What I did like about the event was that they had invited some Gypsy / Romany / Traveller (yes, that is how the organizers designated them) speakers as well. That I think was worthwhile, because the Gypsy side of the story is really not well enough known, and also because prejudice against Gypsies is an issue today whereas antisemitism has become (at least publicly) unacceptable.
Then I headed to lethargic_man's place. I think every time I see him I'm more glad to spend time with him; the awkwardness of reinventing our relationship as friends rather than a couple is getting less with time, which makes it all the more obvious how well we get on. I arrived a bit later than I'd planned on Friday evening, but we ended up talking and making eachother laugh instead of going straight to sleep.
And then Saturday morning we went to lethargic_man's shul, something I've been meaning to do for ages and never got round to. Lovely, lovely community; I can completely see why lethargic_man is so well suited there. It's a good size, big enough to be viable but small enough that everybody has a personal stake in it. And it's lay led, by a group who are committed and knowledgeable and musical. But what's really nice about it is a general atmosphere of people who want to be there and are having fun, whether it's playing around with musical harmonies so they're almost jamming, or being genuinely pleased to see everyone.
Someone commented that it must be very different from what I'm used to, coming from a Reform background, but actually there are more similarities than differences with my particular bit of the Reform world. My community is likewise lay led, and has plenty of resources of musical and knowledgeable people, and is able and keen to be independent from the central movement. And even liturgically, well, Beth Shalom is to the right of the Progressive spectrum, and Assif to the left of Masorti which is itself on the liberal side of the traditional world. So I think both communities fit nicely in the grey area hatam_soferet postulates. Though I think these two communities are much more positive examples than hers; I'm not talking about people who are lonely and don't have enough like-minded people to make a community because of artificial distinctions between denominations.
Back to lethargic_man's place for a very pleasant, if rather sleepy, afternoon with him and curious_reader. I am very glad I do not live in the world of conventional mores where that situation would be expected to be awkward. In fact, I get on well with curious_reader and we are rapidly overcoming the only potential issue, that she and I both know lethargic_man very well but eachother hardly at all.