Latke Vodka Showcases a Young Community Here for Good

December 1, 2014 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s NEXTGen Detroit hosted a crowd of 1,150 young adults on November 29 at the 10th Annual Latke Vodka event at the Royal Oak Music Theater. More than a holiday party, the event is a mega reunion for locals and ex-Detroiters and a first introduction to the young Jewish community here in Detroit for hundreds of visitors in town for the holiday.

“For those that live and work here, Latke Vodka is a great reminder that we truly have a hub of young Jewish life right in our own backyard,” said Matt Barker, Latke Vodka Co-Chair two years in a row. “And for many it’s really a ‘welcome to Detroit’ and first introduction to our community and to NEXTGen Detroit.”

A gathering of 1,150 young Jewish adults, the majority of which have planted roots in Metro Detroit, illustrates that a dynamic, young community is thriving here. Young adults are identifying with, connecting to and wanting to be a part of their local Jewish community — and the feeling is contagious.

“Every year, we hear stories of individuals moving back to Detroit because of their Latke Vodka experience,” said Miryam Rosenzweig, Director of NEXTGen Detroit. “You can’t argue that there’s not a young, vibrant Jewish community in Detroit after attending the event.”

In just four years, attendance more than doubled and is steadily climbing every year. With so many out-of-towners and former Detroiters coming out for the event, Latke Vodka has become a way to showcase the diverse and growing Jewish community in Detroit.

“Since it launched a decade ago, Latke Vodka has been the place to be the Saturday night after Thanksgiving,” said Rachel Taubman, Outreach Associate, NEXTGen Detroit. “Every year the numbers increase, and it’s a real reflection of our young community growing and becoming more engage and invested in Jewish life in Metro Detroit.”

To celebrate Latke Vodka turning double-digits, NEXTGen Detroit pulled out all the stops. With two live entertainment acts, a steady stream of desserts and appetizers, a specialty cocktail menu, new photo ops and a packed dance floor, NEXTGen Detroit’s signature “Facebookable” moments were everywhere.

“It takes months of planning, but seeing that crowd and feeling that energy makes it all worth it,” said Abi Liepshutz, Latke Vodka Co-Chair. “We’re not just playing host to an event, we’re giving our community an opportunity to shine, and that feels wonderful.”



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