Alex Rubel
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Hen Mazzig: Confronting the Rise of “Modern” Antisemitism

When Hen Mazzig came to speak at the UCLA Hillel in late October, I had no expectation of seeing him again ten days later at the Jewish National Fund’s National Conference in Boston, some 2,500 miles away from Westwood.  While…

Chanukah 5783: What’s in a name?

Warren Buffett has famously said that while it takes 20 years to build a reputation, five minutes is sufficient to ruin one.  As someone who is only a few months older than twenty myself, I think I’ll have to take…

Seudah Shlishit: No Longer a “Third Wheel”

Picture the scene: It’s a Saturday, late in the afternoon. The sun is beginning its descent toward the horizon. The metaphysical energy of Shabbat has reached its crescendo: God’s presence is palpable. The Day of Rest is coming to a…

Passover Revisited

“In each and every generation,” we read in the Passover Haggadah, “it is one’s duty to regard themselves as though they had personally gone out of Egypt.”  During the first night’s seder this year, I found myself further reflecting on…

Addition by Subtraction

In high school, I remember my algebra teacher used to tell our class: “to subtract a number, add its opposite.” At the time, I appreciated the advice only for its cliched simplicity. As I got older, this statement stuck with…

New Year, Still The Same Old

Not again. As we gear up for the start of winter quarter amid a nationwide spike in Omicron cases, most UCLA students may also be experiencing symptoms of déjà vu. Memories of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic gather…

Jewish World Series

There is a famous scene in the 1980s classic film Airplane, where an elderly woman asks the flight attendant for some “light reading.”  Cleverly, the flight attendant hands her back a leaflet titled “famous Jewish sports legends.”  From actors to…

COVID Aliyah

In August 2020, despite global lockdowns, travel restrictions, and the rampant spread of COVID-19, I had the unique opportunity to take a gap year and study at a yeshiva, a program for post-high school students to pursue Judaic studies in…