College students, faculty and community members spun 749 dreidels Monday night at Chabad-Lubavitch at Binghamton University's Chanukah festival, which they said was enough break the Guinness World Record for dreidel spinning.
Guinness says the current record is 734 dreidels spinning at once for at least 10 seconds. The current record was set by a United Synagogue Youth group in Philadelphia last December. Chabad-Lubavitch at Binghamton will provide photos, video and other documentation for review by Guinness before the record is confirmed and official.
The "spin-off" was the highlight of the Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life's Chanukah celebration. The event was also the culmination of Chabad at Binghamton’s annual toy drive, which has raised over $10,000 worth of toys for children with cancer. Each year Chabad seeks to twin the Chanukah celebration at the university with charity and social action to stress the importance of bringing holiday cheer to those less fortunate.
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“There was great excitement on campus about this,” says Lucy Schwartz, class of ’14, who is one of the coordinators of the event. “Binghamton is a school of excellence and distinction, so we’re proud to contribute to that legacy and bring a fun and meaningful event to our community.”
“It’s not just fun and games for us,” says Tamar Gaffin-Cahn ’14, who along with Dodi Zenilman ’15 spearheaded this year's Chanukah Toy Drive. ”We are enormously proud of the tremendous number of toys we've gathered this year for distribution to sick children.”
The December 10 celebration, which was free and open to the public, inculded a Menorah lighting, music, holiday themed refreshments and a special appearance by the Crosbys, Binghamton’s pre-eminent a cappella group. The Toy Drive is a joint project of Chabad and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the Sigma Delta Tau sorority. Tens of others groups on campus joined as co-sponsors.
“It’s easy for Jewish students to feel disconnected in the flurry of holiday celebrations around campus,” said Max Kapelus ‘13 “The Chabad Center, through its campus-wide distribution of thousands of Menorah kits and this high profile event, imbues the campus with a lot of Chanukah spirit. And the event brings us a touch of home, with the delicious holiday treats and holiday-themed tunes.”