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2017-02-24 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


February 24, 2017  RSS feed

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A house divided: latke-hamantash debate leaves home and hits campus

Two well-known University of South Florida professors will face off at the Third Annual Latke-Hamantash Debate, each defending their Jewish delicacy of choice by applying the knowledge and tools of their respective academic disciplines. Adding faux drama to the mock seriousness of the event, the two professors are also husband and wife.

Dr. Sarina Ergas, USF Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will bravely defend the hamantash – the tasty fruit-filled pastry eaten during Purim, while her husband, Dr. Allan Feldman, USF Professor of Science Education, will valiantly defend the latke – the potato pancake fried in oil and eaten during Hanukkah.

In preparation for the debate, hosted by USF Hillel on Wednesday evening, March 8, students recently participated in an informal poll to determine which professor (and delicacy) would win the debate. Results show that the latke was preferred, three to one, over the hamantash.

Pro-latke USF Hillel student Eitan Quitoriano said “Latkes are savory and can complement any meat or vegetable dish. Everyone loves fried potatoes, no question.”

In the defense of the hamantash, USF Hillel student Michael Leaf countered, “Hamantashen are much more diverse than latkes, as they can have a variety of very tasty fillings.”

The Latke-Hamantash Debate begins at 7 p.m. in room CWY206 of the C.W. Bill Young Hall (ROTC building), 12303 USF Maple Drive on the USF Tampa campus. The event is free and open to the community.

Comedian David Glickman will moderate the debate and a question-and-answer period will immediately follow the program. A post-debate reception featuring homemade latkes and hamantashen will be held afterward.

Hillels of the Florida Suncoast will also announce the winners of the Rutstein Judaic Essay Contest and distribute a free round-trip ticket to Israel to the first place winner and $1,540 in prize money.

RSVPs are requested no later than Monday, March 6, via email at or by calling Hillels of the Florida Suncoast at (813) 899-2788.

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