Face to Face is Best

Last night I went to the blogger’s conference hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, and it was great to meet so many bloggers face to face.

I have to admit, EVERYONE looked completely different than I pictured. Jameel must have Botox laced into those smiley faces he wears, because although he claims to be 40 he looks like an 18 year old! (That’s a compliment).

I always pictured Rafi G. to be a huge hulking guy, probably because he schechts (ritually slaughters) animals once in a while. A butcher has to be huge, right? Wrong in this case.

Aliyah06 has the nicest accent – slightly southern.Β  (I definitely want to meet up again in a quieter environment….)

Tafka PP is a brunette – I always pictured her a blond for some reason. (Thanks so much for the cookies – in the end I had to leave before dessert was served so these were especially appreciated!)

The only people who were not “surprises” were the ones with an occasional picture on their blogs (Batya and Yisrael Medad, and Treppenwitz, to name a few).

I also discovered that a few aquaintances were bloggers too! (They were just as surprised to meet me there as I was to see them).

My only regret from the evening was that there wasn’t more time for informal talking. The panels were ok, (with an unexpected but long addition from Bibi Netanyahu), and the speech by Zavi Apfelbaum was excellent. We really need to hear from her again. Those of you planning next year’s convention please bring her back.

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Baila
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 08:41:59

    Hi! You were on my list of someone I wanted to say hi to, but I missed you. I know that I don’t comment very often, but I like your blog and wanted to let you know that in person. Maybe next year.

  2. PP
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 08:50:35

    Desert was cut fruit and rogelach, but I think we scored the chocolate points with the cookies (it was Aliya06’s idea, I can’t take credit!)

    Really lovely to meet you: Hope you (and West Bank Papa) enjoy the reading material πŸ˜‰

  3. Rafi G
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 09:19:49

    thanks. great compliment I have been working on losing weight the past 2 months. guess it worked. I used to be big and hulking.

  4. Risa
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 12:27:23

    Jameel has a winning wide smile which rivals the yellow one. But I don’t know why you think 40 should look *OLD* – 40 is *young*!
    It was really super meetin everyone!

  5. Lena
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 16:40:00

    I wanted to find you and introduce myself last night, but I was too shy. I hope you enjoyed the night…I certainly did.

  6. aliyah06
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 16:51:11

    It was great to meet you in person–finally! And I, too, had preconceptions–I thought Jameel would look older, that Tafka would be a redhead, and that you would have really long hair! Go figure!

    You amaze me–I was born in the South, then moved to Boston when I was 3, then back to the South, then moved to California to start school, and NO one could figure out my assorted accents.

    Unfortunately, in Hebrew, I am clearly American…..sigh

    I’m looking forward to getting together again!

  7. Yisrael Medad
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 20:37:32

    So, I’m not a “surprise”? What’s a “surprise” in quotation marks as opposed to one sans? Maybe I disappointed? Oh, well, at least I walked away with the raffle gift – now that was a surprise. Glad to have exchanged pleasantries and hope all us bloggers work for a better whatever.

  8. What War Zone???
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 04:26:33

    West Bank Mama, we didn’t meet, did we? Am I allowed to ask your real name or are you anonymous?

  9. westbankmama
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 06:01:56

    Baila – thanks for the compliment.

    PP – it was nice to meet you too, and believe it or not I read your magazine! Will you bring in Makor Rishon to your office now?

    Rafi – uh, oh, I hope you weren’t insulted by this remark!

    Risa – young and old are more in our minds than anything else, but you have to admit he has a baby face!

    Lena – I think there were a lot of people who wanted a quieter environment in order to meet and greet, but at the same time the publicity for Nefesh B’Nefesh was great.

    Aliyah06 – As a matter of fact, I used to have really long hair in high school (down to my waist). Before I was married it was shoulder length, and now it is chin length – more because it is easier to fit under a hat that way! Lunch in Jerusalem is definitely on, we just need to set a date.

    Yisrael – I used to listen to your spot on the radio, and your picture is on the blog, so your physical appearance was not a surprise. Your succinct speech on the panel was also not a surprise – organized and on topic.

    What – no, we didn’t meet. My real name is Rachel BenDavid. I was anonymous for the first year of my blogging “career”, and then I realized that I wasn’t writing anything that I would be embarrassed to own up to, so I “came out”. I don’t publish my kids names, though, and I don’t put up pictures of myself or my family. Your blog is a new one for me, and I really like it!

  10. Jack
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 06:50:43

    Jameel is taking Botox. Hah, I am going to have to give him some grief about that. Too funny.

  11. Rafi G
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 08:29:32

    no insult. I really took it as a compliment, as I really have lost a lot of weight. Though some people still consider me big and hulking, and on the basketball courts I always have to take the biggest guys – the t6″4″ and up guys (even though I am only 6′)

  12. Trackback: Here in HP, a Highland Park, New Jersey blog » About Coffee and Chemo
  13. therapydoc
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 14:15:11

    Sounds like I should have dropped everything and run. I mean, fly. Next year, blee neder.

  14. PP
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 08:20:44

    Makor Rishon?! I think “BSheva” is more appropriate! (I used to comment on a7 from the Palestinian server, just to be annoying!)

  15. rutimizrachi
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 11:05:03

    What Baila and Lena said. A comment on Zavi: I loved what I learned from her, and said so. However, I think she would have been oodles more effective (and would have retained a packed house, instead of sharing time with an over-full shmooze room), if she had OPENED with her “house” focus group film. I spent the first half of her talk trying to figure out what we had in common, and the last few minutes licking the crumbs from her fingertips, wishing we had time for more. IMHO. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading you more often, now that we have finally “met.”

  16. westbankmama
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 11:54:23

    Jack – yes, it is a bit incongruous!

    Rafi – ok, good to know I didn’t insult anyone. Wouldn’t want to be known as a snarky blogger….

    Therapydoc – yes, please come next time!

    PP – you are right that Bsheva would be the counterpoint (which I don’t like because it is too extreme, but I glance at the ads just the same, and read the human interest stories).

    Rutimizrachi – you make an excellent point about how she should have started with the focus group. This really got everyone’s attention!

  17. Jameel
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 13:15:46

    WBM: Your botox comment is going to haunt me for months!!! (Jack’s not going to let me forget it πŸ™‚

  18. Batya
    Aug 25, 2008 @ 03:47:16

    I expected to be among the oldest, but there was a big age range, which was nice. Children of friends I knew in my teens were there. Blogging deletes age.

  19. Ezzie
    Aug 25, 2008 @ 14:20:49

    Jameel DOES look 18. It’s scary.

    Did you meet my sister/brother-in-law? πŸ™‚

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