Kevitch thought dating apps on the whole were too sterile. “I’m obsessed with immersive experiences that kind of bring out your inner child, like escape rooms and speakeasies with the secret entrances and haunted houses and magic shows,” he said. And so the Lox Club is designed to be playful—when downloaded, the app first shows users a story (inspired by Kevitch’s beloved grandparents) about a couple who founded a speakeasy within a deli in Prohibition-era New York City. An application follows, with a section asking for users for “a brief career history and future ambitions.”
I first heard about the Lox Club in November, when a chic friend alerted me to the existence of “Jewish Raya.” I downloaded it immediately. My application languished for nearly two weeks as I obsessively checked the app and sent deranged tweets about my desire to be accepted. I, like fellow Jew Groucho Marx, am only interested in clubs that would not have me as a member. It’s a deep pain to be cast out by one’s own people.
When I contacted Kevitch for an interview, I was finally in. He insisted that the admittance rate was just slow, which seems like the right thing to tell someone with a clearly fragile ego who is writing about your business. “We’re like Santa’s little elves over here, playing catch-up on applications,” he said. (Hanukkah Harry is perhaps a less potent analogy.) Kevitch estimates that there are over 10,000 current members, with many more on the waitlist. He says there are no strict criteria for admittance, and Judaism is not a prerequisite.
“We don’t care about how many Instagram followers you have or your status or clout as much as we’re looking for down-to-earth, well-rounded, humble people,” he said. “We’re not looking specifically for status or who you’d want to invite to a fancy dinner party; we’re looking for people who you’d bump into at a house party and end up talking with in a corner for hours.”
Once in, like other exclusive dating apps Raya and The League, you have to pay—much like The Bachelor, the Lox Club is looking for members who want to be there for “the right reasons.” Annual memberships are available for $96, six months for $60, and quarterly for $36. Swipes are limited to between six and twelve every eight hours. “We just don’t want it to feel like a game where you sit there and swipe forever,” Kevitch says, “and then you get a million matches, but you don’t have any real conversations.” The app sorts potential matches by region, though Kevitch says some users request to see the most “compatible” people who might live out of state. It is sleekly designed in a soothing navy blue; in addition to basic profile information, it asks candidates to share personal tidbits like the most neurotic thing about themselves or their bar or bat mitzvah themes. It is open to all sexualities, and they recently added 64 options under “gender.” Kevitch and his Instagram-famous sister serve as Lox Club models—sample Jews, if you will—in the app store.