder as well as a full week of kosher for Passover lunches and dinners.

In addition to Shabbat and holidays, we offer a variety of learning opportunities such as, Jewish Learning Fellowship, one-on-one study, Hebrew crash course, and a beit midrash program.

For more information about any of our programs, please contact Spencer Hirsch or Rabbi Moshe Trepp.

Social Justice

The Jewish values of tzedek/social justice and tikun olam/repairing the world inspire our work at Texas Hillel and have become a cornerstone of our programming. Our Social Justice Council is divided into five committees: Social Justice Education Committee, Addressing Poverty Committee, Gender Justice and Social Issues Committee, Racial Justice Committee, and Interfaith Committee. Texas Hillel social justice organizations include Challah for Hunger, Latino Jewish Student Coaltion, White Rose Society, and the Bella Abzug Social Justice Fellowship. We also proudly offer immersive alternative break experiences. Past trips include Hungary/Romania, Argentina, Brooklyn, and Give Kids the World.

To learn more or to get involved, please contact Rebecca Mather.

Israel

Texans for Israel, Hillel’s largest student organization, is our umbrella organization for everything Israel related. The group hosts cultural events, advocacy sessions, weekly discussions and speakers. The annual Israel Block Party takes place in the center of campus and attracts thousands of participants for a fun and educational taste of Israel – featuring Israeli food, interactive educational tents, entertainment, and camels. We also offer two yearly Birthright Israel trips and short and long term programs in Israel.

For more information about our Israel programs and to get involved, please check the different pages on this website or contact Assaf Baruchi. For Birthright Israel information, contact Zach Silverman.

Student Leadership and Engagement

At Texas Hillel, we believe in helping to develop student leaders into our future Jewish leaders through internships, mentoring and training programs and leadership positions. This includes the Student Executive Cabinet, which consists of five student leaders who work closely with Texas Hillel staff members to facilitate Jewish life on campus. Through weekly meetings and a range of activities, the Executive Cabinet works hard to offer diverse programing and build relationships with Jewish students, campus organizations and the community.

Texas Hillel is part of Hillel International’s internship program – the Campus Engagement Internship. The Campus Engagement interns are trained to identify and build relationships with students who might not otherwise get involved with Jewish life. Interns do this by understanding students’ interests, passions, and aspirations – and connecting them to opportunities that they may find meaningful and engaging.

Launching Longhorns is a year-long program that facilitates students’ professional and personal growth through mentor relationships, peer support, and experiential learning.

For more information about leadership opportunities contact Spencer Hirsch.