Rabbi Joshua Strossberg of Farber Hebrew Day School, Rabbi Shaya Katz of Young Israel of Oak Park and Rabbi Noam Stein, Farber high school principal, served as the Beit Din or judges.

Kids from Young Israel of Oak Park compete in a fun-filled Chopped-style Chanukah event to see who can make the best latkes!

Photos courtesy of Gil Stebbins

Young Israel of Oak Park held a fun Chanukah event Sunday, Dec. 15, where approximately 45 kids from second through eighth grade competed in a Chopped-style latke cook-off.

The kids were given unusual ingredients and one hour to make creative and tasty latkes that were judged by a “Beit Din” (panel of three local rabbis). During the hourlong event, the kids were interrupted frequently to answer Chanukah trivia questions that could garner them points and improve their odds of winning if their latkes lacked for taste or originality.
Four middle school teams and five elementary school teams competed for a Mr. Potato Head trophy, which will be on display at YIOP on Shabbos Chanukah.

Kids gathered around the judges’ table as the latkes were tasted.
Ariella Pesachova, 8, of Oak Park; Eliora Winer, 9, and Mindy Attali, 9, both of Huntington Woods; and Emma Welwarth, 8, and Leora Gonick, 8, both of Southfield.

The kids were able to choose from secret ingredients like marshmallow fluff, pureed pumpkin, pretzels, pie filling, cookies, zucchini and carrots, but no traditional binders like flour or matzah meal were offered to them. Teams quickly learned their latkes were going to fall apart unless they came up with a creative solution like grinding the pretzels into flour or mashing up the grated potatoes they were given.

The event drew kids from Young Israel of Southfield, Bais Chabad of West Bloomfield, Kehillat Etz Chayim, Bais Yaakov School for Girls, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah, Farber Hebrew Day School and Ohr Chadash and Shomrei Emunah synagogues. Everyone came together for fun to show off their cooking style and compete.

A team of boys from Yeshiva Beth Yehudah was the middle school champ, and the elementary winners were all Farber Hebrew Day School students.