About the Bayit
The students living in the Bayit are a very diverse group. We come from different social and religious backgrounds, from secular Jews to observant, fourth generation in the United States to recent immigrants. We provide social support for one another and the house provides a valuable forum for sharing knowledge.
The Bayit was founded in 1980 by a group of Jewish students who wanted to create a Progressive Jewish cooperative home environment.
Our founders found a historic Julia Morgan house and fell in love with the idea of a cooperative living environment. They liked the house so much that when it was put up for sale, they convinced their parents and some Jewish organizations to buy it so that they could continue to live there. A few years later the Bayit was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. It is now the longest continuously running Jewish co-op in the country.
The Bayit is a family, a spiritual community, and Progressive Jewish living and learning experience for the college students who work together to explore their Jewish identity through daily life practices and meals, sharing and learning from each other, Shabbat and holiday celebrations, and put on events for the wider Berkeley college community.
The household chores are divided among the residents. We keep a kosher kitchen maintaining a level of kashrut as the most kosher person in residence. Other practices are determined by that year's Bayitniks.