Metro Weekly

Handsome Punims: The Nice Jewish Boys Pageant

It doesn't take chutzpah to compete at Sunday's Mr. Nice Jewish Boy pageant (but it may take matzo balls)

Nice Jewish Boys: Jeremy (left) and Mike

“When we did the Mr. Nice Jewish Boy Pageant in 2013, it wasn’t initially conceived as a fundraiser,” says Jonathan Gilad. “It was just a fun thing to do. But we saw so much enthusiasm for it, that we saw an opportunity to give back to the broader community. So this year, we’re trying to do both.”

Held at Town Danceboutique, this Sunday, Aug. 13, the pageant will feature four finalists performing a choreographed dance, showing off their talents, and answering questions from a panel of three judges, including a member of Nice Jewish Boys, a Jewish mom, and Rabbi Gil Steinlauf. Event proceeds benefit The DC Center for the LGBT Community and GLOE, the GLBTQ Outreach and Engagement program of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center.

While two-thirds of the winner’s total score comes from the judges and ballots cast by those in attendance, the score will be rounded up by the number of likes each contestant’s YouTube video receives.

The pageant always takes some unexpected turns, says Gilad, who serves as chair of the Nice Jewish Boys planning committee.

Nice Jewish Boys: Tony and Sam

“Last time, the winner’s talent was making matzo ball soup. As he was cooking, he’d take off one article of clothing, until all he had on was boxers and an apron,” he says. “Then he took the apron, wore it like a cape, and started playing the guitar. Everyone kind of swooned over that one.”

Gilad also recalls a time that the Jewish mother asked a contestant, “What makes you a nice Jewish boy for my son?’ The contestant said, ‘Aside from being a great guy, I make a mean brisket.’ The mother said, ‘My son is a vegetarian.’ And the contestant responded, ‘I can make it vegetarian, but with me, he’ll get all the meat he’ll ever need.'”

The 2017 Mr. Nice Jewish Boy Pageant is Sunday, Aug. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. NW. Admission, which includes one ballot, is $10. Visit washingtondcjcc.org.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com