The Lox Club: Dating cured?
For many online daters, the ordeal of seeking a romantic connection on a crowded digital platform can leave them feeling deflated. The Lox Club, a new membership-based app “for Jews with ridiculously high standards,” according to its tagline, wants to inject some levity into that experience, while creating a sort of heimish space for those who feel overwhelmed and even alienated by online dating. “My thesis is that dating apps don’t have to be cringey,” Austin Kevitch, the Lox Club’s 29-year-old founder, told Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel in a recent interview. “I wanted to make it more of a fun experience, and the dating part is disguised within it.”
Different approach: The Lox Club differs from other Jewish dating apps like JDate and JSwipe in that its users, who pay a monthly fee, must apply for membership and wait to be accepted. The app might best be described as an exclusively Jewish alternative to Raya, the members-only dating and social networking app for entertainment industry types. But the Lox Club, whose interface is designed to give users the impression that they have entered a secret speakeasy, has its own approach. It offers a personal matchmaking service to those who want dating advice as well as a feature that limits the number of swipes to approximately half a dozen every six hours, so users won’t just think with their thumbs.
Values dating: Since launching last month, the app — which costs $8 per month for an annual sign-up — has attracted more than 10,000 members, according to Kevitch, and membership is doubling every week. “We’re very intentional about reading every single application,” Kevitch said, estimating that the Lox Club accepts about 20% of those who apply. “We don’t care about the amount of Instagram followers people have,” he added. “We’re looking for more down-to-earth people.” Kevitch isn’t particularly observant but believes in the importance of what he describes as Jewish values, citing family, empathy and ambition — and he hopes he has created a venue for those who share such values to meet.
Background: Despite a background in digital entrepreneurship, Kevitch, who lives in Los Angeles, is an unlikely online dating evangelist. He had never used a single dating app until last year, when he was going through a breakup and found himself in a funk. The apps, it turned out, didn’t help. “I tried two of them, and I thought that they felt just superficial,” he recalled. On a whim, he created a website, and to his surprise, “tons of people started applying.” When the pandemic hit, Kevitch was selling his previous startup, Brighten, an anti-bullying app, and he needed a new project. “Lox Club made a lot of sense,” he said. “With COVID, everyone’s stuck at home and lonely and there’s no other way to meet people.”
View from the inside: Users who have joined the app within the past few weeks seem to appreciate it. Isley Walker, who lives in Brentwood and works as an enterprise account manager at a stealth startup, joined Lox Club last week. The app appealed to her primarily because she was frustrated encountering the same supply of eligible bachelors on the publicly available dating apps. With Lox Club, she happened upon a new stock of guys and has been pleasantly surprised. “Honestly, in my opinion, it puts the other dating apps to shame,” she said. “I actually already deleted them after being on this thing for a week. It’s just, in my opinion, far superior. You know, the guys on it are, for lack of a better word, they’re young, they’re hot, they’re rich. They’re guys that your grandma would be proud of.”
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