Latke Vodka Event To Highlight Detroit



This year, a special pre-event job fair is planned for young “expats.”

Scene from last year’s Latke Vodka
Scene from last year’s Latke Vodka

How do you keep an annual event, now in its 12th year, going strong? How do you attract more than 1,000 young adults year after year? How do you make something a tradition while keeping it fresh?

NEXTGen Detroit, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s young adult division, has been asking and answering these questions every year for more than a decade to consistently pull off the ultimate Thanksgiving weekend reunion party — Latke Vodka, this year sponsored by Detroit Popcorn Company, on Nov. 26.

“Latke Vodka has become a tradition for young Jewish Detroiters,” said Ashley Danto, Latke Vodka co-chair. “It’s the perfect time to see friends who have moved away while also being at an event with the opportunity to connect with tons of other young Jewish adults. And it really is a showcase of our growing and diverse young Jewish community here in Metro Detroit.”

Last year, NEXTGen Detroit took its signature 1,000+ person Thanksgiving weekend reunion party and made the move down Woodward from Royal Oak to Midtown Detroit, taking over three iconic and adjacent venues: the Majestic Theatre, Majestic Cafe and Garden Bowl. 

“While we were confident that bringing Latke Vodka to Detroit after hosting it in Royal Oak for so many years was the right move, we couldn’t be sure that the change would be met with enthusiasm. But the response was fantastic,” said Andrew Luckoff, Latke Vodka co-chair for the second year in a row.

“The new venues allowed us to create three distinct atmospheres, which we are carrying over to this year. In the theater, there will be the live band and dance floor. New this year, in the cafe, we’re letting people show off their skills with karaoke. And, of course, we’re taking advantage of one of the oldest — and certainly the coolest — bowling alleys in the city with free glow bowling.”

Over the years, Latke Vodka has proven itself to be more than just a party. In recent years, it is a way for young “expats” to see firsthand the thriving and growing young Jewish community that has emerged since the Great Recession, when so many young people from Metro Detroit moved out of state.

This year, NEXTGen Detroit is showing off more than young Jewish Detroit’s social scene by offering out-of-town Latke Vodka guests a look at what the local job market has to offer.

“We’ve teamed up with Detroit Homecoming and Crain’s Detroit Business to create ‘Jobs in the D’ — a casual job fair for young adults that will take place right before Latke Vodka,” said Brittany Karson, NEXTGen Detroit associate and lead staff for the event.

“Jobs in the D is for Detroit ‘expats’ who are thinking about making the move back or just curious about the job market here in Detroit. Before the main event, they can come connect with some of Metro Detroit’s most desirable employers.”

Tickets for Latke Vodka 12 (9 p.m.-2 a.m. Nov. 26) are $20 and are available online at with $18 of every ticket sold going to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s Annual Campaign supporting the needs of the Jewish people in Detroit, in Israel and around the world.

By Becky Hurvitz, Special to the Jewish News

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