29 June 2009

Jamboree: Final Day

This posting is a bit out of order as the second day of Jamboree was so full that I'm still trying to get it into a more readable format.

Delayed jetlag finally hit me yesterday afternoon after my friend Hilary and I got back to her home. Of course, the delicious lunch at Outback might have had something to do with an overwhelming desire to sleep. I had two long naps and finally woke at 4.30am and started writing. Hope to get a lot posted today.

Overall comments on Jamboree 2009: Phenomenal! Excellent presentations, many diverse topics, expert speakers, and much more.

I can't wait to see the video podcast (recorded Friday) with Drew and George of the Genealogy Guys. I also recorded an audio podcast with Lisa Cooke Sunday morning.

There were lunches with old friends, as well as discussions about Philly 2009 and Los Angeles 2010, several breaking news items that can't be revealed just yet, and great meetings with interesting people.

The high points were many and the most interesting was having so many geneabloggers in one place at one time. There was so much to see that we had to make time either to blog or to attend sessions - it was hard to do both, but I have lots of notes to put into posting format.

We learned, after our first annual blogger dinner, that we are a really noisy crowd - thanks, Thomas, for arranging that!

My mini-computer held up very well and I was delighted with its performance, especially after procuring a nine-cell battery, lasting about 10 hours on a full charge. I'm glad I won't ever have to lug my ancient HP dinosaur anywhere else. Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers.com has a black Asus (mine is a white Acer) and we were often at the same table or session working side-by-side.

My camera (unfortunately) didn't perform as well, but geneablogger friends are sending me the photos they took, so I'll be able to post some of them.

While each of us in the geneablogger community knew we were an interesting bunch, nothing is as good as meeting each other in person.

Ancestry invited the "group" to a breakfast presentation, which we can't yet share. I fully expect that in the future other gen companies will also see us as a focused community and arrange special events.

Making personal connections in this way is good for everyone - for the corporate organizations with something to say and news to provide, and for the geneablogging community - as we each provide individual takes on that information.

Now that I have woken up, I have a lot of work to do today.

After a few days in Los Angeles seeing friends and relatives (and a few meetings on future events), I head north on Friday to Los Altos (near Stanford University and Google) to my good gen friends Rosanne and Dan Leeson. I also hope to see fellow geneablogger Steve Danko who works near there.

Judy Simon of New York (and who co-admins our IberianAshkenaz DNA project) will also be in the area visiting her daughter and we plan to get together. A visit to the Sephardic synagogue Ahabat Shalom in San Jose is in the workings (they offer an active program for Conversos), along with a visit to another old friend from Iran who lives in Monterey.

A high point was visiting with my old friend Steffani who came up from Anaheim Hills to attend most of the conference. Old friends are the best and, despite the intervening years, our shared experiences in Iran truly bonded us very strongly in so many ways.

We are already planning to see each other in June 2010, when I'll be in Southern California for at least a month bridging the Jamboree in mid-June and the Los Angeles edition of the Jewish genealogy conference in mid-July. There's also the possibility of an East Coast speaking tour in May.

In a few weeks, I head east to New York City, then down to Philadelphia for the 29th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy (August 2-7), back to New York and then return to Tel Aviv.

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