Chicago Hillel Feud Scraps Traditional Food 'Fight'

Campus 'Latkes Vs. Hamentashen' Debate Is Victim of Squabble

No Fight Daniel Libenson, ousted University of Chicago Hillel chief, speaks at the college’s annual latke-vs.-hamentashen debate. The event was postponed amid turmoil over his firing.
No Fight Daniel Libenson, ousted University of Chicago Hillel chief, speaks at the college’s annual latke-vs.-hamentashen debate. The event was postponed amid turmoil over his firing.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published November 28, 2012, issue of November 30, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Following his dismissal, Libenson pledged to create a new campus group to carry on his work at the University of Chicago. He’s made good on that pledge. JU has three full-time staff members and two part-time. The organization maintains offices in a church building near campus. Libenson told the Forward that he’s raised most of the $400,000 annual budget he’s projected for this new organization. Board members of his group, many of whom were on the dismissed Hillel board, have given to the effort.

Libenson’s group is offering two internship programs similar to some of those he ran at Hillel. It has also sponsored an off-campus undergraduate apartment for Jewish students, a program that Libenson likened to the Moishe House program that sets up Jewish-themed housing for recent college graduates.

“There’s been tremendous enthusiasm among students to participate in our internship programs and all of our programs,” Libenson said. “Hillel seems to be a nonfactor in whether or not students are participating in our programs.”

Hoffman said that she didn’t mind the competition from Libenson’s group. “From our perspective, there’s more Jewish life happening on campus,” she said. “It’s a win all around.”

Meanwhile, a student-run group founded in May to mediate between the various professional-run Jewish organizations on campus on behalf of students seems to have disbanded. In an email, Doni Bloomfield, who is the former executive chair of the Jewish Student Assembly and a University of Chicago junior, said the group was no longer necessary.

“Due to the candor, conviviality and civility of the Jewish community on campus so far this year there hasn’t been much need for the Jewish Student Assembly,” Bloomfield wrote.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com or follow him on Twitter @joshnathankazis


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!
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • 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.