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A Wonderful Audience in Laguna Woods

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I have always found the experience of speaking about the subject of the book, Sephardic Jews and related topics (i.e. Crypto Jews, Jews and the Age of Discovery, Notable Sephardic Women, etc.), always reaffirming. This past Friday, 1/29, was particularly energizing as I shared the evening with over 100 persons, all but a few chronologically gifted citizens and all engaged and attentive, eager to learn what they could and many sharing with us, whether through statements or questions afterwards or by vigorous nodding or smiling, even some few frowning, as I went along.
I had prepared myself for the tendency of even some of the most enrapt listeners to get sleepy at night, so I trimmed the usual 40 minutes or so down to 30. But this audience was very much awake and present, some engaging me in conversation in the time leading up to the presentation, others crowding around the podium after the conclusion.
There were some neat comments in my guest book, such as “Bravo! I sing Sephardic songs!” I’m sure to email her to ask about it, always eager to learn new sources on Sephardic music and singing, whether for arts programs for the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies, or for my own interest.
We arrived early and were served a wonderful dinner by Program Chair Lenore Rosenblum, who, I discovered, came from my college town, Syracuse, NY. Lenore, bless her, wanted to help us beat Friday night traffic, so she got us out there early. We spent the night afterwards in a hotel with a view of the ocean in nearby Laguna Beach. It’s a good thing there was a spa in the room to help settle me down from the excitement of the evening and be able to fall asleep.
Thanks for the inspiring experience, my new friends in the Laguna area, and for helping this chronologically gifted individual meet some new role models in intellectual vitality.

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