Hanukkah Celebration 2009

On Sunday, December 13, Temple B’nai Israel in Tupelo held its annual Hanukkah Celebration.

As usual, there was an excellent service led by Religious Leader Marc Perler, followed by a potluck dinner. The tables were filled with all kinds of homemade food, including lots and lots of latkes—hundreds of latkes, both the traditional kind and a tasty sweet potato-carrot version.

When all the eating was done, something new and exciting was added this year. B’nai Israel held its first annual Dreidel Spinning Championship. Though not conducted precisely according to Major League Dreidel rules, there was a standard 18-inch by 18-inch spinning area, and a suitable competitive dreidel was selected.

No one there had ever taken part in a dreidel competition before, and some players even claimed to have little or no spinning experience (though it appeared that this inexperience may have been overstated by some Hanukkah hustlers in the group). After much cajoling, thirteen people entered the contest, and most agreed to choose a spinning nickname.

Here were this year’s competitors:

Al (Saltillo Slim)
Alice (Dizzy Al)
Cindy (The Houston Hurricane)
Glenda
Kathleen (K.-Top)
Linda (Loopy Lyn)
Marc (Top Rebbe)
Polly
Richard (Latke Louis)
Ron (Rally Ron)
Skylar (Little Dreidel)
Tracy
Tyler (Butterfingers)

After three elimination rounds, the championship came down to two competitors: Latke Louis and Saltillo Slim.

Latke Louis

Saltillo Slim

Up to that round, Louis had a best spin of 13.2 seconds, while Slim had kept his dreidel going for 13.4 seconds. In the final spin, it was Latke Louis who prevailed by a mere 0.2 seconds. Temple B’nai Israel had its first ever Dreidel Champion.

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