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Media Advisory: University of Chicago’s Latke-Hamantash Debate fighting it out for the 61st year

Nov. 15, 2007

Some of the University of Chicago’s finest minds — from the disparate fields of Law, Economics, Political Science and Assyriology — will once again convene to debate one of the vexing questions of human history.

Is it Latke or is it Hamantash? 

This year, the 61st annual Latke-Hamantash Debate will take place at 7:30 pm. on Tuesday, November 20, in its usual venue, Mandel Hall, 5706 S. University Avenue.

Ted Cohen, Professor of Philosophy, will return in his role as moderator. Taking positions on the perennially polarizing question of  whether the latke or the hamantash is the most superior Jewish holiday food will be:  Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business; Matthew Stolper, Professor of Assyriology and the John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies in the Oriental Institute; Alberto Simpser, Assistant Professor of Political Science; and Susan Bandes, Visiting Professor of Law.

The debate, which is sponsored by the Neubauer Family Foundation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is free and open to the public, and will be immediately followed by an opportunity for attendees to resolve this issue, once and for all.  You can sample the contested treats for $5 at the reception.

The Latke-Hamantash Debate began 61 years ago as a light-hearted response to Jewish students’ feelings of isolation during the Christmas season. Since the first debate at the Hillel House, the event has grown to a campus-wide extravaganza complete with academic processional and costumes. What’s more, University campuses across the country have started their own traditions based on the original Hyde Park debate. 

In addition to the gastronomic symposium, this year’s event will include musical guests Chicago Rhythm & Jews, an a capella singing group composed of University of Chicago students. A book about the tradition, The Great Latke Hamantash Debate, and DVDs of previous debates will be available for purchase with the proceeds benefiting the University of Chicago’s Hillel.

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Last modified at 01:54 PM CST on Thursday, November 15, 2007

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