Mission: Texas hillel foundation seeks to enrich the lives of jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the jewish people and the world.
Programs: Israel education/texans for israel (tfi) - tfi is one of our strongest and most active micro-communities. Its leadership and participants partner with other student organizations and campus leaders to create allies for the american-israel relationship. Our jewish agency for israel fellow does taglit-birthright israel recruitment and follow-through, staffs the trip, engages students one-on-one and prepares them to participate in thoughtful discussions in support of israel. We sponsor ongoing conversations and programming around israel and study current events through a jewish lens. These help to normalize people's understandings of judaism and israel by relating these topics to students' existing interests, building strategic partnerships with other campus groups and serving as the pro-israel voice at ut-austin. A highlight of the year is our annual israel block party, the largest campus-based pro-israel gathering in the region, which attracts thousands of students and members of the community. Through the newly formed tfi social media committee, students are trained to utilize various social media tools to implement creative outreach methods so that they can strengthen support for israel through increased contacts.
israel jewish life and learning - we offer three student-led conservative, orthodox and reform services on shabbat and holidays, free kosher dinner every shabbat, and host ongoing jewish learning opportunities, including jewish learning fellowship (engages students with the texts and concepts of their jewish heritage in a mature and sophisticated manner). Holiday worship and learning opportunities include rosh hashanah, yom kippur, sukkot, purim, simchat torah and passover.
cultivating community - we host numerous events throughout the academic year, with the purpose of creating an ongoing contact among the students and to texas hillel. Such events include freshman chill, move in brunch, labor day bbq, sukkah activites, hanukkah party and candle lighting in the residence halls, hungary reunion, schmooze with the jews (informal weekly gathering with students and texas hillel staff) and grad students' events. Professional development/networking - launching longhorns, our unique and successful initiative, consists of a group of students that are certified by ut's leadership and ethics institute (lei) and receives one-on-one mentoring by experienced professionals and volunteers in the non-profit and public sector. They learn to make a difference through internships secured in the non-profit sector. Students attend a variety of leadership and social justice lectures, panels and participate in facilitated learning centered around jewish topics of their choosing.