October 24, 2009
My most recent encounter with the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh came through a moment of great silliness. I am a professor of history at CMU and was invited by Hillel to take one side in the annual "Great Hamantaschen Debate" in spring 2008. The debate question is which is the better holiday food, the hamantaschen or the latke? I argued on behalf of the hamantaschen. To my surprise, as I was preparing I discovered that this odd event actually has a deep and rich history in American academia, and I found myself neglecting some of my other work to write up the pro-hamantaschen ideas that began popping into my mind like popcorn in the week or two before the event. I was actually laughing alone at my computer. The night of the event was a real eye-opener for me. I was shocked at how many students attended the event. I was delighted to see how comfortable they felt, how good the food was, and what good spirits everyone was in. It was a lovely event, plus I won the debate. I am impressed that Hillel's activities range from the more traditional religious activities to something fun like this. My only constructive feedback would be to include some fruit or vegetables with dinner on the Great Debate night. A dinner of fried potato pancakes and baked pastry got a little heavy pretty fast!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About once a year
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
MY ROLE:Professional with expertise in this field & participated in great debate.