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Federation staffers at last year’s 1980s party.
Federation staffers at last year’s 1980s party. Photo by John Hardwick

Calling Rhinestone Cowboys and Dancing Queens

It’s time to get down at Federation’s Far Out ’70s Party.

Becky Hurvitz Special to the Jewish News

This time last year, the GenX crowd of Jewish Detroit was digging through their closets in search of retired legwarmers, neon jogging suits and anything with shoulder pads — all in preparation for Federation’s Ultimate ’80s Bash. The party, the first of its kind put on by Federation’s Affinities Department, brought in a sold-out crowd of more than 550 and welcomed 118 new donors to Federation’s Annual Campaign.

“We were thrilled at the response from last year’s Ultimate ’80s Bash. The crowd reaffirmed the need in our community to engage the late-30s to 50s demographic,” said Geoff Kretchmer, event chair.

The Ultimate ’80s Bash was the talk of the town for weeks, and it became clear that Federation was on to something. The task of topping last year’s event was a challenge both the staff and leadership were eager to take on.

“One thing we learned from last year’s event is that this crowd likes to go all out for a theme, and we wanted to pick a decade that everyone would love dressing up for, hearing music from and would lend itself to one great party. So, this year we are going all out ’70s — disco queens, hippies, The Brady Bunch, KISS,” said Neil Sherman, event chair.

See a groovy video about the event.

“Last year, Detroit’s Mega ’80s band was a huge draw, and we’re so excited for our Far Out ’70s Party guests to experience this year’s band, The Boogie Knights, all the way from Los Angeles, who are going to help make this another unforgettable night.”

Federation’s Far Out ’70s Party is set for Dec. 8 beginning at 8 p.m. In addition to live music, guests will enjoy an open bar, classic late-night fare, fun photo ops, giveaways and lots of other funky and far-out surprises scattered throughout Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $80.

“We are all about throwing an incredible party, but our long-term hope is that this one night serves as a welcoming and fun entry point for people in this demographic to become more engaged with our Jewish community,” said Sherri Ketai, event chair.

Keith “We want people to walk away not only with great memories from the night, but also with a better understanding of the work of the Jewish Federation and a little inspiration to become involved, or more involved, in this incredible community we have here in Metro Detroit.”

Despite being only a few years old, Federation’s Affinities department has had great success in engaging the local Jewish GenX population. In addition to these annual parties, Affinities is the force behind an array of niche programs and events coming out of Federation, including the Maimonides Society for medical professionals, the Real Estate Group, Pound for Pound Men’s Group, Taste of Women’s Philanthropy and an emerging Interfaith group, to name a few.

Tickets for Federation’s Far Out ’70s Party are available now at For more information, contact Karen Kaplan at or (248) 203-1453. This story was first posted on


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