Cultural Studies

Photography by Lloyd DeGrane

Nosh the vote
Three Tuesdays after the ‘08 presidential election, a contest of a different sort took place in Mandel Hall: the Newberger Hillel Center’s 62nd annual Latke Hamantash Debate. Photographer Lloyd DeGrane shot the action. —R.E.K.

Hundreds of students and community members packed into Mandel to hear the four faculty panelists—Law School professor Tom Ginsburg, dean of Rockefeller Chapel Elizabeth Davenport, South Asian languages and civilizations professor Gary Tubb, and professor of medicine Roy Weiss—tout the merits of the two Jewish holiday treats.

At the post-debate reception, audience members like Ricky Zacharias, ‘12, tasted the goods for themselves.

The night wouldn’t be complete without food: the debaters were served dinner in Hutchinson Commons before the event.

Endocrinologist Weiss turned to medicine to argue his side. His talk: “The latke: the edible anti-obesity hormone-evoking disc superior to the hamantash.”

Election allusions ran rampant, both in publicity and during the debate. Hillel staffer Jena Asta organized signs and students for the processional into Mandel Hall.

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Listen to Kevin Coval, the poet-in-residence at the Newberger Hillel Center, rap about macaroons’ superiority to latkes and hamentashen.

Read the lyrics to the "Battle of the Macaroon"


Wikipedia: Latke-hamantash debate

University of Chicago Press: Excerpts from The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate


Chicago Maroon: Latkes, hamantashen still polarizing after 62 years (Nov. 26, 2008)

University of Chicago Magazine: Shticking to Their Puns (Dec. 2005) Hanukkah Food Smackdown! Latkes vs. Hamantashen (Dec. 22, 2008)