This year, Greenhill will be making substance changes the Latke Song, a long-time tradition performed at the annual Winter Holiday concert. The change comes because of several complaints over the past few years.
The Latke Song features two rabbis, played by senior boys, who make jokes about latkes and Jewish culture. However, this year, Greenhill administration has decided to tone down Jewish stereotypes portrayed in the song.
In the past, two senior Jewish boys would usually dress up as Orthodox rabbis and put on a skit at the same time of the song. This year’s leaders of the song, senior Jonah Goldberg and sophomore Ross Rubin, were assigned with making a new script for the skit.
“We’re doing a version where I would be dressed up as [an old Jewish man],” Jonah said. “Ross will come out basically dressed as a modern Jewish high schooler look, with Sperries, Vineyard Vines, and such.”
Their instructions were to keep the spirit and comedy of the song without portraying the Jewish characters so in line with stereotypes. While their script still includes Jewish characters, they said the jokes will not solely be about Jewish culture.
“They’re Jewish characters doing things that everyone does,” Jonah said. “Rather than two rabbis coming out and making rabbi jokes, it’s a rabbi and a young Jewish boy making jokes [anyone can relate to].”
According to Greenhill administration, there have been several complaints over the past few years about the Latke Song stereotyping Jewish people. The skit and song were revised to avoid offending anyone.
“The song itself was not changed,” said Laura Ross, Head of Upper School. “All that was asked was to tone down the Jewish-stereotype nature of the parody of the skits of the last several years. This began with a conversation with the entire Administrative Team.”
However, not all members of the student body agree with this change.
“How is it offensive [when] nearly a third of Greenhill is Jewish?” said senior Rachel Friedman. “For me, I think it’s okay to make fun of yourself.”
Photo by Greenhill Communications
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