The Matzo Ball is an annual Christmas Eve nightlife event and party held in a number of major cities in the United States and Canada targeted primarily at young Jewish singles and organized by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals. In addition, Matzo Ball and similar spellings are also used as the names for a variety of other, unrelated Jewish community events in particular regions.
There are a number of competing social events in Jewish communities throughout the U. With Christmas Day a work holiday throughout the United States, there is a space of unfilled free time during which much of American commerce and society is not functioning, and which could lead to a sense of alienation or loneliness for American Jews.—consuming a meal at a Chinese restaurant, which tend to be open for business on the Christmas holiday, and watching a movie at the theater or at home, stereotypically a rerun of It's a Wonderful Life.
A 2009 Christmas Eve musical event at Brooklyn Bowl, co-sponsored by Israel's New York Consulate General, was dubbed "The Matzah Bowl".
The event derived its name in part from its location in a Brooklyn bowling alley.
In some Matzo Ball cities, a number of attendees are from out-of-town, particularly in cities that have large numbers of visitors or where families tend to gather for the winter holidays, such as Boca Raton, which has a large number of New Yorkers during the holiday period.
Rudnick's formula for the Matzo Ball atmosphere is to find a large venue that can handle the large crowds, and for the lights to get dimmer and the music to get louder gradually over the course of the night.
These include Seattle's Latkepalooza, all of which are sponsored by their respective Jewish Federation's young professionals division.