The University of Chicago News Office
Nov. 18, 2004 Press Contact: Josh Schonwald
(773) 702-6421

Sweet and savory debate continues

Latke v. Hamentash 2004 — the 58th incarnation of the Newberger Hillel Center’s ongoing debate over two classics of Jewish cuisine — promises to satisfy appetites for humor and fun at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, in Mandel Hall, 5706 S. University Ave., in the Reynolds Club.

The debate concerns the relative merits of latkes — potato pancakes commonly eaten during Hanukkah — and hamentashen — triangular-shaped pastries associated with Purim.

Following the Jewish practice of kidding teachers and mimicking rabbinical tradition during Purim, the annual Latke-Hamentash symposia have become legendary for their lighthearted wit and the audacity of their participants’ tactics. In testament to the event’s originality, the debates have been copied at other institutions around the country and featured in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.

This year’s debaters are Menachem Brinker, the Henry Crown Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; Physics Professor Robert Geroch; Philip Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music; and Harold Pollack, Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration. Philosophy Professor Ted Cohen will moderate.

Spectators are encouraged to show support for their preferred victual by coming in a latke- or hamentash-related costume.

The 58th annual Latke-Hamentash Debate, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by an opportunity to sample the contested treats for $3 in advance or $5 at the door. For more information, call (773) 752-1127 or visit
Last modified at 02:27 PM CST on Thursday, November 18, 2004.

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