NJP (Nice Jewish Person) Julia Tapper!

Each month, The Well highlights an amazing (and eligible!) individual.
This month, we have a conversation with NJP Julia Tapper!

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TW: How do you spend your days?

JT: On a professional level, I am a financial counselor, so I work with families who need a safe place to talk about and work through difficult issues. On a personal level, I come from a family of artists so I have always learned to see the world through a creative lens.  I am a serious photographer, constantly capturing moments that fly by in our fast paced world.  One of my favorite ways to spend the day is an early morning visit to Eastern Market.  Being there combines my love of fresh ingredients and the prospect of cooking something wonderful with the positive vibe that flows through the market.

TW: What’s your alma mater? What was Jewish life like there?

JT: I graduated from U of M. Jewish life in Ann Arbor was vibrant and from both a cultural and a religious standpoint, I felt very connected to Judaism while I was a student there. I helped start an organization called Jewish Perspectives on Globalization, which allowed myself and other students to give back with tikkun olam while learning about Jewish life in other parts of the world.

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TW: What’s your favorite book and what about it moves you?

JT: I love to read so that’s a tough one. One of my favorites is called The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman. It accentuates the dichotomy between our western medical model and the practices and beliefs of eastern medicine.

TW: Where would you like to travel that you haven’t been?

JT: I would love to travel to the Galapagos Islands. Darwin, as a failing medical student, was sent by his father as an unpaid naturalist guest to spend five weeks in the Islands. What he observed there became the basis of his life’s work and provided the impetus for his theory of natural selection.  Science and biology are two of the areas that spark my never-ending curiosity about our world. 

TW: What accomplishment are you the most proud of?

JT: I am most proud of being exactly where I am. I very much look forward to the things that bring me the most joy. It’s been a big learning curve but I know who I am and what I believe in.

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TW: How do you like to give back to the community/others?

JT: I live my life believing that paying it forward on a daily basis makes a tremendous difference in our world.

TW: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and why?

JT: I love Shabbat because of Havdallah. The marking of the close of one week and the start of another helps me to live in the moment and to be grateful for the week I’ve had and the one ahead.

TW: Favorite Jewish food?

JT: It’s a tie between kugel, matzah balls and charoset.

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TW: Who is the coolest Jew?

JT: Adam Grant.

TW: Would you rather win a Nobel prize (for what?), an Academy Award (in what category?) or an Olympic medal (for what sport?)?

JT: I would prefer to win a World Press Photo award for images relating to conflict and human rights issues.

TW: How about a fun fact?

JT: I have travelled to twenty-two countries, including a photographic expedition to the western coast of India.

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