2012     2013     2014

The Latke-Hamantash Debate has been a University of Chicago tradition since 1946. UChicago faculty members apply the knowledge and tools of their disciplines to resolve this age-old question in an evening of fun and frivolity! Past participants have included Nobel Prize winners and University presidents. Join us in Mandel Hall for yet another attempt to resolve this question once and for all. Attendance typically soars above 1,000 so come early for good seats!

As usual, we will have a post-debate reception in Hutchinson Commons where you can taste latkes and hamantashen and decide for yourself! ($5)

This year's debate is brought to you by the brothers of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. AEPi is the International Jewish fraternity with hundreds of chapters across five countries. The debate is supported by the Spiritual Life Office at Rockefeller Chapel and Campus and Student Life, along with Jewish community organizations on campus.

A big thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and resources to make this event happen!

Support our philanthropic efforts as part of the Repair the World Fund at AEPiGivesBack.org.

Time & Location

7:30 PM November 26, 2013
Doors open at 6:45 PM
Admittance is free and seats are first-come, first-served
Mandel Hall, Reynold's Club
1131 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Post-Debate Reception

Taste the contenders (latkes and hamantashen) and decide for yourself!
Hutchinson Commons


Parking is available in the North Campus Ramp on 55th St/Ellis Ave. Street parking is limited and not guaranteed.

Public Transit

The University of Chicago is serviced by CTA busses 2, 6, X28, and 55. The 55th/56th/57th St Metra Electric stop is also within walking distance of the University.


Latkes are shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, flour, and egg. They are traditionally eaten during the festival of Hanukkah. The oil for cooking the latkes is symbolic of the oil from the Hanukkah story that kept the menorah in the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit with a long-lasting flame that is celebrated as a miracle.


Hamantashen are filled, triangular-shaped cookies or pastries. The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough, with a filling placed in the center. It is traditionally eaten during the holiday of Purim. Hamantashen are made with many different fillings, including the traditional poppy seeds, prunes, nuts, dates, apricots, apples, fruit preserves, cherries, and chocolate.

Ted Cohen

Philosophy · Moderator

Ted Cohen is Professor in Philosophy, the College, the Committee on Art and Design, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1962, the Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1967. Cohen works mainly in the philosophy of art. Among his recent publications are the book Jokes, and the essays, "Identifying with Metaphor," "Metaphor, Feeling, and Narrative," and "Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics."

Rachel Fulton Brown

Medieval History

Rachel Fulton Brown is Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary and of numerous articles, including "My Psalter, My Self; or How to Get a Grip on the Office According to Jan Mombaer." She was the recipient of the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2007. Her courses for the College have included "War in the Middle Ages," "Knights and Samurai," and "Tolkien: Medieval and Modern." In 2012, she was the silver medalist in Veteran 40 Women's Foil at the United States Fencing Association Summer National Championships. While she has never battled a dragon herself, she keeps a baby dragon on guard in her office on campus, whom you can meet if you come to see her in her office hours.

Harold Pollack

Social Services Administration

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration. He is also Co-Director of The University of Chicago Crime Lab. His research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University. He holds a doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard University. His writings appear in Washington Post, the Nation, the New York Times, New Republic, and other publications. He is best known for his 2008 investigative piece, “Barack Obama as the first Jewish President.” His greatest lifetime achievement remains having won an intramural wrestling tournament in 1984.

Carrie Rinker-Schaeffer


Dr. Carrie Rinker-Schaeffer pursued her postdoctoral research on the identification of metastasis-suppressor genes for prostate cancer at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her major interest is in identifying genes, which regulate prostate cancer metastasis. She and her co-workers have transferred human chromosomes 17, 12, and 13 into highly metastatic prostate and breast cancer cells to test the ability of these microcell hybrids to suppress spontaneous metastasis in SCID mice.