Life in the New Orleans Bayit: A Photo Essay Posted on August 8, 2014 by Avodah Over the last few months, our New Orleans Corps members collected photos from their house in order to tell the story of their communal life. Mia Bruner practicing some guitar chords in her room. The bayit is full of music at all times and the corps members have diverse and eclectic taste. Even though though work and programming can be physically and emotionally exhausting, it is always a relief to return to the bayit, where corps members are able to let loose and be silly. New Orleans is a beautiful and lush city. Even though we’re averaging 90 degrees Fahrenheit now that it’s June, we can still pick beautiful flowers from our yard and sit out on our Southern porch and enjoy a rare breeze and a frequent mosquito bite. Pictured here is Hannah Wolfman-Arent. The bayit porch is a primary venue for socializing and playing games. Recently, In a sweet moment, the entire house spontaneously congregated on the porch and played together. Sometimes we play board games, sometimes we make up our own! Celebrating Jewish life as a community is an essential part of the AVODAH experience. Rayza Goldsmith and Hannah Rich are seen here preparing Shabbat dinner for the bayit. Maddie Fireman and Rayza Goldsmith, who attended rival universities (THE Ohio State University and the University of Michigan) also happen to be roommates. Much to the chagrin of the rest of the bayit, their rivalry is often discussed in house meetings and at programs. Go Blue! Alysse Fuchs is sporting an impressive amount of beads accumulated during Mardi Gras. The bayit is overflowing with beads left over from the celebration. We’re due for a trip to the bead recycling center (yes, that does exist). Mardi Gras is a significant part of the New Orleans experience, whether or not you choose to go all out. Jessica Greenberg and Rayza Goldsmith were very enthused by the experience and ended up going to nearly every parade. They decided to make t-shirts with “We Won Mardi Gras” and their names on them to commemorate the experience. They wear them with embarrassing frequency. Mardi Gras wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without “throws,” aka the items, beads and other items, that people on the floats throw down to parade-goers. Here, you can see Jessica Greenberg and Rayza Goldsmith simulating the parade experience with throws. Fitness is a really important aspect of life in the bayit. Corps members often do yoga together and participate in other fitness activities. Leah Effron, an avid runner, swimmer and yoga-doer, shows off some skills. Different Mardi Gras krewes have distinctive throws that are unique to their parades. Here, you can see a shoe from the Muses parade and a coconut from the Zulu parade, both of which were caught by corps members at Mardi Gras 2014. Corps members participate in yoga together in the living room. Jessica Greenberg is a trained yoga instructor, and often helps corps members perfect their poses. Beyond playing games, corps members use the porch to socialize and relax. It’s a particularly good napping spot when it’s not too hot outside. Sometimes, corps members even create poses together. This is one particularly cool pose in which corps members planked one on top of another. Rayza Goldsmith and Leah Effron decided to try a new hobby in the bayit: beer brewing! Here, you can see them adding sugar to their brew so that it can carbonate.