“Jewbilee began as a result of small NYC apartments!” says Jayson Littman, founder of Hebro, a social startup for gay Jews living in New York City. The annual party—which on Christmas Eve celebrated its 10th year—is the hottest winter social event for latkes-loving gays and “bagel-chasers.”
“In 2007, I wanted to host some gay Jewish friends on Christmas Eve,” Littman says, “but my small studio couldn’t fit more than a few people. So I called a local small bar and said I’d have 20-30 friends. That was a time when Facebook exploded and those friends invited all their friends, bringing in well over 200 people that first night. It made me realize gay Jews wanted to socialize on this very Jewish night.”
And on Dec. 24, socialize they did.
Throngs of gay Jews, their “goytoys” and scantily clad, questionably kosher go-go dancers invaded NYC’s Stage 48 for a full night of dancing, drinking and drag performances. On hand were local queens Lady Sinagaga, Miz Cracker and Ritzy Bitz. Best of all, the party was powered by premier gay social network Hornet, offering free premium membership upgrades!
“Gone are the days of Chinese food on Christmas Eve, and heck, as gays, we can never afford the calories,” says Littman. “The Christmas Eve Jewbilee has grown to become the largest gay Jewish party outside of Tel Aviv, with folks coming in from all over the USA and abroad.”
While the party always takes place on Christmas Eve, this year’s celebration came with an added bonus.
“What was fun about this Jewbilee is that it coincided with Hanukkah! That only happens every six years or so,” Littman says. “The energy in the room was especially high because it was truly a holiday for all. The Hanukkah scene organized by Hornet made for some extra interactive fun that we haven’t had before. Oh, and everyone loves a good MAN-orah lighting!”
Jewbilee is only one of several events produced by Hebro, with High Homodays, Homotashen, Sederlicious, pride parties at some of Manhattan’s hottest venues, happy hours and museum events among the rest. The organization also puts together group trips to Berlin, Tel Aviv and Fort Lauderdale. Find more info at MyHebro.com.