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FAQ
 
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Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the common questions we expect you may have about the conference. If you can't find what you are looking for, check the Contact Us page for the right person to answer your question.

THE HOTEL

I want to come to Washington before the conference or stay after the conference. Will the Grand Hyatt Washington give me the same low room rate for any such extensions?

Is the conference hotel accessible to persons with disabilities? What about access at the various research venues in Washington?

Can you help me find a roommate at the conference hotel?

If I am sharing a room with another conference attendee, how do we split up the daily fee for using the Fit Club?

Do the hotel rooms have refrigerators?

What arrangements does the hotel have for Shabbat?

What's the best way to book a reservation?

FOOD & RESTAURANTS

Will I be able to find a kosher restaurant in Washington?

Is there a restaurant near the Grand Hyatt Washington where I can get a simple breakfast for a reasonable price?

Where can I find a list of restaurants within easy walking distance of the Grand Hyatt?

Where can I eat near the repository sites?

Are any grocery stores located near the hotel?

WASHINGTON, D.C.

What is the weather like in Washington during August?

How far is the National Archives from the conference hotel?

How far is the Library of Congress from the conference hotel?

How far is the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from the conference hotel?

What's the most convenient way to get around in Washington?

Can I use the Metrorail to get to Mount Vernon?

What is the Mall?

THE CONFERENCE

Will the conference be ADA compliant?

Will conference sessions be recorded?

Will I be able to buy genealogy reference books or software at the conference?

Will computers be available for use by conference participants?

THE HOTEL

Q. I want to come to Washington before the conference or stay after the conference. Will the Grand Hyatt Washington give me the same low room rate for any such extensions?
A.
Yes, the Grand Hyatt Washington is extending the special conference rate for three days before and three days after the conference. To get the conference rate, you need to make your reservation by Sunday, July 31, 2011. Go to the Hotel tab on the conference website. The rate for the Friday night before and the Friday and Saturday night after the conference has been reduced to $99 per night.

Q. Is the conference hotel accessible to persons with disabilities? What about access at the various research venues in Washington?
A.
The meeting rooms at the hotel are fully accessible, and the hotel has accessible sleeping rooms, which you should request when making your reservation. All research venues in Washington conform to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Q. Can you help me find a roommate at the conference hotel?
A.
If you are looking for a roommate, be sure to answer "Yes" for that option on the DC2011 registration page, and we will notify you of other people who are looking for roommates. It will be up to the individuals involved to make arrangements to share a room.

Q. If I am sharing a room with with another conference attendee, how do we split up the daily fee for using the Fit Club?
A.
Please note that the guest first registered in the room will be charged the daily $10 fee. If your room-mates also use the Fit Club, you will need to work out how to share the fee among you. The hotel will not be able to split the fee among your individual bills.

Q. Do the hotel rooms have refrigerators?
A.
The hotel has 18 refrigerators to place in the rooms. They must be requested at check-in and are given out on a first come, first served basis. The cost is $25 for the duration of your stay.

Q. I will arrive on Friday, August 12, and I observe Shabbat. What arrangements does the hotel have for Shabbat?
A.
When you make your reservation, you can request a room on the first or second floor, both of which are accessible via stairs. The hotel staff will be available to operate the elevator and your electronic room key. No rooms are available without an electric room key. The hotel staff has been instructed to leave lights, television, and radio settings exactly the way the guests leave them on Friday.

The conference will host a Friday night Shabbat dinner and a Saturday night dinner and Havdallah with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. For more information, click here.

All food served at the conference will be kosher. See the Food & Restaurants section for more details.

Q. What's the best way to book a reservation?

A. Click the Hotel / Book a room tab above to go to our on-line Hyatt reservation page. 

An important note about credit cards: The reservation payment page will not accept a credit card that is due to expire before September 2011. However, if you make your reservation directly with the hotel by calling (202) 624-8054, the reservations agent will accept the card. Mention that you will be attending our conference, to be sure you get our negotiated rates.

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FOOD & RESTAURANTS

Q. I keep kosher. Will I be able to find a kosher restaurant in Washington?
A.
All food served at the conference will be kosher. The Grand Hyatt Washington has a kosher meat kitchen, and all conference food service will be under the supervision of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington (http://www.capitolk.org/). In addition, the restaurant in the hotel has kosher items available.

JConnect, an information and referral service of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, compiled a list of kosher food establishments in the D.C. metropolitan area. Click here to download and print a copy. Get travel advice from the conference Hospitality Desk.

Q. Is there a restaurant near the Grand Hyatt Washington where I can get a simple breakfast (e.g., juice, bagel, and coffee) for a reasonable price?
A.
Probably the quickest and most convenient place to get a simple breakfast will be the conference concession stand on the Lagoon Level of the hotel. You can also get quick breakfast at the Zephyr Deli on the main lobby level of the Grand Hyatt or grab coffee and pastries at the Starbucks on the same level.

Q. Where can I find a list of restaurants within easy walking distance of the Grand Hyatt?
A.
We are glad you asked! The hotel has compiled a list of restaurants, addresses and phone numbers, plus a brief description of the food and an indication of cost. Click here to see the list. Printed versions will be available at the conference Hospitality Desk.

Q. Where can I eat near the repository sites?
A.
When visiting the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, try the cafe adjacent to the museum. It offers salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and a clean, quiet atmosphere.

When visiting the downtown National Archives, try the Charters Cafe inside the Archives building,  open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.

When visiting the Library of Congress, try the Madison Building employee and general public cafeteria on the sixth floor, offering breakfast, lunch and a southern view of the city. Restaurants and coffee/sandwich shops are within a block of the library, particularly to the east along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Q. Are any grocery stores located near the hotel?
A.
None within walking distance. A shared taxi is an inexpensive way to go. Two options are Trader Joe's, 1101 25th Street, NW (between Pennsylvania Avenue & L Street, NW), 202-296-1921 http://www.traderjoes.com and Whole Foods Market, 1440 P Street, NW, 202-333-5393 http://wholefoodsmarket.com.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.

Q. What is the weather like in Washington during August?
A.
It is likely to be hot, but in general you probably will be quite comfortable since everything here is air conditioned! The average August temperature is 80° F with an average high of 87° F and an average low of 71° F.

Q. How far is the National Archives from the conference hotel?
A.
The Archives is now in two locations. Archives I (the older and better known facility) is on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 7th and 9th streets, about a 10 to 15 minute walk for the average person from the hotel's 10th Street, NW, exit. You also can take the Metro subway system or a taxi.

Archives II is in College Park, Md. You can take the Archives shuttle bus from the Archives I building. The shuttle runs on the hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Q. How far is the Library of Congress from the conference hotel?
A.
The Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress is located at 1st and East Capitol streets, SE. It is definitely not within walking distance of the Grand Hyatt, but is a short ride on Metro. A short taxi ride is another option, especially if you share the fare with a couple of other researchers.

Q. How far is the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from the conference hotel?
A.
The address of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW; this is actually the equivalent of 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW. It is hard to translate the distance into blocks because you will be crossing the Mall, but the museum is approximately nine blocks south and three blocks west of the hotel. Visit the conference Hospitality Desk for travel advice.

Q. What's the most convenient way to get around in Washington?
A.
The Metro subway system is the best way to get around Washington. Washington also is a great city for walking! Many of the attractions are located near the Mall, which is seven blocks south of the Grand Hyatt. The concierge desk at the hotel offers assistance for travel to specific locations in the city. For general information, be sure to consult the D.C. map and Metrorail map in your registration package.

Q. Can I use the Metrorail to get to Mount Vernon?
A.
No, Mount Vernon is not accessible via Metrorail.

Q. What is the Mall?
A.
You will often hear people in Washington talking about the Mall, but they don't usually mean they are going shopping! The Mall is the large, open, grassy area that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building. You can always find lots of people walking, jogging, tossing a frisbee, riding the carousel, and generally having a good time there. It's a great place to watch people on your way to the Smithsonian museums or other attractions.
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THE CONFERENCE

Q. Will the conference be ADA compliant?
A.
The 31st IAJGS conference is ADA compliant. We will comply, mindful of ADA's provisions about financial constraints being one factor in determining a reasonable accommodation under ADA. We will follow a process of making reasonable accommodations as requested under ADA.

If you have special needs associated with a disability, you should send email early to the conference hosts at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to make your request. Be specific. You will receive a prompt acknowledgment of your request followed by a statement regarding the conference's plan for accommodation. We will do our best to make requested accommodations – the earlier the request, the likelier we will be able to fulfill it. All requests must be received by May 1, 2011.

The venue, the Grand Hyatt Washington, is ADA compliant. The hotel has a limited number (22) of guest rooms that are especially designed for guests with disabilities, so please make your reservations early, to ensure that you get one of these rooms if you need it. You should first make a reservation on the conference hotel reservation site and follow up with a phone call to the hotel at 202-624-8054 to specify that handicapped accommodations are needed. The conference area has an accessible elevator, and all meeting rooms will be set up in accordance with ADA specifications, including but not limited to 3-feet-wide aisles enabling wheelchair access.

Q. Will conference sessions be recorded?
A.
Conference sessions will be audio recorded professionally, and CDs will be available for purchase during and after the conference.

Q. Will I be able to buy genealogy reference books or software at the conference?
A.
We are planning an extensive exhibitor area at the conference hotel that will include reference books on Jewish genealogy, maps, charts, data collection forms and computer software. Other businesses will provide products for archival preservation and photo restoration. Frequently, vendors offer discounts to conference attendees. Click on our Vendor tab as we get closer to the conference date to find out what which companies will be present.

Q. Will computers be available for use by conference participants?
A.
Definitely. We are planning two cyber classrooms with computers linked via high-speed access lines to the Internet for instruction and software demonstrations. In addition, the Resource Room will have many computers available to use for research, with free conference access to many web sites you normally would pay for. Also, a Cyber Cafe will allow you to keep up with your email while you are at the hotel. Computers in the Resource Center and the Cyber Cafe will be available free of charge to conference registrants. Note: All computers will have a cursor touchpad and a wired mouse, and at least one available USB port for a wirelees mouse or thumb drive.

 
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