I’m trying to foster Jewish community virtually during COVID-19.



August 31, 2020

“My name is Octavio, but people call me Tavo. I was raised in Guadalajara, Mexico with my parents and five younger siblings. Although we lived about an hour away from the closest Jewish community, we were still raised in a home where learning, giving and other Jewish values guided our daily lives. We eventually moved to San Antonio, Texas to be part of a strong Jewish and Latino community. As I became more involved with my new community — attending Shabbat services, celebrating Jewish holidays, becoming president of San Antonio Hillel — I gradually became more observant. Now, with the physical separation caused by the coronavirus, so many of our Jewish gatherings have been restricted or canceled. So, I’m trying to foster Jewish community virtually. I created Two-Minute Torah Tuesdays to help students and community members engage in Jewish learning on their own time. Each week, they can hear from educators around the world speak about holidays, the parsha, relationships and other topics on San Antonio Hillel’s Instagram TV. No matter where we are in the world, we can still be a part of meaningful Jewish experiences.” — Tavo Viramontes, University of Texas at San Antonio

Photo taken by Adina Ichilov.