05 August 2018

IAJGS 2018 Warsaw Conference - Pre-conference

We arrived in Warsaw late Friday, August 3rd. Our bags however decided to enjoy a layover in Amsterdam. They did finally arrived Saturday night in time to keep annoyance from escalating to distress. Before we knew for sure they would make an appearance, we used the 100 Euro promise from KLM to get some clean clothes at the mall within walking distance of the Hilton. Much needed showers and clean clothes improved our outlook.
On Saturday morning after a hearty breakfast, we walked the 1.2 miles to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in 2014. The museum is an impressive undertaking. We visited the core exhibit and rented the audio program, which includes 60 stops on two floors. The exhibit takes one from the year 965, when Jews are first documented in Poland, through today. We were in the exhibit for about three hours.
I had heard about the wooden synagogue roof/ceiling construction when the museum was being built. But no description can really do it justice. I think we tend to think about the past in black and white and our ancestors lives in muted, dismal tones. Not this place! I do not know much about wooden synagogues (although I was certainly impressed with old wooden churches when I visited Ukraine five years ago). I was struck not only by the vibrant colors, but also the surprising imagery: zodiac signs and all sorts of animals. [I am having technial diffculties posting from my ipad app. I have been trying to add photos but to no avail. I will add them when I get home, I guess, when I have access to my laptop.]
Samosas, chicken tikka masala and naan from an Indian restaurant close to the hotel rounded out a pleasant day. Also pleasant: our bags arrived shortly afer 8 PM.
IAJGS registration was a cinch. And I think I acquired enough ribbons(!). The ribbons include:
SPEAKER
MENTOR
JGS PRESIDENT
JewishGen
Ukraine SIG
Romania SIG
JewishGen Kehilalinks
Professional Genealogist

I could have added a few more including one that said "Volunteer," but that seemed understood.

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