Standing in groups around dozens of tables, hundreds of people at Sinai Temple prepared to spin plastic dreidels. While the mood was festive: face painting, pizza, donuts and other celebratory fare kicking off the occasion - the reason everyone gathered together was more serious: trying to break the Guinness World Record for the amount of people spinning dreidels at the same time.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t so serious.
The synagogue, ultimately, did not break the previous record, 541 dreidels, set by a New Jersey synagogue, but the event organizers insisted the day was a success. Before everyone spun their dreidels, Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe, addressing the crowd, who assembled in Sinai Temple’s parking lot on Sun., Dec. 4 for the event, emphasized Dreidelmania’s community-building result.
“Sometimes the least impactful thing that we do during the week turns out to be the most important. So even though all we’re doing is spinning dreidels, look around you: there’s young, there’s old; there’s members, non-members; people who work in security and maintenance. It’s wonderful to see you all,” Wolpe said.
More than 700 people participated in Dreidelmania, and the promising turnout gave hope that they could in fact break the previous world record. But it’s not so easy as getting large numbers to spin. A dreidel needs to spin for more than 10 seconds to count toward the record (the reason is to ensure that the dreidels are spinning simultaneously).
Howard Lesner, executive director of Sinai Temple, has ambitious plans for next year: “We’re going to break the record for eating the most latkes.”
Watch below for Video Jew Jay Firestone’s coverage of another attempt at this Guinness record in 2008.