Q & A with Jason Taper
Texas Hillel's Student Executive Cabinet provides leadership, direction and engagement for the organization. We wanted to know more about our student leaders so we reached out to Jason Taper, Campus Relations Executive Cabinet Member, to get his take on Texas Hillel. Read our Q & A with Jason Taper.
TH: What is your current role at Texas Hillel? Previous roles?
JT: I’m in a new position on the Student Executive Cabinet: Campus Relations. I make sure Texas Hillel is an integrated part of the University, reach out to other organizations for coalition-building, keep track of what other organizations are up to and where we can plug in.
TH: How did you initially get involved at Texas Hillel?
JT: I came for Shabbat as soon as I came to UT. I met some great people and have been coming back since!
TH: What are some of your favorite activities or programs you have attended at Texas Hillel?
JT: Our Hanukkah-Diwali dinner is one of my favorites. It’s incredible to get a chance to talk to people of different backgrounds and celebrate different holidays together, and sparklers don’t hurt either. Israel Block Party is also always great, if not for the sheer ambition of taking over the East Mall with a shuk and a camel, for getting to show off how Israeli culture looks across the world. I’m also partial to Reform services.
TH: Do you think Texas Hillel is meeting the students’ needs and interests?
JT: Hillel is a place that I feel at home, where anytime I want to engage with my Judaism, I can. I know that not every Jewish student feels the same way: on Rosh Hashanah, I had a great, engaging conversation with someone who had come to Hillel for the first time, alone, and described how hard it was to decide to do that. So for the students who already feel like a part of the Hillel community, we absolutely are, but we still have work to do to meet everyone else’s needs.
TH: Can you tell me a little about yourself? Where are you from? What are you studying?
JT: I’m a junior Plan II and Government major from Plano. I love politics, Texas Football (when I don’t also hate it), soccer, and guitar. In addition to Hillel, I’m in Texas AEPi, University Democrats, and do Federal advocacy work for Student Government.