Students singing “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban during the KOR-aoke event Thursday night. Mohan Xu/Mitzpeh.

By Mohan Xu
For Mitzpeh

KOR, the joint-student group between the Kedma, Ometz and Ruach communities, held the KOR-aoke event for the first time in the Maryland Hillel Multi-Purpose Room Thursday night.

“The goal of KOR-aoke is for students within Hillel to have a fun space to meet each other,” said Maya Greenbaum, a sophomore kinesiology major. Greenbaum is the KOR representative from Kedma.

Before the event, Greenbaum explained that attendees would have the opportunity to choose karaoke songs to sing. The lyrics would then be displayed on a large TV screen, and the singer would use a microphone connected to speakers.

Students gave several reasons for attending the event, but the main reason was they felt it would be interesting and fun.

“I had a bunch of friends that were leading the event, and I also love to sing,” said Rebecca Elspas, a junior public health science major. “It is really fun.”

Elspas also said she wanted to spend time with everyone involved.

Avi Alpert, the KOR representative from Ometz, opened the event with Greenbaum by singing Selena Gomez’s 2009 song, “Naturally.” Students sang varying styles of songs, including Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” and Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.”

Helen Hankey, a junior Jewish studies major, sang Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Hankey explained she chose this song because she sings along to it a lot in the car. Elspas sang the “High School Musical” hit, “Breaking Free.”

Alpert sang his own song “Deep Fried Fridays,” to which students laughed and applauded.

During the event, singers had a lot of interactions with other students. Sometimes, students clapped in time to the songs. At other times, students waved hands and joined in with the singers. A few times, singers also danced while they performed.

KOR is unique because “it allows for the collaboration of these three Hillel communities,” Greenbaum said. 

“The goal of KOR is to allow for students within each of these communities to interact with and become friends with each other, and to provide a welcoming space for everyone within the Hillel building,” Greenbaum said.

She added that there will be more KOR events in the future after KOR-aoke’s success, including an event called CONNECT, which would have interdenominational Torah learning and Shabbat afternoon board games.

“I think if Hillel has such an event, I would come to it again,” Hankey said.

After the event, students said they enjoyed the karaoke and had a lot of fun.

“I think it is a good way to bring all three communities together and get to know other people who are also involved with Hillel,” said Caroline Adkins, a freshman psychology major.


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