The Shmooze

Dreidel Record Shattered With 618 Spinning Tops

By Gary Shapiro

  • Print
  • Share Share

The dreidel will rock! Students at Yeshiva University crowded a gymnasium last night to break the world record for the largest number of people spinning dreidels at one time. An astounding 618 to be exact, easily top-pling the previous record of 541 set by Temple Emanuel at Cherry Hill, N.J., in 2005. The event was not leftist but 618 revolutionists were present and accounted for.

Tension was high as the microphone announced the countdown. Then, the whole dizzying feat lasted only 10 to 20 seconds, after which whoops of cheering filled the auditorium to its rafters. The crowd roared again when “Dreidel Palooza” co-organizer Jason Katz announced that they had the world record at 582 spinners. As if on cue, the song “We are the Champions” boomed over the speaker system. (Saying that one sheet had not been counted, Katz later announced that they in fact had 618 participants. As co-organizer Fiona Guedalia deftly spun it: “We beat our own record.”)

The total number of the spinning dreidels generated enough energy to light a menorah not for eight days but more like 80. Some dreidels spun from left to right, others from right to left, as though taking into account both reading styles, Hebrew and English. Some younger folks were playing “Spinagogue” a kind of dreidel game inside a small, toy Star-of-David shaped arena.

But the evening was much more than just fun. They were spinning for scholarships. Katz said with more than seven out of 10 students receiving tuition assistance, the evening “was a way to give back to the university that has given so much to us.” This marketing and international business major was speaking of real money, not tin-foil-wrapped Hanukkah gelt: proceeds from raffle tickets raised money for “Students Helping Students,” a group that helps undergraduate scholarships.

Guedalia, a Stern College for Women junior in psychology and minoring (“hopefully” she said) in photography, said the evening was a way to have fun and help others. “What better way than breaking a record?” Likewise, said a sophomore, Tzvi Solomon, “What this shows is the unity of the student body coming together.” At the after-party, a new campus a capella group called the Y-Studs sang songs such as the Hebrew version of the Beatles song “Let It Be.” During one song, they made a human menorah extending their arms with cigarette lighters to represent individual flames. Just why did a new a capella group form? “There was an excess of talent on campus,” modestly commented Nathaniel Jaret, one of the singers.

Appropriately named for the Festival of Lights, the campus has another a capella group, amusingly called “the Maccabeats.” (This is almost as funny as a Reconstructionist singing group that once named itself “ApiChorus”).

The dreidel triumph last night may not be the only world record that Yeshiva University shatters. This is, at least, according to Sam Weprin, a Ronald P. Stanton Presidential Fellow, who stepped outside holding a large megaphone. “Next year,” his voice blared, “the world’s largest latke.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Top, Yeshiva University, Spinning, Dreidel, Dreidel Palooza, Fiona Guedalia

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.