Latkes or hamantashen? UChicago scholars to revive debate Nov. 6

Anna Levin Rosen
Anna Levin Rosen, rabbi and executive director of UChicago Hillel, introduces the 70th annual Latke-Hamantash Debate in 2016.
Photo by
Eddie Quinones
University Communications

For the 71st time, UChicago scholars will debate whether savory latkes or sweet hamantashen deserve culinary dominance.

The age-old question may never be answered, but it will be contested again during the annual Latke-Hamantash Debate. Hosted by the University of Chicago Hillel, this year’s event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at Mandel Hall, and it will also be webcast on Facebook Live.

In the past, faculty members from Nobel Prize winners to University presidents have applied the knowledge of their disciplines in an attempt to persuade the community on which Jewish holiday delicacy—latkes (potato pancakes) or hamantashen (triangular cookies filled with poppy seeds, fruit or nuts)—should reign supreme.

“The debate provides an opportunity for celebration of scholarship, delighting in the complexity of Jewish history and tradition as well as an opportunity to laugh just when the first signs of winter begin,” said Anna Levin Rosen, rabbi and executive director of UChicago Hillel.

This year’s debate will feature faculty members Ayelet Fishbach, professor of behavioral science and marketing at Chicago Booth; Konstantin Umanskiy, associate professor of surgery; and Simeon Chavel, associate professor of the Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School. Hal Weitzman, executive director for intellectual capital at Booth, will moderate.

A campus tradition since 1946, the popular event is free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come basis. For more information, visit https://www.uchicagohillel.org/latke-hamantash-debate.