Students raise money during annual LatkeFest

Members of the Jewish community enjoy latkes and doughnuts at a LatkeFest held at the Hillel Center hosted by Alpha Epsilon Pi on Nov. 29, 2018.

Robyn Berardi

Students gathered at the Cohn Jewish Student Center Thursday night for LatkeFest held by Alpha Epsilon Pi.

The room was packed with cheering spectators as students scarfed down as many latkes as they could in two minutes to win money and be the newest Latke Lad or Latke Lady.

These students, members of Greek Life organizations, were competing in a latke eating contest at the ninth annual LatkeFest which was centered around  Hanukkah. The event featured all-you-can-eat latkes, a potato pancake traditionally made in Jewish cooking.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch people eat them because they’re not exactly the easiest food to eat, so eating that many in that much time takes a lot of work,” said Paul Weinper, a senior political science major and LatkeFest chair.

LatkeFest raised around $4,100 for Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Repair the World Fund, which donates to ten different organizations, including the Heroes to Heroes Foundation which provides services to veterans and Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation.

“It’s important because not only do all ten beneficiaries and causes touch us, but it’s just important to show our leadership in our own community and show that we care because we do,” said Ezra Katz, a senior chemistry major and president of Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Three women and four men competed to earn the titles of Latke Lad and Latke Lady and $100 to their organization’s philanthropy.

Jessica Chunat, a junior architectural studies major, was named the Latke Lady for the second year in a row.

Chunat, who had never eaten a latke until the contest last year, earned $100 for Sigma Delta Tau’s philanthropy Jewish Women International.

Members of Alpha Epsilon Pi said they hope the event informs attendees about the Repair the World Fund and the organizations it supports.

“I hope attendees gain a closer look at all the good work that both AEPi and Hillel do with raising money and promoting Judaism and awareness on campus to various different Jewish causes,” Weinper said.

Robyn Berardi is a diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected]