USYers Challenge Dreidel Spinning Record

Steven Iofin,17; Llana Feiner, 16; Leah Kempton, 15; and Lena Backal, 16, practice dreidel spinning; photo by Phil McAuliffe/Polaris.

Philadelphia, Pa. – December 28, 2011: Some 900 Jewish high school students, gathered in Center City Philadelphia this week for United Synagogue Youth’s annual international convention, appear to have “topped” the official world record for the most Chanukah dreidels spun simultaneously in the same room. With so many more present than needed to break the current record, these Jewish teens fully expected to reach their goal and independent observers say preliminarily that they believe 602 of them successfully achieved their goal.

The current record of 687 dreidels being spun simultaneously for at least ten seconds was set in 2005 at Temple Emmanuel in Cherry Hill, NJ. Others have since claimed to top that official record but have yet to be verified, which can take several months.

photo by Phil McAuliffe/Polaris

The USYers, as they are known, just back from a morning of community service – including some dressed as “mitzvah clowns,” having performed at a nearby children’s hospital – were seated ten-to-a-table, at nearly 100 tables in a large ballroom, screaming and cheering themselves and each other on. As one observer noted, “The group readied themselves, steadied their hands, and spun without abandon.”