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Packing List

Saturday, 19 December 2009

For a change of pace, Frume Sarah has decided to venture out of her comfort zone and attend a conference where she knows virtually no one AND where the focus is Judaism and its role in contemporary food issues.

I must admit that I am a little nervous. And I’m not sure which part fills me with more trepidation; not really knowing anyone or being in an environment filled with people who engage in healthy, spiritual practices such as yoga, raw eating, and deep-breathing. Frume Sarah is not from the deep breathers.

I was feeling a bit more confidant until I received the suggested packing list from the conference organizers. It was a good reminder that Frume Sarah will be woefully out of her element.

2009 Food Conference Packing List


Travel Coffee Mug and Reusable Water Bottle
OK — so far, so good. I’ve got my KPCC Travel Mug as well as several chic reusable water bottle options.

Casual, comfortable clothes for the conference and Shabbat.
I actually checked around on this one because casual to one person is another person’s fapitzed. Layers, I’ve been warned, is the name of the game. They also added a note that while there are some who have the custom to wear special clothing for Shabbat, the dress code is still casual. Guess I’ll be leaving the Rabbi-suits at home.

Warm clothing including; Fleece jacket or sweater, gloves, hat.
Jacket or sweater?? Really?? I’m going with jacket AND sweater. Better warm than sorry.

The lovely Asilomar Conference Center provides basic amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, soap and even hair dryers. However, that doesn’t BEGIN to cover my toiletry list.


Alarm Clock

Rain gear (umbrella, boots)
Hm…will I be wearing my rain gear AND my sunglasses at the same time?

Ear plugs
Alright this one had me stumped. I’m guessing in case my roommate snores? Will get back to you on this one.

Medication you need to have with you (ie, inhaler, epi-pen)
Always good to remind people of this one!

Some cash for the Sunday Shuk/Market.
How much is “some?”

Your Hazon t-shirt
This is a tough one as I don’t actually own a Hazon t-shirt. Is there one in my future???

Jewish stuff

Jewish stuff??? An interesting catch-all phrase; Jewish stuff. I might have used “Prayer Garb” or “Ritual Items.” Further explanation pointed to a range of prayer opportunities during the conference and over Shabbat, including shacharit as well as the following:

    If you wear a kippah, tallit or tefillin, please bring them.

“If you wear…” suggests present tense. So the kippah and tefillin stay home. Tallit???? Yes…no…which one??? My Bat Mitzvah one? My ordination one? PC has a wool one and they said to bring warm clothes…

    We have a limited number of siddurim, if you have one you use regularly, you should bring it.

As for a siddur, I just don’t know. Am I making a public statement by which siddur I use? The Mishkan is bulky. Plus, I don’t really use it for my personal davening. But I am a Reform rabbi and that is our Movement’s siddur. And I do, generally speaking, believe that there is a great deal of strength in having a Movement siddur. On the other hand (as my friend, Tevye, is fond of saying) I enjoy a more traditional prayerbook for my own praying. I was given a copy of Rinat Yisrael 16 years ago by a mentor and it is very dear to me. Here’s an image — Frume Sarah garbed in a wool tallit gadol AND the suggested fleece hat WITH a copy of Rinat Yisrael in hand during Shachris!


Yoga Mat
A yoga mat??? Apparently there are many opportunities for both yoga and meditation during the Conference. But again, Frume Sarah is not from the deep-breathers.

Walking shoes
This one has me completely stumped. Would these be for one’s normative transportation? In which case, it is not altogether clear to me why one needs a reminder to put on one’s shoes. Is this an indication of some form of recreation?? One which requires a shoe with greater support?

Dancing Shoes
Again, more details are needed. What type of dancing will we be doing that requires separate shoes?

Cycling clothing

    Bicycle & Helmet (Asilomar only provides beach cruising bikes. You must wear a helmet if you intend to ride)

I don’t even OWN a bicycle let alone a bicycle helmet. In fact, how many people own a helmet if they do not actually own a bike?

Not on your life.

Frume Sarah doesn’t play games.

Journal, notebooks, pens
Always. No reminder needed.

Reusable shopping bags for your Sunday Shuk purchases
Would have expected nothing less!!!

Reading materials (the book group reading is Epitath for a Peach)
I don’t think that I’ve ever left the house without reading material. Should I bring books on the topic or something completely different for a mental break?

Seeds for swap at the Sunday Shuk

Musical instruments
Piano…too heavy. Guitar…too fragile. Voice…just right.


The conference begins this Thursday. You can be certain that Frume Sarah will have much to report upon her return.

Shavua tov!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, 20 December 2009 12:01 am

    If you fly just remember that United Breaks Guitars.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:42 am

      Yes and that is one good reason not to schlep the guitar. I’ve had too many friends with bad guitar experiences to chance it!

  2. Sunday, 20 December 2009 3:47 am

    Seeds for swap at the Sunday Shuk
    – loved that one

    I hope and pray you meet at least one person there who shares your trepidations and hesitations and makes the whole trip worthwhile.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:44 am

      Thanks, Leora. What a kind thought 🙂

  3. Sunday, 20 December 2009 6:18 am

    That does sound a wee bit crunchy. Perhaps you could bring that organic chocolate gelt instead of seeds – I’d go for chocolate any day :).

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:44 am

      I’m not from the crunchies either. But I am growing more and more convinced that we need to eat in a more sustainable fashion.

      And the chocolate idea is a great one! Especially if I don’t like anything they are serving…

  4. Sunday, 20 December 2009 9:31 am

    Great job–and THANKS FOR REMINDING ME! I had forgotten….

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:43 am

      Thanks! I put a reminder in my PDA to send me a message a week before my date for just this reason 🙂

  5. Sunday, 20 December 2009 8:39 pm

    Until you got to “yoga mat” it sounded like my kids’ camp packing list from last summer, especially the t-shirt! But seriously, have a great time. I loved every Jewish conference I ever attended and always came away energized!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Monday, 21 December 2009 6:32 pm

      I’ve pretty much only been to Jewish conferences. So I know what to expect…somewhat! Just looked at the program guide. SOOOO many interesting sessions. But, again, this is a brand-new topic for me. And I really won’t know anyone.

      Hence the trepidation!

  6. jamimess permalink
    Sunday, 20 December 2009 9:44 pm

    Really, no games? I could picture you as a game player. (Board, card, etc.) Have fun!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Monday, 21 December 2009 6:33 pm

      Poker with my sibs. And it’s taken years for me to sit at the table with them.

      Really not a game player!

  7. Sunday, 20 December 2009 9:48 pm

    oh. my. heavens.

    i canNOT wait to hear all about it. seriously. wish i could be a fly on your fleece hat…

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Monday, 21 December 2009 6:33 pm

      Yup. In addition to yoga AND deep breathing, they offer some qi thing. At some God-forsaken hour.


  8. Wednesday, 23 December 2009 10:37 am

    This sounds completely awesome. I’m only glad I’m not going because it would probably make me feel bad that I am killing the environment. However, I have really cut back on the red meat, not because it’s not strictly kosher, not because it isn’t good for me, and not because it isn’t good for the cow. It’s because it isn’t good for the environment.

    They absolutely should have been more exact with the “Jewish Stuff.” Otherwise, they’re going to end up with people coming with underwear that says tuchus. That’s Jewish stuff, right?


  1. Packing List — The Revisit « Frume Sarah's World

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