In first person… YAD weekend finds love, jitterbug, vows

It was Labor Day weekend 1967. I was annoyed that Irving Rabin had corralled me into attending a Camp Tawonga symposium of the federation's Young Adult Division, entitled "Jewish Identity in the World Today." He insisted that as one of YAD's founders, I lead a discussion group. This meant missing three days of golf.

Elysa had had an argument with her mother. Having only recently moved to the Bay Area from Southern California, Elysa was annoyed that without any discussion, her mother had bought her a ticket for a weekend program that required traveling several hours by chartered bus to attend.

I first noticed Elysa while manning the registration desk. That evening at a mixer, I was leaning on the piano that Morrie Bobrow, a fellow lawyer, was playing. He was leading a combo of YAD musicians and I had politely excused myself from a dance partner who wasn't a particularly good dancer. In western Pennsylvania where I grew up, if you couldn't dance, you had no social life. Elysa walked over by the piano and I struck up a conversation. I asked her if she liked to dance and she said she did. Morrie played a jitterbug and off we went. Elysa had studied dance and was extremely good.

The next day I surreptitiously switched the discussion group assignments to transfer Elysa into my group. We were married in June 1968 and haven't lost a jitterbug contest on cruises and at country clubs since then.