When Josh Lipowsky got tired of going to the Upper West Side for Jewish singles events, he began to organize events closer to his Northern New Jersey home.
The result was West of the Hudson, a club that aimed to duplicate many of the same events taking place in Manhattan in Bergen County: pizza parties, game nights, Shabbatons and concerts, without crossing the George.
“In 2010, I was at the Teaneck Jewish Center on a Shabbat afternoon and they were talking about how the Upper West Side synagogues reinvented outreach out to the singles population,” recalled Lipowsky. “I said, ‘I’m a single guy living right next to this synagogue. Why don’t you do something to reach out to all of us?’”
Bringing single people together is one of Lipowsky’s passions. Others include kosher cooking and journalism. The Penn State alum did a stint as a reporter and assistant editor at the Jewish Standard of Teaneck and freelanced for other publications, including The Jewish Week, before going back to school at NYU for a masters in global affairs, which he hopes to parlay into a job at a foreign policy-minded magazine or a national Jewish organization.
Raised Conservadox, his family ate kosher-style, but dining at the Penn State Hillel, under Chabad auspices, he took to eating full-blown kosher. He combines his love for food and writing via his Kosher Bachelor blog, which was inspired by the incredulity he encountered when entertaining. A married couple once marveled at his multi-course meal of noodles with sesame and peanut sauce, gefilte fish, salads and brisket. “The husband said ‘we weren’t sure what to expect from a guy who lives on his own and works. My wife ate before she came and now she is sorry.’ ”
Personal best: Runs an eight-and-a-half-minute mile, and raises money for poor Holocaust survivors when he runs marathons. Other religion: An avid Trekkie with mixed feelings about the new JJ Abrams franchise.