Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Israel Exposition showcases nation’s heritage

On March 26, outside of the Student Union, Hillel San Antonio hosted the Israel Expo, an exhibition of Israel’s history, culture, government and international output. Under a tent, visitors were invited to participate in several activities and speak with representatives to increase knowledge of the Israeli people and share information on current events from the nation’s perspective. 

Hillel San Antonio is the local chapter of the international non-profit Jewish empowerment group, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, which aims to connect “Jewish students to each other and to their Judaism, to inspire and equip the next generation of Jewish leaders and to build a thriving Jewish community on campus.” Last semester, the group organized a display of kidnapped Israeli hostages in the Israel-Hamas war on the lawn near the Sombrilla. 

Outside the tent, a group of artists called Artists 4 Israel, spray-painted the word “Humanity First” on a board alongside the hamsa hand and the star of David. Electric candles were lit at the exposition’s entrance “in honor of all the civilian lives lost in the war.” “Israelis and Palestinians are human beings and deserve peace. This starts with the rest of the world seeing humanity in all peoples,” continued the poster atop the candles titled “Light for Humanity.” 

At the first booth, visitors were informed of the ethnic, religious, gender and sexual diversity in Israel and its government. The next booth shared the history of Israel, with stand-up posters covering recent history, including the Oct. 7, 2023, and Nova Music Festival attacks and the yellow ribbon “Bring Them Home” campaign in response to the taking of the hostages. 

The third booth discussed Israel’s military capabilities in detail. Representatives at the table shared the Israel Defense Forces’ inclusion of women, successful military campaigns in the area and the high-tech aerial defense system, the Iron Dome. 

“What would it feel like to be under the threat of rocket attacks every day?” began an informational poster about the system. “The Iron Dome has the ability to anticipate threats headed towards open fields or populated areas — this reduces costs significantly. The United States has provided hundreds of millions of dollars (exact number not known) in recent years to Israel in order to help maintain the Iron Dome system.” 

Informative postcards bearing the flags of several countries, from Kenya to Japan, listed the many ways Israel has provided humanitarian aid in other countries, such as during natural disasters or to assist with chronic issues such as improving maternal health. 

At the back center of the exposition, visitors could try authentic Israeli street food. A plate consisted of fries, hummus, falafel, a chickpea patty served on bread and Israeli salad, which was a combination of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and bell peppers. There were also imported chip-like snacks. 

The following booth had visitors guess which inventions and products were of Israeli origin for a chance to win a USB stick or potted succulent. The last booth displayed celebrities of Jewish or Israeli origin and Israeli films and music that are popular within the country or that have found international success, such as Netta Barzilai’s “Toy.” 

The Israel Expo is anticipated to return next year. More information about Hillel San Antonio is available on their website,

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About the Contributors
Faith Kouadio, Staff Writer

Faith (she/her) is a public health major with a minor in information systems. Despite choosing to pursue studies in these specific fields, she enjoys writing and communications and hopes to incorporate them as a key part of her career. She believes in an increasingly information-heavy world, everyone has a duty to responsibly disseminate information – contributing to the Paisano is her small way of accomplishing this.

If you ask Faith what movie she saw last night, she will have a new answer every time. Other than watching movies, she enjoys listening to and collecting music and traveling. Having grown up in the Toronto region, Texas is one stop from the many places she has called home. After her anticipated graduation in Spring 2024, she’s excited to see where life takes her next.

Dustin Vickers, Photo Editor
Dustin (He/Him) is a third-year medical humanities major with a concentration in health careers. After graduation, he plans on attending medical school in hopes of becoming an emergency radiologist. When he’s out of the classroom, he is helping run the swim club with his co-president, blasting some sick beats, or looking for a good spot to grub.

Comments (2)

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  • S

    SarahApr 2, 2024 at 8:28 pm

    You cannot legally marry if you are gay in Israel, how performative.

  • A

    AnnaApr 2, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    Disgusting. How dare you call this opinion piece news. Maybe highlight the other side for once. Wait you won’t. Wonder why. How dare they cry about rockets when they don’t have to worry about their children starving to death or sleep in the mud because they’re the ones that forced them out of their homes in the first place. Biggest joke of a new article I’ve ever seen. Their army snipes innocent children, I’m sure they’re proud of that.