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It’s a Saturday night and I find myself underground in a dimly lit room at the Hawthorn, a cocktail lounge in San Francisco’s Financial District, holding a whiskey in one hand and a pink neon glow stick in the other.The event I’ve just walked into is Jewbilee, proclaimed the “hottest monthly party for Jews in their 20s and 30s.” Jeremy Doochin, one of the organizers, has set his beer on the table between us so he can snap the glow stick around my wrist, turning it into a bracelet.A psychiatrist in his early 30s said he preferred the event to any dating apps.“In a space like this, everyone feels like they’re part of a group and so everyone has their guard down.
Members have lengthy profiles and can contact anyone they are interested in.However, I come with questions: What is everyone doing here?Is this how young people in the Bay Area are meeting each other? And what about “marrying Jewish” — does that still feel relevant? In short, the answer to all that is: Yes, no and maybe.Doochin was inspired by the Jewish social scene that he left behind in Boston, like the monthly party “Gin & Jews” — a bar hangout described on its Facebook page (2,328 likes) as “the chosen hour.” “It was a great thing, to have community, people to hang out with, ways to meet each other. He worked on his concept with Tal Yeshanov, whom he met through programming at Congregation Emanu-El — a perfect match given Yeshanov’s experience organizing Second Saturday, a now-defunct Jewish singles mixer that took place monthly at the Cellar in San Francisco. I’ve had a lot of people say that the Federation and other established organizations haven’t been filling the need, and I think that’s why this has so organically grown into such a big community,” said Doochin.Though it’s only been around for a short time, Jewbilee is growing fast.