Before being asked to participate in the Latke-Hamantash Debate, Assoc. Prof. Marc Berman was firmly on the side of Team Tuber. With family hailing from a “potato-loving part of the world” near the Carpathian Mountains in Europe, Berman said, potato pancakes “run deep in my soul.”
Problem is Berman, a renowned psychologist who studies the effects of the environment on a person’s psychological well-being, was asked to argue for hamantashen in this year’s event at the University of Chicago, the theme of which was: “Which can best benefit our biosphere?”
Putting his personal feelings aside, Berman delivered an address entitled: “How the latke is destroying our planet, society and our brains, and how hamantaschen can save us.” The presentation, filled with personal stories, academic figures and references to fossil fuels, reflected the tongue-in-cheek nature of the cherished UChicago Hillel tradition.