Latke-Hamantash Debate, UChicago’s beloved food fight, set for Nov. 26

University Communications

Adam Getzler grew up eating latkes and hamantashen, but the third-year biology and political science major has elected to remain tight-lipped about his preference. “No comment,” he said firmly when asked—and he’s decided that neutrality on the issue is his best bet.

Getzler is a lead organizer for this year’s Latke-Hamantash Debate, to be held Tuesday, Nov. 26, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Mandel Hall. Since 1946, the legendary UChicago debate has offered a forum for UChicago scholars across disciplines to argue their positions on which Jewish holiday food is better—latkes (fried potato pancakes eaten during Hanukkah) or hamantashen (tri-cornered cookies filled with poppy seeds, fruit or nuts, a staple during Purim). 

The debate is being held by a coalition of Jewish student organizations, including Alpha Epsilon Pi and the Jewish Student Association (JewSA), and is supported by ORCSA and the Spiritual Life Office. It will feature Rachel Fulton Brown, associate professor in Medieval History; Harold Pollack, the Helen Ross Professor in the School of Social Service Administration; and Carrie Rinker-Schaeffer, director of Urologic Research
and associate professor in Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Ted Cohen, professor in Philosophy, will moderate. “The debaters bring a wide spectrum of academic interest,” said Getzler. “They are also cool professors and fun people.”

A post-debate reception will take place in Hutchinson Commons, where for $5, attendees can sample the foods in question. Getzler, Alpha Pi’s philanthropy chair, said proceeds from the reception will go to Save a Child’s Heart, an international charity that provides improved pediatric heart care to children in the developing world.

The debate is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., and seating is available on a first-come basis. For more information, visit The debate will be webcast at UChicago Live and at

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