Wow, is this place beautiful. The UVM (yes, it’s UVM, and not UVT–look up the reason in your CAJE program book!) campus in Burlington is surrounded by mountains. The dorms are new and comfy. The literally brand new Davis Center, where all of the Shabbat/Tisha B’Av events are being held is gorgeous. The staff here at UVM is incredibly friendly and helpful, and their attitude is infectious even among the CAJE staff and volunteers. Food’s pretty good, too.
(A personal aside-for the first time ever in all the CAJEs I have attended, I had a problem at registration. I didn’t have a room assigned. Having observed the agonies others have had to go through when this happened to them, I was prepared for the worst. I was most pleasantly surprised and how the problem was taken care of quickly and efficiently. Jeff Lasday can be proud of the CAJE staff for doing a truly commendable job.)
There’s a great collection of scholars on hand with a little something for everyone. Observing Tisha B’Av at CAJE is no easy task, but after the last successful attempt in Seattle, I think planners have a handle on how to make it work, and it shows.
Credit is due to Sam Glaser and Cantor Neil Schwartz who made singing Shabbat Zmirot, benstching, and some contemporary musical Tisha B’Av kinnot a truly enjoyable experience. And it’s the first time I can remember being in a dining room that was actually conducive to having everyone sing and stay together!
Kudos to Shabbat co-chairs Peter Eckstein and Iris Schwarz for a pretty well oiled operation.
cross-posted from my blog on cajenet.ning.com: http://cajenet.ning.com/profile/MigdalorGuy