Homer Simpson, move over – there’s a new doughnut king in town. Elie Klein, 30, of Beit Shemesh, has been on a doughnut binge for the past two weeks downing at least two a day in a bid to raise money for charity. Each fried pastry filled with jelly, vanilla or dulce de leche that Klein guzzles raises roughly NIS 322.50 (at press time) for various groups and organizations by sponsors.

Klein, who is an account manager at the PR firm Ruder-Finn, says he discovered he can raise money for good causes by devouring the delectable dessert associated with Hanukka by chance.

“It was a gentleman’s bet which began last year,” Klein explains. “Two friends from Beit Shemesh and I were going on Twitter, writing about who could eat more sufganiyot,” he says, referring to the fried pastries by their Hebrew name.

“So last Kislev we held a contest, and we decided to do it again this year. One of the three backed out, but a friend and I carried on. There was a good amount of trash talking involved. As always I was updating my comments and people were excited.

A cousin of mine said I’d give $10 to charity for every sufganiya you eat.

Then a neighbor said, ‘I’ll give you NIS 10 for every sufganiya.’” Before he embarked on his calorie-filled quest Klein went to the doctor to receive a clean bill of health. Once one was issued, nothing stood in his way.

So far Klein has raised NIS 11,086.20 from 50 sponsors who gave to 34 causes via his Facebook page. He says he hopes to eat at least 52 doughnuts, and probably more than 60, by the end of Hanukka two weeks from now, raising NIS 15,000 in all for charity.

Klein says he is lucky that thus far, his rich diet has had little effect on his slender frame. He says he’s trying to provide balance to his food intake by eating a lot of salad on the side.

Devouring doughnuts has become something of a chore these days, but Klein says he still can’t get enough of them.

He adds, “I’m definitely one of those guys who can work in a doughnut shop and never get tired.”
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