ruby, rachel, noahOn Wednesday, Hillel hosted a discussion with local entrepreneur and founder of Noah’s Bagels(the first was on College Avenue), Noah Alper. There were doughnuts of plenty, an appropriate choice since they are essentially just the fried, frosted bastard children of the bagel. But we digress.

Noah is exactly how you’d picture him: a short, animated little Jewish fellow with a newsboy cap, an argyle vest and a whole lotta personality. The man has a serious knack for starting businesses but claims not to have much interest in the whole running part. He founded the first official health food store (now part of Whole Foods), then moved on to gourmet housewares before discovering bagels.

His only mistake was founding Holy Land Gifts Co., a company with the goal of “selling Israeli-made goods to Christian fundamentalists,” inspired by his first trip to Israel. He then jumped on the bagel bandwagon at a time when carbo loading was the new diet fad. When people realized that they actually had to run the marathon to lose weight, he explains, he got out of the bagel biz. read more »

It’s probably occurred to all of you at some point or another that if Noah’s New York Bagels was instead called Noah’s Berkeley Bagels, it wouldn’t be nearly as successful. As it turns out, the first Noah’s Bagels was started by the semi-mythical Noah Alper on College Avenue way back in the golden age of the 1990s before selling it for a cool $100 million.

And this Wednesday, Feb. 24 between 7 and 8 p.m., Noah himself is coming to Berkeley—specifically, at the Berkeley Hillel Chapel at 2736 Bancroft Way. Before you ask, yes, there will be free food—though if bagels count as a dessert, we’re not sure. The Facebook description: “The founder of Noah’s bagels and free desserts, what else could you want? Anyone is welcome!”

Image Source: Thomas Hawk under Creative Commons
Getting to Know Noah [Facebook page]

If the words “Israeli film” leave you drawing a blank, you’re probably not alone. But being the curious, open-minded (and frugal) Berkeley student you are, the upcoming free Israel film festival is the perfect opportunity to educate yourself about the cinema of a different country and more importantly, eat free kosher goodies. We said the magic words: free food and entertainment. Now you have no excuse.

“The Spirit of Tel Aviv” is a month-long festival hosted by Hillel, showing free films every Monday at 6:00 p. m. in the Pacific Film Archive. Here’s a list of the films that will be shown: read more »


2547802515_97436f03b6Finals are kind of like being pregnant: they’re painful, you console yourself with the fact they’ll be over soon and you can eat whatever you want without remorse (hey, YoPo is brain food). Oh yeah, and you’re f***ed.

So if you’re feeling especially snacky, or just generally into mooching, we’ve done the work for you. Hey, the least the university can do for stealing your identity is throw you a few donut holes.

What: Free Donut Holes & Coffee/Hot Chocolate

Where: Outside Moffit May 17th 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
The Catch: You may have to make awkward small talk and/or feign interest in the goals of the Student Advocate’s Office. read more »