From left, IAJGS president Michael Goldstein (Israel), secretary Joel Spector (New Jersey), board members Jackye Sullins (California) and Jan Meisels Allen (California) with vice president Michael Brenner (Nevada).
Breakfast is the most important part of the day - conference-goers are usually too busy to eat lunch - and I was joined by Howie Morris of the JGS of Greater Boston, who is part of our International Jewish Genealogy Month committee. Conference co-chair Pam Weisberger and just-arrived Wolf-Erich Eckstein of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (Jewish Community Archives, Vienna, Austria) later came over to our table. I asked Wolf about Sephardic records in Vienna. He said that some 10 years of marriage records are missing, from about 1850-60, and no one knows why.
The breakfast buffet at the hotel's LA Market was tempting, complete with French toast, pancakes, waffles, fresh fruit, pastries and more. Some nice touches: genuine maple syrup is served in small warmed bottles, and steamed milk for coffee. Very nice!
Doris Loeb Nabel (Connecticut), who heads up the Mac-users group (email@example.com, for more information) walked by not much later.
This hotel is BIG. There is a bridge from one part of the conference center to the other. Seating was non-existent on my first round, but many seating areas were ready for attendees only a few hours later.
The Internet connection, free for conference attendees, is excellent wired or wireless - to be expected in a brand-new facility.
Among the people greeted today: conference co-chair Sandy Malek (California), Renee Steinig (New York), Judy Simon (New York), Steve and Anita Morse (San Francisco), and so many more.
I also participated in the annual rite of conference bag stuffing this afternoon. See the finished bags (photo left).
Daniel Horowitz (Israel), Thomas MacEntee (Illinois) and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Trader Vic's down the street. At an outdoor table were Warren and Debra Blatt (California) and Michael Tobias and his family (Scotland).
Back at the hotel, attendees began lining up at 9.15pm to pre-register. The long line moved quickly and I was soon back in my room, blogging about today's experiences, going over my blogging presentation tomorrow and reading through the conference materials.
More tomorrow on the major events of the conference's opening day: klezmer concerts, the Market Square, sessions for beginners, films and so much more.