Sophie Oreck lives in New Orleans and is a senior at the Isidore Newman School, a one-hundred-year-old private school founded for Jewish orphans. She was a sophomore when Hurricane Katrina struck the city. Her family belongs to Touro Synagogue. Sophie is active in sports and extracurricular activities at her school.
Sophie talks about her school life, activities, and interests. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Sophie and her sister were in high school. She talks about the uncertainty in the months following the storm. She evacuated with her family to Houston, Texas, with only two changes of clothes and wasn't sure when she could return or if her home would still be there when she did. Her family stayed in a hotel before settling into a two-bedroom apartment. Sophie explains how disruptive this experience was to her school year and social life. Sophie says that joining the soccer team at the Kinkaid School in Houston gave her a sense of normalcy and routine. She explains how having a well-connected mother and grandmother in the Jewish community benefited the family during this post-Katrina period. She discusses her Jewish life, bat mitzvah, trips to Israel, and interest in the history of Judaism. Finally, Sophie reflects on being the new kid in school and learning what it's like to feel out of place.