No longer just a game for kids at Chanukah parties, dreidel is now a competitive sport thanks to Eric Pavony (a/k/a The Knishioner), who founded Major League Dreidel in 2007. Tonight is the NYC championship tournament, where spinners with silly nicknames (such as “Spinnie the Pooh” and “Jewbacca”) compete for the longest spin inside the official “spinning stadium” called the Spinagogue. (The person to beat is Pamela Goldman, the 2007 MLD Champion, who holds the record for the longest sanctioned tournament spin with 17.88 seconds.) The winner is traditionally hoisted in a chair to a heavy-metal rendition of “Hava Nagila” and receives, yes, a year’s supply of the chocolate gold coins called gelt. Every contestant scores a hand-painted dreidel necklace, which will surely make you the envy of all your friends this season.
Sat., Dec. 17, 6:30 p.m., 2011
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 14, 2011