A Party First
JDate brings one of its big-time singles events
to Detroit, just in time for the Oscars.
For college age through 30-some-
thing. This calendar is published the
second Friday and the last Friday of
Special to the Jewish News
f you're Jewish, single and just
burning for some conversation
partners to discuss the Academy
Awards, there may be party this
month just for you.
JDate, one of the largest cyber-dating
Web sites for Jewish singles, is sponsoring
its first party in Detroit — a pre-Oscar
soiree — on Saturday, March 22, at Bleu
As the room hums with Downbeat
lounge and house music, you can banter
with other Jewish Detroiters about
Queen Latifah's costume in Chicago or
the visual effects in Spiderman.
Glamorously dressed matchmakers will
be on hand to help facilitate Oscar
Bleu Room Experience is the trans-
formed art-deco theater down Woodward
from the Fox. It ran World War II news-
reels in the 1940s, but opened in its new
guise three years ago. According to owner
Mitch Jaworski of Birmingham, Bleu
Room serves an "upscale clientele," pre-
dominantly in their late 20s through
"Of the Jewish people that go night-
clubbing, we're one of the preferred desti-
nations," Jaworski said. He predicts the
JDate party will attract "a very profession-
al Jewish crowd."
Three years after its launch in 1997,
JDate started holding real-life parties,
mostly in New York and Los Angeles.
T.Ast September, the site expanded to offer
travel events, such as cruises and trips to
Hawaii and Killington, Vt.
"By having an off-line event that sup-
ports the site, we create a whole experi-
ence for our members," explained Gail
Laguna, vice president for corporate com-
munications at MatchNet plc, the com-
pany that runs JDate, American Singles
and other cyber-dating sites. "It gives sin-
gle Jewish people a place to go where they
know they meet other singles. It's not
the same as going to a bar," Laguna said.
JDate researched clubs to host the
Detroit party on the Internet and found
Bleu Room Experience. Later, JDate staff
confirmed the club was a trendy spot
with a JDate member who wrote to them
from Detroit offering to
help with a party.
Bleu Room Experience,
with its' 40-foot high ceil-
ings, agreed to open its
doors at 7 p.m. for JDate.
The club usually does not
open until 10.
In addition to
Downbeat lounge music
(described by Jaworski as
"no lyrics, casual drum
beat and trendy" ), there
will be appetizers and
matchmakers, who will
between attendees. An
upstairs VIP room —
which club-goers normal-
ly pay extra to enter,
offering private rooms
and booths — will be
open as well. All guests
who arrive before 9 p.m.
will get one free drink.
Mark Pearlman hopes to meet someone at the Bleu Room
Detroit is JDate's 10th
erience on Saturday night.
largest market. Of the
500,000 JDate members
in 210 countries, about
Not everyone is assured of the party's
4,500 are from Detroit. JDate has grown
success. Mark Pearlman, 35, of Oak Park
by about 150,000 people since
September 2002. Laguna attributes mem- — an investor in Bleu Room and friend
of Jaworski — plans to attend, even
bership growth to upgrades of the Web
though he's had no luck with JDate after
site, which now offers features increasing
a member for a year and a half.
interactivity. Upgrades include "teases,"
Unless people from other cities decide to
instant message service and possible
go to the event, Pearlman joked, he is
matches sent directly to a member's e-
convinced he won't meet anybody new
"If I have a blind date with someone I
Talia Vanson, MatchNet's national
meet on JDate, all I have to do is ask no
events manager, was hired last May to
more than two people that I know if they
add vision to the events. Vanson attempts
her and definitely by the second
to design themed events that are more
person, they'll say, 'Oh yeah, I know
than just the regular bar and DJ. Her
her,"' Pearlman said about the close-knit
events have included turning an ice skat-
Detroit Jewish community. ❑
ing rink into a winter wonderland, using
performing artists from Cirque de Soleil,
and a JDate wine tasting party.
Laguna encourages Detroit party-goers
The JDate party is exclusively for
to dress up. "Because the Detroit event is
singles from 7-10:30 p.m.
the night before Oscar night, it was given
Saturday, March 22, at Bleu Room
a 'pre-Oscars' theme to make it a little
Experience, 1540 Woodward,
more special." Matchmakers will be
Detroit. Attendees can stay later, no
trained in how to interact and assist
extra charge. Cost: $15 at
JDate members with icebreakers and
Jdate.com or $25 at the door.
make initial introductions, Laguna said.
March 14 Friday. YAD Shabbat
Dinner Exchange at various homes,
followed by oneg at Oak Park JCC.
RSVP to Alaine Waldshan, (248) 203-
March 15 Saturday, 8:30-10 p.m.
JARC Young Adult Committee
Bowling Blast at Royal Oak Lanes.
Cost: $15, includes shoes, drinks,
pizza. RSVP required:
email@example.com or (248) 538-
March 16 Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
YAD Women's Pottery Brunch in -
anticipation of April 2 Women's Seder.
Make Miriam's cups, seder or matzah
plates. Cost: $15. RSVP to Jonathan
Goldstein, (248) 203-1471 or
March 16 Sunday, 8 p.m. Hillel of
Metro Detroit's Purim Extravaganza
Masquerade at Whirly Ball West, 5700
Drake Road, West Bloomfield. Cost:
$10, or $8 plus a toy to be donated.
Whirly ball, fortune telling, costume
contest. RSVP to Lesley Weiss, (313)
577-3459 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 18 Tuesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hillel of Metro Detroit and the Jewish
Student Organization Purim
Celebration and Megillah Reading.
WSU Student Center Building.
Megillah reading begins at noon. For
information, Lesley Weiss, (313) 577-
3459 or email@example.com
March 18 Tuesday, 8 p.m. EMU
Hillel Casino Night in Guild Hall,
McKenny Union. Cost: children's toy
donation. RSVP to Lindsay Rubin,
(734) 482-0456 or
March 20 Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Western Michigan University Hillel
movie, Detroit, Ethnicity 6 Baseball: A
Film on Hank Greenberg, Jewish Slugger
of the Detroit Tigers and discussion
with Dr. Linda Borish, WMU
Department of History. WMU Little
Theater, Kalamazoo. Refreshments.
March 21 Friday, 6:30 p.m. Shabbat