Most Exclusive Dating App For Jews Isn’t Really Jewish

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When Lox Club burst onto the dating app scene in 2020 as an app “for Jews with ridiculously high standards”, I was intrigued. Like the others “exclusive” dating apps like Raya and The League, Lox Club requires an app to enter. He boasted of a waiting list of 20,000 people earlier this year, according to a spokesperson at the time.

Lox Club attracted me in a way that other membership based apps or Jewish dating apps like JDate and JSwipe did not. This was in part for the promise of matches with similar life and cultural experiences (the name immediately reminded me of my mom garnishing her schmeared bagels with lox). But let’s face it: it was also the branding chic and the “ridiculously upscale” attitude.

Maybe those latter reasons are also the reasons non-Jews apply – and why Lox Club paid at least one non-Jewish influencer to promote it.

Regardless, the Lox Club appears to be using its both Jewish and exclusive brand to attract people. But this slogan? At best fragile, at worst dishonest.

#non-jewish

Katy Bellotte, a lifestyle influencer, is not Jewish, but she first heard about the Lox Club through Jewish friends. She felt that only Jews could apply until recently.

“It made me want to join even more,” Bellotte told Mashable, due to the air of mystery and exclusivity.

Then she began to hear “rumors” that this was “opening up” to non-Jews.

Friends of friends who have worked with the app put her in touch with the team, and she found that she could indeed register. The Lox Club has always allowed non-Jewish members, but Bellotte did not realize this until then because, well, look at the branding.

She started using the app and Lox Club contacted her to produce a paid Instagram ad. In the promo, she encouraged her more than 170,000 subscribers to apply to attend the Lox Club’s New York Fashion Week party and try out the service.

Katy Bellotte promotes the Lox Club in an Instagram ad.

Credit: screenshot: instagram

Bellotte shares details about the Lox Club’s NYFW party with her subscribers.

Credit: screenshot: instagram

Bellotte was faced with the obvious question from her supporters: Isn’t the Lox Club for the Jews? She clarified that you don’t have to be Jewish to apply.

Bellotte answering a question from a follower to find out if you need to be Jewish to apply to the Lox Club.

Bellotte answering a question from a follower to find out if you need to be Jewish to apply to the Lox Club.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

The landscape of religious dating apps

Religion-based apps are nothing new. JDate has been associating Jewish singles for 20 years and Christian Mingle has done the same for Christians. Newer apps like To the top for Christians and Muzmatch because Muslims keep the trend alive.

Nothing prevents a non-religious person from registering for these applications. As a spokesperson for Upward told me, anyone can sign up, but if they’re not a Christian, they probably won’t have much luck.

What actually seems to differentiate The Lox Club is that its founder and CEO, Austin Kevitch, who declined to speak to me for this article, didn’t actually set out to build a Jewish dating app – because he did. apparently had no intention of doing so. create anything. In a recent interview with E!, he said he did the initial Lox Club site as a parody other social clubs and dating apps that he found scary.

Although it was a joke, people were interested. “I wake up [a day or two later] and over 1,000 people applied on this website for an application that didn’t even exist, “he said. E!

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Kevitch then hired a team and launched Lox Club last fall. From the start, the app wasn’t just for Jews. As he said at New York Times, The Lox Club is “like a charcuterie: culturally Jewish, but everyone can benefit. Site FAQ uses the same line.

Other than the name, there’s not much “culturally Jewish” about the app beyond some profile questions, like asking users to fill in their Bar / Bat Mitzvah theme. Questionable comparison aside (can a dating app be like a grocery store, really? Dating a Jewish person is like eating in Katz?), However, it’s understandable to want to expand the app’s customer base. Less than three percent of American adults call themselves Jews, compared to 65% who identify as Christians. Many American Jews consider themselves to be culturally Jewish because they do not tend to attend church services but enjoy eating Jewish food and celebrating certain holiday traditions. But if a dating app itself can be culturally Jewish, one wonders who the Lox Club is for, and whether people who want to meet Jewish partners will get what they expect from the paid service.

The app is for singles who want to date. Combine that with the fact that you have to apply and then pay for the service (that’s about $ 36 for three months), and the pool of potential users shrinks. As it is, when I was using the Lox Club earlier in 2021, I rarely encountered other New Yorkers or even users on the East Coast.

Nothing is worse than a dating app with paltry numbers – except maybe a real party with too few attendees. This is where influencer marketing comes in: Lox Club paid Bellotte to generate buzz and RSVPs for fashion week.

About the party, Bellotte said she was in touch with all kinds of people from different parts of the city. “They are not looking for just one type of person to join and promote their app,” she said. “It’s for everyone.”

For who with ridiculously high standards now?

We must then ask ourselves: why is the Lox Club called in the first place Lox Club? Why is it “for Jews with ridiculously high standards” even if it isn’t? What exactly are we paying $ 36 for? JSwipe, on the other hand, can be used for free, while JDate is a paid subscription that costs around $ 30 for six months after a free trial.

Bellotte guessed that Lox Club had taken this route to stand out in the growing heap of dating apps. “There are so many different apps out there now,” she said. “They need to have something that makes them different.”

I also wonder if Kevitch himself knows the answers to these questions. Since he started Lox Club as a joke, that might explain why his “mission” doesn’t quite hold up to scrutiny.

“They need to have something that makes them different.”

Now, over a year since its inception, Lox Club continues to be in this troubled Jewish territory but not really. rappers Lil Yachty (non-Jewish) and Bhad Bhabie (half-Jewish, like me) signed up as an investor, with their manager Adam Kluger blowing up other Jewish dating apps: “JDate screams desperation,” he said Rolling stone in June. “JSwipe is just shit.”

“There is a real void in the market,” added Kluger, but what exactly does the Lox Club fill for Jewish daters? The simple fact of mingling in a space reserved for members?

“I haven’t been on Lox Club for a week yet and have already liked more people than my three years on Bumble, Hinge, The League, etc,” a testimonial on the website reads. From my experience, I don’t see how this is possible, unless you don’t mind loving people from LA or Toronto.

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Bellotte told me that she loved the Lox Club for its unique look and elevated feel, but beyond that it’s also unclear what non-Jews take away from the experience – except, of course. , to be able to say that they entered it.

Long story short? I canceled my Lox Club membership. Maybe my standards are too ridiculously high.



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