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Where Are They Now: Featuring Lauren Tapper, Past 18 Under 18 Honoree

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It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post, and I’m so excited to share what I have been up to recently. One of the biggest things in my life right now is NFTY. I am the Communications Vice President of the Chicago Area Region of NFTY (NFTY-CAR). This means I write blogs for the URJ and NFTY websites, post a lot on our Instagram page (@nftycar), and take photos and videos at events. After leaving my old school, NFTY is one of the biggest ways I stay involved with the Jewish Community. It connects me to so many old and new friends from around Chicago. We have two cool opportunities coming up: a virtual Halloween movie night on October 23rd, and va’ads. Va’ads are like smaller committees and are a way to take on some leadership at NFTY and help the board in planning events and programs for events. I’m leading the media va’ad, and if you join you can help me make Instagram graphics, write blogs, and post on Instagram. These are pretty low-commitment, but allow you to actually make an impact in NFTY and get to know some new people. Applications are due on the 23rd, and the link to sign up for our movie night and apply to va’ads are both linked on the linktree in our Instagram bio!

Lauren Tapper photo 2

This coming November I’m invited to speak on a panel at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco. I will be talking to the museum’s Teen Art Connect (TAC) Anti-bias Leader’s fellows about my work with Covid-TV, a blog that connects teens from around the world during the Pandemic. This panel is an incredible opportunity, and I’m so excited to connect with the teens in this fellowship and hear about their anti-bias and diversity work within the Jewish community. The goals of Covid-TV--connection, support, understanding--are just as foundational in anti-bias training. There are so many similarities between these fields, and I’m sure we will uncover even more commonalities during the panel.

Lauren Tapper photo 3

Outside of my work within the Jewish community, I’ve been pretty swamped with schoolwork. I know a lot of other people are struggling with managing their workload too, so I’ll say the thing that’s helped me most is finding a balance between school and rest. I’ve found that if I work for too long and don’t pay attention to what I need that I won’t learn as well. It’s just as important to listen to your body and your needs as it is to do your schoolwork. Caring for yourself and your mental health is so important, especially during the school year.

That is all I have for now, but thanks for reading and I hope to see some of you soon at our upcoming NFTY events or in one of the va’ads! 

Lauren Tapper photo

About the Author: Lauren is a Junior at the Lab Schools in Chicago. She is the co-founder and director of Covid-TV, an online platform connecting teens from around the world during the pandemic through emotional and social justice work. She was an 18 Under 18 Honoree in 2021 and a recipient of the Diller TIkkun Olam Awards in 2021. In her free time you can find her watching New Girl, making graphics for the NFTY Instagram page, or drinking an Iced Chai Latte.

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