Staff

Hazon staff are located in six regions across the United States and are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

Click here for contact information by region and department.

Edward Angert   Office Assistant

Edward was Brooklyn born and Long Island raised. He earned his Professional Communications degree from Farmingdale State College and previously worked as a tech at Westbury Library, an usher at Jones Beach Theater, and a barista at Starbucks.

Edward has CouchSurfed in over twenty cities throughout the United States and Canada, and in addition to being the Hazon and Makom Hadash office assistant, Edward spends his weekends teaching rollerskating to schoolchildren. He spends the rest of his time tinkering with computers and the Internet, taking things apart, drinking tea, riding bicycles, saying hello and offering hugs to strangers, ignoring some social norms and gender roles, and always learning.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x312 | edward.angert@hazon.org
Judith Belasco   Director of Thought-Leadership & Capacity-Building

Judith Belasco is the Director of Thought-Leadership & Capacity-Building. She has been with Hazon since 2007 primarily working to develop and grow Hazon’s Food Programs. Judith has developed a number of the curricula for children around food, sustainability and Jewish tradition, including Min Ha’Aretz and Gan Nashim. With the 2013 merger, Judith is excited to develop a new department which also includes Teva, Adamah, the Jewish Greening Fellowship, and regional work.

Judith is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and graduated with a Masters of Science in Nutrition and Public Health from Columbia University and holds a Bachelors degree in Urban Studies from Vassar College. Prior to coming to Hazon, she was the Program Coordinator of Linking Food & the Environment (LiFE).

Judith lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children who are budding sous chefs and help make dinner time both more fun and more messy.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x308 | judith.belasco@hazon.org
Janna Berger   Field Manager

Janna Berger came to Adamah in February of 2011 with a passion for sharing the skills, connections, and confidence to shift realities that farming has offered her. She began her farm career as an intern in 2005 after graduating from Beloit College and has had dirty knees ever since; holding roles that include farm educator, flower grower, assistant farm manager, and farm business owner at various farms across the country. She has published a number of essays on biological agriculture.

Cultivating the Adamah Farm allows Janna to strike a profound balance between agricultural ingenuity and production while creating resonant space for fellows, apprentices, and visitors to learn and grow.  Long days under the sun and fresh produce feed her body while teaching and introducing people to the land provide structure for the intellectual and spiritual aspects of farming that feed her mind and soul.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.3003 x4 | janna.berger@hazon.org
Matt Carl   Director of Community Engagement

Matt Carl is an educator, an environmentalist and a rabbi. He has taught Jewish texts and topics in synagogues, community centers and universities throughout the US and his writings can be seen in print and on various blogs, including The Jew & the Carrot. A native Californian, he has lived in Brooklyn long enough to have almost lost his accent. Matt’s love for bikes began well before his involvement with Hazon, but his love for goats didn’t.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x327 | matt.carl@hazon.org
Sarah Chandler   Director of Earth Based Spiritual Practice

Sarah Chandler is a Jewish experiential educator, community activist, spiritual leader, and blogger. Most recently, Sarah has served as the Director of Jewish Family Life & Learning (JoyFuLL) at West End Synagogue in Manhattan. She has her M.A. in Jewish Communal and Experiential Education and Hebrew Bible from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has been an educator with the Teva Learning Center since 2003.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.3003 x4 | sarah.chandler@hazon.org
Yonatan Chesler   Bookstore Manager

Yonatan Chesler was formerly a communications officer in a Middle Eastern country while under cover as a mechanical engineer for irrigation systems.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.3007 | yonatan.chesler@hazon.org
Yishai Cohen   Director of Teva Programs

Yishai Cohen is the Director of Teva Programs. Yishai and his wife Rachael chose to become a part of the Isabella Freedman community in their quest for intentional Jewish living and for the opportunity to impact Jewish youth in a life-changing and profound way.

Prior to joining the Teva team, Yishai worked at the Hebrew Academy in Albany, NY where he was a middle school Judaic studies teacher and Jewish student life director.
As a recipient of the JFNA (Jewish Federations of North America) FEREP (Federation Executive Recruitment and Education Program) scholarship, Yishai received his masters in public administration with a focus in Jewish nonprofit management from FIU in Miami, FL. Yishai then worked at Jewish federations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Princeton, NJ, as a campaign development manager. Yishai was also the coordinator of the Israel Education and Resource Center for Jewish Educational Resources of New York. Yishai is currently in a rabbinical studies program with Rabbi Chaim Brovender of Jerusalem.

When not playing his guitar and rocking out with day school students in the Isabella Freedman dining hall, Yishai enjoys scuba diving, flying air planes, chopping wood, learning Talmud, and wrestling with his two rambunctious daughters, Eden and Sella.

Falls Village, CT | 860.480.3126 | yishai.cohen@hazon.org
Cheryl Cook   Chief Operating Officer

Cheryl Cook is Chief Operating Officer at Hazon, and has helped shaped financial resource development, operations, and human resources for Hazon. She served as Acting Executive Director in 2011 when Nigel was on sabbatical. When Cheryl joined Hazon in 2006, there were 6 staff in one city with a budget of $650k. Today, Hazon has grown to 50 staff in six regions with a budget of $7 million. Cheryl originally got involved with Hazon as a ride participant in 2002 and was chair of the ’05 NY Ride, setting up the first century ride for Hazon, which she proudly rode.  Her roots are in Detroit, where she was raised with one grandfather in the relish business with a stall at one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the country, Eastern Market, and one in the kosher meat wholesale business. As a result, she can tell an old dill from a new dill – and even went to camp one year with a salami in her suitcase.

Cheryl has over twenty years of leadership experience as a manager, fundraiser and program planner in the Jewish community. Her previous job was as Director of Development for JESNA where she was responsible for a campaign of $5.5 million dollars. She also worked as Assistant Director of the New York Office for New Israel Fund, Director of Community and Membership Development at Makor, and Director of the Tri-Colleges Hillel (Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges). She credits the amazing influences of Habonim Dror, Hillel Day School and her family in giving her an early grounding in Jewish life and a passion for creating a vibrant and just Jewish community.

Cheryl earned an M.A. from Jewish Theological Seminary, a M.S. from Columbia University, and a B.A. from University of Wisconsin. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Devin Cohen and her 2 sons, Isaac and Max.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x306 | cheryl.cook@hazon.org
Drisana Davis   Senior Program Associate

Drisana Davis was born and raised in Hawaii, has a BA in English Literature from UCSB, and has been a professional in the non-profit sector for over ten years. She recently relocated back to CA after spending seven years as Manager of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Mitzvah Food Project. While there, she directed hunger relief programs and food drive events at five food cupboards that annually served over 4000 unduplicated recipients. Drisana spent the last two months in India in a yoga teacher training course. At Hazon, Drisana’s primary responsibilities include overseeing Hazon’s Golden Gate Ride, marketing Hazon’s local events, and supporting our Food Justice Work. She lives in San Francisco and enjoys spending time with her family in California, hiking, cooking, and learning about nutrition, health and wellness and traveling.

San Francisco, CA | 415.397.7020 | drisana.davis@hazon.org
Erika Davis   Human Resources Administrator

A native of Toledo, Ohio Erika left the Buckeye State after college for the bright lights and high-fashion Big City where she worked for over a decade as an HR manager for a handful of retail heavy-hitters. In the months leading up to her conversion on August 17, 2011, Erika realized that her talents would be best suited within the Jewish community. She worked as a Program Associate for Pursue, a project of AJWS, and on AJWS’s Where Do You Give campaign before joining Hazon as Chief of Staff in 2012. Erika’s happy to be back in Human Resources as Hazon’s HR Administrator.

Creating inclusive and diverse Jewish communities is a personal passion which manifests in writing and maintaining her website, Black, Gay and Jewish. Erika is currently working on a memoir and is toying with the idea of penning a children’s book. She has spoken on panels at the Hetrick Martin Institute and was featured on Radio 613 Erika volunteers for The Jewish Multiracial Network and for Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ). Erika is a fair-weather cyclist, yogi, and former long-distance runner, foodie home-chef who dreams of one day living on many acres raising goats and chickens and tending to a large garden with her partner.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x310 | erika.davis@hazon.org
Yigal Deutscher   Shmita Project Manager

Yigal Deutscher is an educator, farmer and permaculture designer. After participating in the pilot season of the Adamah fellowship, he continued his training with the University of California, Santa Cruz (Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems), as well as with the Permaculture Research Institute in Australia. Until 2010, he was the farm manager and permaculture educator at the Chava v’Adam farm in Israel, where he also founded the Shorashim/Eco-Israel apprenticeship program. He has been a regular educator at Hazon programs and Food Conferences over the years and is passionate about supporting the movement to translate the values of the Shmita tradition into a modern context, as a way to strengthen local food systems, economic systems and community structures. He is the founder of 7Seeds, an educational platform combining Jewish indigenous teachings & Permaculture Design strategies, as well as the manager of Hazon’s Shmita Project.

New York, NY | 646.417.0008 | yigal.deutscher@hazon.org
Matt Dorter   Program and Communication Consultant, Jewish Greening Fellowship

Matt is a writer, performer, Jewish educator and summer camp professional with over 15 years of staff experience at Jewish camps. Matt graduated New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Theater and Applied Education and served as Company Manager of the New Acting Company in New York City. He was a member of the Jewish Greening Fellowship’s first cohort and advisory board before joining the Jewish Greening Fellowship as Programming and Communications Consultant. Matt is a consultant on environmental programming for camps and an entertainer at the forefront of using creativity to inspire environmental action and foster youth development in informal settings.

New York, NY | matt.dorter@hazon.org
Jeremy Edelman   Program Associate

Jeremy is a new resident of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He graduated in 2011 from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied Environmental Studies and Religious Studies. Jeremy has been active in the Jewish community his whole life, from Solomon Schechter and Camp Ramah, to the Israeli cultural group on campus, to volunteering at an Israeli soup kitchen. While learning in New Zealand during his study abroad, Jeremy found his passion for sustainable food on an organic farm and continued this passion at Wash U. After dreaming of inventing the solar-powered car since he was ten years old, Jeremy is excited about finally working towards a more sustainable world at Hazon!

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x314 | jeremy.edelman@hazon.org
Mirele Goldsmith   Director of Jewish Greening Fellowship

Dr. Mirele B. Goldsmith is an environmental psychologist, educator and activist. Mirele served as the director of Professional Development for Hillel International, where she created and implemented an acclaimed accreditation program. Later on, as an independent program evaluator, she was privileged to participate in the explosion of new, innovative programs in formal and informal Jewish education, leadership, and social services, that has taken place in the past decade. Her clients included established organizations such as UJA Federation of New York, BBYO International and the Jewish Community Center Association, and start-ups such as JewishFamily.com, Ma’yan, and Keshet. She continues to teach courses in evaluation in the Academy for Funder Education at New York University.   Mirele’s interest in environmental problems led her to go back to school to pursue her PhD in environmental psychology. She wrote her doctoral dissertation about grassroots activism to influence New York City’s water policies, and this led her to explore the subject of water in Jewish tradition. Mirele has shared Jewish teachings at the Faith in Water Workshop of the Alliance for Religion and Conservation at the Salisbury Cathedral, and the Washington Prayer Breakfast of the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. She also attended the UN Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen on behalf of 22 Jewish organizations. Her writings on Judaism and the environment have been published in the Jerusalem Report, the Jewish Week, the Forward, and the Huffington Report. Mirele currently directs the Jewish Greening Fellowship, a groundbreaking effort to engage non-profit agencies in the New York area in reducing energy use, implementing sustainable operations, and educating their communities about climate

New York, NY | 917.679.2121 | mirele.goldsmith@hazon.org
Lauren Greenberg   Program Fellow

Lauren graduated from Tufts University this spring with a BA in English and a minor in Judaic Studies. Originally from New York, she is thrilled to be back here as Hazon’s program fellow.  Lauren first discovered Hazon while writing an article as an intern for another Jewish non-profit a few years ago, and quickly became enamored with their mission and their ways of combining Judaism and sustainability (and envious of their interns).

Lauren grew up spending time in a variety of Jewish denominations based on the preferences of different family members, spent a year in Israel on Nativ and ran a minyan in college that claimed to be Conservative but whose constituents identified at various points on and off the denominational spectrum.  Her interest in Judaism formally aligned with her aspiration to save the world, the expected mission of all liberal arts college graduates, this past summer when she participated in the Adamah fellowship. Though she has always been interested in conserving resources, it was during Adamah that Lauren became fully aware of the sense of empowerment that one can derive from knowing that her own actions are actively reducing waste. Her highlights of the summer include starting a greywater system, completing the Hazon New York Ride, and earning an Earth Bead, which she would love to talk to you more about.

She also enjoys listening to Jewish a capella, baking desserts that contain vegetables, and noticing misplaced hyphens.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x322 | lauren.greenberg@hazon.org
Jeffrey Greenberg   Interim Director of Finance and Administration

Rabbi Jeffery Greenberg has been at Isabella Freedman since 2010 and served in almost every department during his tenure there. He grew up in New York City and before coming to Isabella Freedman could not imagine ever leaving the city. Jeffrey received his Rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary Yeshiva University. He is a CPA and received his B.S. in Accounting from the Sy Syms School of Business. Prior to coming to Isabella Freedman Jeffrey was the Controller for Golden Tree Insite Partners, and has also worked for Wolfensohn and Company and KPMG as an accountant.

Jeffrey has lived in Israel for 2 years and he has also taught second grade at SAR Academy and was Educational Director of Hillel of Greater Toronto.

Jeffrey is current a trustee of the NCSY Ben Zakkai Alumni Society and has previously served as its chair.

He has also served as a trustee and Chief Financial Officer at the Mt Sinai Jewish Center.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x302 | jeffrey.greenberg@hazon.org
Amy Hannes   Director of Marketing & Communications

Working at Hazon serves as a curious and wonderful intersection for Amy’s otherwise seemingly unrelated experiences as a personal chef, a recreational triathlete, and a former rabbinic student. Prior to beginning her marketing and communications work for Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in 2006, Amy worked as an attorney at WilmerHale, a mediator with the Boston Law Collaborative, and a personal chef in the Greater Boston area. Amy received a law degree from Northeastern University, and a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Colgate University. Amy resides and thrives in New Paltz, NY, where she dances, swims, and continues to cook for herself and her loved ones. Amy commutes between Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT, and Hazon’s New York office at Makom Hadash.

New York, NY | 845.853.4406 | amy.hannes@hazon.org
Daniel Infeld   Senior Program Associate

Daniel Infeld is a Senior Program Associate at Hazon, and the lead-staff member for the New York Ride, Food Conference, and Israel Sustainable Food Tour. During his time at Hazon, Daniel has lead and supported many projects, including networking Jewish educators and synagogue lay-leaders around the country and creating innovative resources that connect users to the spiritual and environmental themes of Jewish holidays. Daniel is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester, MA where he studied Communication and Culture, with a minor in Sociology. Daniel served in many leadership positions with Clark Hillel and Clark Musical Theatre. As Hillel president, he facilitated a visioning process to engage a new generation of student leadership. Daniel spent five summers on the staff of Eisner Camp, including two in senior leadership, and is proud to have represented Eisner as a Foundation for Jewish Camp Cornerstone and Launchpad Fellow. During his junior year of college, Daniel spent four months as a safari guide at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – educating guests about conservation issues and providing world-class customer service. Daniel lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rachel.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x316 | daniel.infeld@hazon.org
Jessie Karsif   Development Associate

Jessie is thrilled to be part of the team at Hazon as Development Associate! Having grown up in Habonim Dror and having worked in the Jewish non-profit world for over five years, Jessie is so excited to have found such an amazing community of fellow value-based educators. She comes to Hazon with degrees from both The New School University’s Eugene Lang College and from Simon’s Rock College of Bard, and a wealth of knowledge from her various world travels (for instance, did you know that Oamaru, New Zealand hosts an annual Victorian Heritage Festival?). Jessie has been to Morocco, Poland, New Zealand, Greece, Mexico, Bolivia, and Canada (in no particular order), but has spent most of her time outside the US in Israel.

Jessie’s first trip to Israel was in 1999 to celebrate her grandfather’s 70th birthday, and she has been back almost ten times since. Her commitment to Israel and the Diaspora Jewish community has led her to many wonderful experiences such as leading youth trips to Israel; working in the New York Admissions Office of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; holding positions on the Executive Staff in Habonim Dror North America’s National Office and Habonim Dror Camp Na’aleh; starting a Hillel at Simon’s Rock College of Bard; and overall furthering her own personal development by constantly challenging herself.

Jessie likes to spend her time  soaking up the sun where she can, walking along the East River, finding delicious new foods to taste, staying close with her family and friends, and spoiling her niece rotten.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x324 | jessie.karsif@hazon.org
Daniel Kieval   Director of Teva Education

Daniel Kieval is a passionate teacher, gardener, music maker, and dreamer of dreams. He knew he was home the instant he arrived at Kayam Farm for the summer of 2009 and has been living amongst joyous, plant-loving, wacky Jews ever since. Daniel joined Teva as an educator in 2011 under his mentor Nili Simhai. He is humbled to now be the steward of Teva’s curriculum and programming and its network of creative and talented educators. Daniel previously taught for many Jewish and environmental institutions including Camp Ramah in New England, Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center, the Center for Creative Ecology at Kibbutz Lotan, Kayam Farm, and several synagogues and religious schools. He received a BA in Biology from Wesleyan University in 2011. He also received certificates in Permaculture Design and Ecovillage Design Education from the Green Apprenticeship at Kibbutz Lotan, where he lived in a mud and straw-bale dome and cooked meals using only the power of the sun. Daniel derives his inspiration and support from his family, friends, and community; from the unfurling wonder of creation; from everyone who fills the world with love; and from the great Mystery and Oneness of all things.

Falls Village, CT | 860.499.0685 | daniel.kieval@hazon.org
Ed Koehler   Finance Assistant

I didn’t have a life before I met Isabella. The sound of her laughter made me weak in the knees and I haven’t been able to walk a straight line since. She showed me this picture she found. She claims it’s a photograph of me, taken just before I left for India, 1974. But I don’t believe it. My life began in 2011. That’s when we met. She told me she needed help with “her bookkeeping,” and I precipitously fell in love. (I also have TWO AWESOME GRANDDAUGHTERS!)

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x322 | ed.koehler@hazon.org
Sarah Kornhauser   Director, Denver

Sarah is a creative generalist with passions for helping people find and amplifying their voice, group facilitation, cooking, yoga, and most recently interior design.  The thread is finding a balance of function and beauty in all realms of work.

Sarah’s story has been inspired by family, travel and experiencing the world through many lenses.  Her best ideas are about collaboration and working from the inside out.  She strives to innovate.  Sometimes working in a team to launch Jewish initiatives and other-times pouring over design blogs; then combining the mélange of thought streams into one fluid direction–forward.

As the Director of Hazon Denver, Sarah has the opportunity to learn of innovative work happening within the Colorado community.  Her superpower is connecting the individuals that power this work; through the power of the collective, she maximizes the individuals impact.  Being Jewish can be a vibrant lens through which we view and transform the world. Through food and the environment, Sarah is exposing our community to that lens.

Sarah received an M.A. in International Economic Development from the University of Denver.  Her work to understand how to increase written literacy, lead to a curiosity of building cultural literacy, and five years ago landed her in the world of Jewish Professionalism.  Sarah has worked for Hazon as the Director of Hazon Denver since March 2012.  Sarah lives in Denver with her partner Adam and her pup Mingus.

Denver, CO | 303.886.4894 | sarah.kornhauser@hazon.org
Tommy Kubitsky   Database Manager & Webmaster

Tommy joined Hazon in the summer of 2013 as the database manager and webmaster. Prior to that she worked mainly in newspapers and publishing companies as an art director, print producer and database person. Other career highlights include producing a Cajun music festival, being a pizza baker, a photographer, and handing out balloons on the streets of San Francisco. Tommy was born and raised in Israel, and moved to the States ten years ago. She loves working and living on the Isabella Freedman campus, a place where people spontaneously burst out in song.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x304 | tommy.kubitsky@hazon.org
Renanit Levy   Director of Philanthropic Partnerships

Renanit Levy is the Director of Philanthropic Partnerships for Hazon. Prior to joining Hazon in 2008, she was the director of The Gottesman Fund, a family foundation focused on supporting Jewish life. Renanit has also worked as a grantmaker and communal planner in the areas of Jewish education and identity, government relations, and health and human services at UJA-Federation of New York, as well as in admissions for The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Renanit holds a graduate degree in Jewish Communal Leadership and Nonprofit Management from the University of Michigan School of Social Work, where she was the Ernie Michel Fellow through the Federation Executive Recruitment and Education Program. She is an active volunteer at the Park Slope Jewish Center, a member of the Gen-i Task Force at UJA-Federation of New York and the co-chair of the grants committee at PS 32. Renanit lives in Brooklyn with her husband Steven Mazie and daughters Amarya and Barra.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x309 | renanit.levy@hazon.org
Shoshana Lief   Marketing & Communications Associate

A native New Yorker, Shoshana is a graduate of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. She has experience working in communications, operations and management for businesses in several fields including: advertising, marketing, education, environmental justice, fashion and public relations. A graduate of the Adamah farm fellowship, Shoshana has a passion for all things outdoors, especially kayaking, rock climbing and trapeze.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x312 | shoshana.lief@hazon.org
Jessie Lipsitt   Development Associate

Jessie joined Hazon’s institutional advancement team in February 2012. Jessie’s professional experience spans the development, education, social work, and research fields, working at many Jewish nonprofit organizations such as Jewish Student Connection and Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist synagogues throughout Greater New York. Jessie studied Family and Human Development at Arizona State University and holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University. She studied abroad in France and studied Judaism at Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya in Jerusalem for six months before moving to New York City five years ago.

Jessie’s first visit to Israel on a Birthright trip sparked her passion for Judaism, and she has since given back to the organization by staffing five incredible trips. Jessie is passionate about Jewish education and taught Hebrew school for the past seven years, was a Teen Madricha for the Jewish Education Project’s pilot program: the Westchester Jewish Teen Learning Initiative, taught Facing History & Ourselves as part of the JCC in Manhattan’s pilot program: the Jewish Journey Project, and coordinated a Moving Traditions Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing course for middle school girls.

Jessie inherited her love of healthy food and cooking from her family and immediately joined a CSA when she moved to New York City. In her spare time, Jessie is actively involved in fundraising for her synagogue and has chaired numerous fundraising events including Panoply, Mount Sinai Jewish Center’s annual community-wide interactive trivia event. Jessie enjoys creating new recipes, throwing pottery, practicing yoga, following Boston sports, spending time with friends, playing softball, traveling, and eating Indian food.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x328 | jessie.lipsitt@hazon.org
Grace McCants

Originally from Madison, WI, Grace has lived in Brooklyn since graduating from Oberlin College in 2009. With majors in Environmental Studies and Dance she continues to seek out opportunities to merge sustainability with all aspects of her life. She is very excited to work with the development team and even more excited to be doing that work with Hazon. Aleh v’Hagshem!

New York, NY | grace.mccants@hazon.org
Gavriel Meir-Levi   Registrar
Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 394 | gavriel.meir-levi@hazon.org
Deborah Newbrun   Director, Bay Area

Deborah Newbrun is Hazon’s Bay Area Director. Having grown up hiking and backpacking in San Francisco, Marin, the East Bay Hills and Yosemite, Deborah started her career as a National Park Service Ranger and Naturalist for several Bay Area Environmental Education organizations. She brought her naturalist and Jewish life together when she spent 25 years running Camp Tawonga, where she helped to build a residential camp with a national reputation for its environmental ethic, its Jewish leadership and staff training, and its cutting-edge camp and family programs. As a Jewish educator, program innovator and naturalist, Deborah is known for infusing Jewish spirituality and big Jewish ideas into her work. She has served on the faculty of many Jewish educational, teacher and leadership training programs. She is co-author of Spirit In Nature: Teaching Judaism and Ecology on the Trail, holds a BA in American Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a teaching credential from the University of California, Berkeley. Deborah lives in San Francisco, is married to Sue Reinhold and together they have four teenagers.

San Francisco, CA | 415.397.7020 | deborah.newbrun@hazon.org
Hallie Newman   Chief of Staff

Jersey born and raised, Hallie fled the Garden State after high school, bound for the glorious city of Madison, Wisconsin. It was there that she was introduced to the beauty of the Dane County Farmers Market, long lakeside runs and the Badgers. After college, she spent nearly a year in Israel, where her connection to and understanding of her Jewish identity was challenged, reshaped and eventually redefined through learning in Jerusalem, finding community in the Negev and living in Tel Aviv.

Since her Stateside return in 2010, she has gained a wide array of professional experience in the nonprofit world. As a way to fulfill her personal pursuit of building community and her love of the outdoors, Hallie feels it was only a matter of time until she joined the Hazon team. And she is thrilled to finally be part of it!

When she’s not at work, Hallie can be found running the loop in Prospect Park, setting up and attempting to walk on her slackline or biking most places. And when not in New York, she’s likely traveling back to Israel while quietly reminding herself that her next trip will actually be to somewhere new. She loves communal cooking experiences and promises that if you ask nicely, she will make you shakshuka.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x304 | hallie.newman@hazon.org
Becky O'Brien   Director, Boulder

Becky O’Brien has been with Hazon since the founding of its Colorado office in December 2010. She has worked for a variety of social justice causes in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years. She has a background in volunteer coordinating, programming, political advocacy, fundraising, communications and non-profit administration. She received a Bachelors Degree in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado, graduating summa cum laude from both. She enjoys her family, hiking and camping in the beautiful Colorado outdoors, gardening, reading, knitting, and applying the principles of Voluntary Simplicity to her life.

Boulder, CO | 303.886.5865 | becky.o'brien@hazon.org
Nati Passow   Director, Hazon Philadelphia

Nati is a writer, carpenter and educator living in Philadelphia. From 2005 to 2007 Nati ran an award-winning garden construction program for the Urban Nutrition Initiative at University City High School. Over the last several years Nati has led service–learning trips in the developing world for American Jewish World Service, and in the US for Jewish Funds for Justice. He enjoyed two fall seasons at the Teva Learning Center and has continued to work for Teva as a curriculum writer. Nati has studied sustainable building design and natural building and is a certified Permaculture designer. Nati holds a B.A. in Religion and Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and was a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group Fellowship for Jewish Social Entrepreneurs.

Philadelphia, PA | nati.passow@hazon.org
Yaakov Reef   Program Manager

Rabbi Yaakov Reef is the Program Manager at Hazon’s Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. He has over a decade of experience as an activist for the environment and for LGBTQ social causes. He loves contra dancing, reading science fiction novels, and is an avid backpacker.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x325 | yaakov.reef@hazon.org
Toni Reid   Bookkeeper

Born and raised in Bronx, NY I got into the field of bookkeeping by accident in high school. I wanted a totally different major, and got stuck with bookkeeping because the major that I picked was filled to capacity. It turned out to be one of the greatest mistakes I would make. I found out that I was really great with numbers, and I love to balance accounts. At 17 I would obtain my first job working as an accounting clerk, and would eventually work my way up to being a full-charge bookkeeper.

I went to Baruch College for a few years but decided I did not want to become an accountant and that bookkeeping was my passion. I love to work with “other people money” and have been at it for over 25 years. I have a 17-year-old daughter who is a junior in high school. My hobbies are spending time with my daughter, reading murder mystery novels, and traveling.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x301 | toni.reid@hazon.org
David Rendsburg   Director of Bike Rides

David Rendsburg has been part of the Hazon bike ride team since 2006. He is an avid cyclist and rode in the 2005 New York Ride and the 2006 Israel Ride before joining the staff. Since then, David has worked to coordinate the logistics for all the rides and has staffed over 20 events in New York, California, and Israel.

David graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Jewish Studies and drive to effect change on the Jewish world. After spending a year learning in Israel, David entered the Jewish non-profit world in New York. He is currently the co-chair of Darkhei Noam independent minyan and has been involved with the Hadar community as well. David cycles about 1000 miles each summer and commutes to work regularly by bike. He completed his first century ride with Hazon in 2005, and rode his first solo-century in 2009 from Manhattan to Isabella Freedman.

Having been dragged around Israel as a four-year old by his family, David discovered his love for Israel and Jewish history. Since then, he has proceeded to visit nearly every major archaeological site in Israel (and Jordan) and has gone on countless hikes during his multiple stays there. In America, David usually spends vacations biking around battlefields (having been to most famous ones from Massachusetts to Virginia) and can bore you with the military history of the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x302 | david.rendsburg@hazon.org
Alli Rosen   Food Justice Program Associate

Alli (Allison) is the Hazon Bay Area Food Justice Program Associate. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Alli ventured west to the Bay Area after completing two years in AmeriCorps National Direct at LIFT-Chicago where she ran a community resource center helping low-income families meet their basic human needs. Her perspective on food justice has been shaped by her Bachelor degree in Social Work, service-learning locally and abroad, experience with direct service in food insecure and marginalized communities.

San Francisco, CA | 415.397.7020 | allison.rosen@hazon.org
Lisa Sacks   Chief Financial Officer

Lisa Sacks has been involved with Hazon for many years as a volunteer and joined the staff in January 2009 as the Director of Special Projects; she became the Chief Financial Officer in 2011. Prior to joining Hazon, Lisa served as the Executive Director of the Beit Rabban Day School. Before working in the Jewish communal field, Lisa spent ten years in local government and politics, focusing primarily on planning, organizational development, finance, and fund-raising. Most notably she worked on Senator Charles Schumer’s 1998 Senate race and later served as Assistant Commissioner for Operations and Strategic Planning at the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Lisa has an undergraduate degree in Government from Cornell University and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. After college, Lisa spent a year in Israel on a Dorot Fellowship where she studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and worked at the World Union of Jewish Students coordinating a conference for Jewish student leaders in conjunction with the late President Ezer Weizman. Lisa was a longtime board member of Limmud NY and currently serves on the board of Woodlands Community Temple. A native of Santa Cruz, California, she now lives in Hastings-on-Hudson with her husband and two children.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x303 | lisa.sacks@hazon.org
Shamu Sadeh   Director of Adamah

Shamu co-founded Adamah and has been its program director since 2004. He has led the growth of Adamah into the most productive Jewish educational farm in the country, with a transformative fellowship program that has produced dozens of leaders in the Jewish farming, environmental education, and food movements. Adamah’s 200 alumni include food justice advocates, rabbis, farmers, community organizers, teachers, chefs, and green business leaders. Before coming to Adamah, Shamu was a professor of environmental studies, writer, Jewish educator, and wilderness guide. He directed the Teva Learning Center in its early years and completed a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Shamu is drawn to the integration of soul and soil. He works for the creation of a fruitful ecological landscape while building confidence, mindfulness, and community among participants. Shamu has the yichus—ancestral connections—for Adamah from his great-grandparents and father, Jewish farmers and gardeners who practiced the mystical arts of composting and soil conservation. In 2010, the New York Jewish weekly “Forward” named Shamu one of the “Forward 50″ who made significant contributions to Jewish life in America.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.3003 x1 | shamu.sadeh@hazon.org
Adam SaNogueira   Chef & Adamah Foods Director

Adam SaNogueira, accompanied by his wife Rikki, returned to his native state of CT in May, 2011 to join the Adamah Staff as the Value-Added Products Manger (aka Lead Pickler). In fall of 2012 Adam was tapped to lead the Isabella Freedman kitchen and dining hall. Prior to Isabella Freedman, Adam cooked in various restaurants, schools, catering facilities throughout the NYC area and Italy. Adam was fortunate to earn a B.A. in Liberal Arts and M.s. in Global Finance from The New School as well as a Certificate in Culinary Arts from the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Costiglioli d’Asti, Italy. He resides on Beebe Hill with his loving wife and curious daughter, Halleli Amira.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.3003 x2 | adam.sano@hazon.org
Rikki SaNogueira   Director of Operations

Rikki SaNogueira’s first role at Isabella Freedman was that of Mashgicha, Kosher Supervisor. When a position opened in the programming department, Rikki was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Adam Sher creating transformational experiences. While on maternity leave a year later, she had some time to reflect on the needs of the organization and where her skills would be most useful, prompting her move into her current position of Operations Director. Using experience gained from various roles in nonprofits, like Hillel, camp environments, like Camp Mohawk in White Plains, NY, and the hospitality industry, like Pardes restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, Rikki has been able to successfully build a stronger operations team with more robust systems and improved project management. Rikki earned a B.A. with honors from Baruch College, in New York City, in English Literature.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x309 | rikki.sanogueira@hazon.org
Nigel Savage   President

Nigel Savage, originally from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in 2000.

Hazon has been recognized in the Slingshot 50 every year since inception. In 2008 Hazon was recognized by the Sierra Club as one of 50 leading faith-based environmental organizations and Nigel was named a member of the Forward 50, the annual list of the 50 most influential Jewish people in the United States. Nigel has spoken or taught in many of the the American Jewish community’s leading venues, including the GA, Wexner, Dorot, UJA-Federation, Wagner, Brandeis and others.

Before founding Hazon Nigel was a professional fund manager in the City of London, the English equivalent of Wall Street. He has an MA in History from Georgetown, and learned at Pardes, Yakar and the Hebrew University. He is a founder of Limmud NY and a member of its Advisory Board, and a former member of the Teva Advisory Council. From 2003 to 2012 he served as a board member of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

Nigel’s first public connection to Jews and food was via a cameo appearance in the cult Anglo-Jewish comic movie, Leon The Pig Farmer. He executive produced the British independent movies Solitaire For 2 and Stiff Upper Lips. He is also believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 ext. 305 | nigel@hazon.org
Arthur Schwab   Plant Processing Manager
Falls Village, CT | 860.824.3003 x1 | arthur.schwab@hazon.org
Margot Seigle   Transformative Experiences Fellow

Margot Seigle came to Adamah in Fall 2012 with a background in community organizing. While at Occidental College, she spent a semester running an Obama Campaign office in rural Virginia. Upon graduation, she was accepted to Social Justice Leadership’s Transformative Organizing Program and placed at Good Old Lower East Side where she worked for 3 year as the Public Housing organizer running local and supporting state and national campaigns calling for the respect of residents and an investment in housing infrastructure.

Since 2010, Margot has been a member leader within Resource Generation and was part of a collective that started the Hummingbird Fund for Migrant & Border Justice. The fund is built up of a cross-class decision making body that will shift just about $500,000 by the end of 2014 to organizations in Arizona led by those most impacted by anti-immigrant policies.

Growing up with more than enough, she believes that we would all – even the 1%! – be better off if everyone had enough, and fights to shift this paradigm. An organizer at heart, she does this through supporting the leadership development of individuals and building collective energy and shared decision-making structures around projects that shift power and resources to those at the frontlines of injustice. Margot sees learning about the impacts of privilege and oppression as well as building tools to support the healing of this impact as crucial to being an effective change maker. Post Adamah, she participated in the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizing Training Program, and Generative Somatic’s Somatics and Trauma course. Now rooted in the Jewish community, she seeks to bring her values, skills, and networks to thinking about what healing looks like with our complex history as well as expanding our concept of and strengthening our obligation to community.

Margot was born and raised in Elgin, IL, where her Great Grandpa arrived three generations ago, and where her parents met at the synagogue her Great Grandpa started. Valuing the importance of staying connected to roots, she plans to move back to the Midwest in the coming years with dreams of starting a collective farm centered around healing, cultural reclamation, community building, and resource re-distribution.

In her free time, Margot enjoys crafting, singing, fiddling, cooking, meditating, biking, and bringing people together to do any and all of these activities. Margot is currently the Hazon Transformative Experiences Fellow based out of Isabella Freedman.

Falls Village, CT | margot.seigle@hazon.org
Adam 'Segulah' Sher   Director of Transformative Experiences

Adam ‘Segulah’ Sher serves as Hazon’s Director of Transformative Experiences, headquartered at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. With a fantastic team, Segulah produces Elat Chayyim retreats, Hazon Bike Rides and Food Conferences, Adamah Farms Vacations, the Teva Seminar on Environmental Education, Holiday festivals, and more. Segulah earned his Master’s degree in Transformative Education from Antioch University Seattle, and his Bachelor’s degree in Noospheric Ecology from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. He lives in Falls Village, CT with his wife Megan, whom he met when she worked for the Adamah Farm & Fellowship at Isabella Freedman.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x318 | adam.sher@hazon.org
Matthew Towle   Office Manager & Assistant Registrar

I’m the office manager and assistant registrar for Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. I am a mild mannered man with a propensity for deep thought and a love of humor and laughter. I like to run in the wilderness, go for multi-day hikes and explore various terrains and places in the world. I also enjoy absorbing myself in a good non-fiction book. Plus, I voraciously seek out and absorb and analyze Judaic theology, literature and culture.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x317 | matt.towle@hazon.org
Liz Traison   Program Associate

When Liz  Traison took an aptitude test in high school, her tests results said that she was destined to be a farmer or a rabbi. At first she was heartbroken over her prospected proletariat horizon, thinking that she had much greater aspirations than Mud and M’farshim. But she soon realized that the test knew what she hadn’t yet discovered; there is hardly a more spiritual experience than with food and nature.

Hailing from the University of Michigan, Liz recently graduated with a B.A. in History and Judaic studies. She spent 2 of her 4 college years living in Israel studying at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Hebrew University. Liz has always loved food and cooking.  Her love of the outdoors began in Skeleton Lake at Camp Ramah in Canada. However, it was while apprenticing for one of Israel’s leading herbalists that Liz decided that she wanted to find a dynamic way to follow her passion to help create a more sustainable world. Liz is thrilled to be a part of the Hazon team working to create healthier and more sustainable Jewish communities, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x326 | liz.traison@hazon.org
Elisheva Urbas   Director of Makom Hadash

Elisheva Urbas is the Director of Makom Hadash, Hazon’s residency program for second-stage Jewish non-profit organizations. Elisheva has spent the more than twenty-five years working as an editor, writer, and writing teacher. From 1991 to 1997 she was Managing Editor of Farrar, Straus, Giroux, then and still today the publisher of more Nobel Prize Winners in Literature, in English, than any other publisher in any language in the world; she supported a pipeline of 60 adult titles a year in hardcover and paperback. As an editor, at FSG and, since 1997, as a freelance consultant, she has worked with many authors, among them David Hartmann, John McPhee, Anne Fadiman, Francine Klagsbrun, James Grant, David Grossman, Arthur Waskow, and Ruth Wisse, on topics ranging from Bible criticism and monetary policy to bird migration and psychoanalysis. Her particular interests include Judaica of all kinds, nature writing, history, food writing, and education. She received her A.B. from Harvard College in 1986. A grateful daughter and granddaughter of Jewish educators, she joined the Board of Trustees of the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan in September, 2000. She chaired the school’s Education Committee from January, 2001, to June, 2003; became a Vice President of the school in January of 2003; and was elected President in June, 2003, serving five consecutive one-year terms. She continues to serve as a trustee and a member of the Board’s Executive Committee. She has also served on the advisory boards of the Ivry Prozdor High School at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and of Limmud NY, and helped develop an early version of Hazon’s food education program for elementary school students. Elisheva is married to David Morris, a litigation partner at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson and adjuct professor of law at Fordham University Law School. Their three lovely daughters Mimi, Ronit, and Avital are student at, respectively, the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, the SAR High School, and the University of Chicago.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x320 | elisheva.urbas@hazon.org
David Weisberg   Chief Executive Officer

David Weisberg has spent two-plus decades balancing what he loves – Jewish community, arts, and family.

Growing up in the backyard of the JCC in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, David became immersed in B’nai B’rith Youth and JCC theatre productions. Starting his career in local government, David became Pennsylvania’s youngest town manager, at 23, spending three years each overseeing the towns of Mahanoy City and Columbia. In Mahanoy City, he was honored to coordinate a visit by Mother Teresa, welcoming the Nobel Peace Prize-winner at a mass broadcast throughout the region.

Seeking Jewish community, David returned to Harrisburg, becoming Executive Director of the JCC once in his backyard. A year later, he was hired to run Harrisburg’s Jewish Federation, serving in both roles before overseeing an organizational merger. After a decade serving Harrisburg’s Jewish community, David became Executive Director of Friends of the Arava Institute, leading efforts to support the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, which, notably, partners with Hazon on the annual Israel Ride. There, he built the Institute’s visibility, with Arava alumni featured on CNN International and endorsements from Pete Seeger to Roseanne Barr.

In 2011, seeking a more sedentary role, David found a home at Isabella Freedman, where he stabilized Freedman’s business model while developing innovative portals for Jewish engagement, from LGBTQ Teen programming to an annual Grateful Dead Shabbaton. As a result of the Isabella Freedman/Hazon merger, he became Hazon’s CEO.

Throughout his career, David has dedicated time to the arts, as a producer, presenter, and performer – co-producing an original musical; creating a two-day music festival; recording an album of original songs; and acting at theatres, in touring companies, and even at a Nevada casino. Above all, he treasures being a husband and father, with a beautiful wife Jamie and wonderful daughters, Hannah, Alison, Mikayla, and Grace.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x305 | david.weisberg@hazon.org