Jewkbox, UCLA’s only Jewish acapella group, was recently approved as an official registered student group last week, allowing for greater resources and funding to come its way.
Jewkbox’s registration was initiated in response to the difficulty finding rehearsal space in Hillel, where they had rehearsed previously. That space is now rented out to Academy for Jewish Religion, California. In the meantime, Jewkbox has held some rehearsals at the Bayit, a Jewish co-op housing project.
Jessica Lipman, Jewkbox’s leader, is a music education and performance double major at UCLA and had stepped up to help lead the team last year in the spring. Lipman took the lead after the graduation of the previous leader, Liat Bainvoll. The registration process took nearly a month and included the application, the creation of a constitution, and a day long workshop, said Lipman.
Many things have changed in the past year. “We have a lot of access to scholarship opportunities. Basically, before we had to go through Hillel to get everything we want, but now we have a wider web of resources to access,” Lipman said. Additionally, the acapella group has more than doubled in size, growing from eight members to eighteen.
Jewkbox is not resentful of Hillel and understands the need to utilize the space that was not being used during the acapella group’s summer hiatus. Lipman is very grateful to Ben Greenberg, Hillel’s Director of Student Life, for all his help in figuring logistics out and acting as a point of communication between AJRCA and Jewkbox.
You can watch Jewkbox perform at the Wilshire Temple on Dec. 9 during their Hanukkah festival.