Hazon Food Conference

Dec 29, 2014 - Jan 1, 2015

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

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Join the thinkers and doers of the Jewish Food Movement to explore and experience a new angle on food.

The Hazon Food Conference is the only place in the world where farmers and rabbis, nutritionists and chefs, vegans, omnivores, and you come together to explore the dynamic interplay of food, Jewish tradition, and contemporary life. Our annual event brings together passionate people who are working for sustainable food systems on multiple levels – nationally and internationally, in their communities, and in their own lives.

This year’s highlights include:

  • 4 days of kosher farm-to-table food in a pluralistic Jewish community and a rockin’ New Year’s Eve “Butterfly Masquerade” party
  • Rabbis and leaders in Jewish thought bringing to life history, ethics, Jewish text, meaningful prayer, and more
  • Expert cooking demonstrations and hands-on learning with renowned chefs
  • Homesteading workshops with farmers and city folk for backyard chickens and beekeeping
  • Conversations and take-home resources about food justice that will engage you in questions such as: How do poultry and pollinators affect what we eat, and how does what we eat affect them? What governmental policies are supporting or detracting from our ability to uphold our food values? And how does being Jewish fit into all these foodie issues? Learn from the experts and you will never look at eggs, bees, or food prices the same way again

Register by December 1st and use Discount Code EARLY to save $25.

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Rates start at $425 per person and include all programming, lodging, and meals. Click the “register now” button above for information, room rates, and to register online.

Online registration is for full credit card payments only. If you would like to pay in installments, pay by check, or apply approved financial aid, please call 800.398.2630 x4. Please review our lodging options and rates prior to calling. You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered and made a payment online or by phone. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, please call us at 800.398.2630 x4.

If you’re new to Isabella Freedman, click here for information about where we’re located, arrival and departure times, what to bring, etc.

We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone.

Click here for information about Financial Aid. »
Hazon is committed to making our Transformative Experiences financially accessible to as many people as possible. We believe that participation in these kinds of events are a core feature of a healthy and sustainable Jewish community in the 21st century. Please note that in our efforts to provide access to our events, we must balance our ability to meet individual requests with our ability to spread our resources among as many participants as possible. You can help support us in this endeavor by considering your request carefully. Financial Aid is given on a per-retreat basis and ranges from 10% – 50% off our regular rates. Please submit your application prior to registering.
apply for financial aid

Camp Teva is for kids ages 5 – 12, and runs simultaneously with retreats geared toward adults. Camp Teva combines the best of Teva’s signature Jewish environmental education with all of the opportunities provided by the Adamah Farm to create a distinctive and creative way for kids to have a fun and safe Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education experience while their parents are enjoying Hazon’s many retreats, conferences, holidays, and workshops at Isabella Freedman. A transformative experience for the whole family!

When you register kids during your event registration process, they are automatically enrolled in Camp Teva! All-inclusive kids’ rates include Camp Teva programming.

more information about camp teva

Interested in leading a session at the 2014 Food Conference? Please check back soon for more information.

More information about scholarships is coming soon.

Denver and Boulder Area Residents Scholarship

Through the generous support of Rose Community Foundation, 18 Pomegranates, and Oreg Foundation, Hazon is pleased to offer scholarships for people from the Denver and Boulder areas. We are seeking a diverse group of applicants of all ages and religious backgrounds, and especially welcome those working in Jewish organizations. Click here for more information and to apply. If you have any questions, please email colorado@hazon.org.

Here are some highlights from last year’s Food Conference. Presenters and sessions change from year to year, but this will give you an idea of what a Hazon Food Conference looks, feels, and tastes like!

2013 schedule  2013 photo gallery  2012 schedule  2012 photo gallery

The Hazon food conference is a totally unique, profound and fun gathering of all kinds of Jews to discuss food. It is a great service to the Jewish people, and to be present and learn from everyone is a tremendous privilege.
—2011 Food Conference Participant

While the Hazon Food Conference offers diverse programming – including yoga, hikes, bike rides, farmer’s markets and prayer services – the learning sessions are the dynamic anchor of the whole weekend.

Sessions offer participants the opportunity to strengthen and expand their knowledge of Jewish thought on food, agriculture, and ethics and examine the Jewish community’s role in creating a socially and economically-just and environmentally-sound food system.

Presenters and Program Highlights from 2013

Food Justice and Community Organizing

Be a part of creating a socially- and economically-just food system.

In partnership with Join for Justice and the Jewish Food Justice Fellowship.

  • Community organizing training for individuals and institutions with JOIN for Justice
  • Fighting for a Fair Food System: stories of success from around the country
  • The Jewish role in the Food Justice Movement
  • Helen Bennett – JOIN for Justice
  • Rabbi Andy Kastner and the Jewish Food Justice Fellows
  • Robert Nevel and Tal Rosen – KAM Isaiah Israel
  • Rabbi Elizabeth Richman – Jews United for Justice

Hazon Cooking Institute

Join fellow cooking enthusiasts, artisanal aficionados, and home gourmands for sessions with renowned cookbook authors, DIY experts, and sustainable chefs. Brush up on your cooking skills and learn delicious new recipes you can make at home.

Cooking Demos and DIY Sessions with renowned chefs, cookbook authors, and kitchen magicians.

Joan Nathan Gil Marks
Leah Koenig Itta Werdiger-Roth

Jewish Tradition History and Culture

Analyze the evolutions and changes in Jewish eating over the past two millennia.

  • Hands on Tu B’Shvat – resources and activities to take home
  • Kosher plus… organic? Food safety? GMOs?
  • Heirloom Recipes: Passing Down from Generation to Generation
  • Singing Around the Table
  • Rabbi Ethan Tucker – Mechon Hadar
  • Yoshie Fruchter – musician and educator
  • Dr. Bonna Haberman – Founder: Women of the Wall
  • Dr. Gary Rendsburg – Rutgers University
  • Nigel Savage, Judith Belasco, and Anna Hanau – Hazon
  • Rabbi Greg Wall – “The Jazz Rabbi”

Food Makers and Shakers

Food producers and consumers working to create sustainable food systems.

  • You DO want to know how your sausage gets made… and a butchering demo!
  • Food Safety and the Kosher Meat Industry
  • Cooperative Food Business Models
  • Meet and Greet (and purchase products!) from some of the leading kosher sustainable food businesses at our Shuk!
  • Jeff Greenberg – The Kitchen Coop
  • Butcher Ian Hertzmark and Naftali Hanau – Grow and Behold Foods
  • Robert Joppa – Kol Foods

Shmita and Jewish Agriculture

Reconnect with your Jewish agricultural roots, bring ancient traditions to life, and bring new life into your family, synagogue, and community.

  • Shmita: Permaculture & Perennials
  • Food Resiliency, Preserving our Foodshed
  • Issues in Israeli Agriculture
  • Sarah Chandler, Shamu Sadeh, Janna Berger, and Arthur Schwab – Adamah
  • Professor Todd LeVasseur – College of Charleston
  • Rabbi Micha Odenheimer – Tevel B’Tzedek

Health and Mindfulness

Discover new ways of thinking about the foods we choose to put in our bodies, from physical, social, mental, and spiritual health perspectives.

  • Food as Medicine and Chinese Healing
  • Let My People Go Vegan! Vegan and Raw Pesach Foods
  • Mindfulness, Meditation, Spirituality
  • The Healing Power of Tea
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Bacteria: The Science of Fermentation
  • Baruch Shapiro – The Israel School of Herbal Medicine
  • Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein – integrative pediatric neurologist

New Year’s Eve with The Hester and Zion 80!

What do you get when you put together artisanal homemade tapas, phenomenal live music, and a community of great folks changing the world through food? THE MOST DELICIOUS NEW YEARS EVE PARTY ON THE PLANET! We’re thrilled to bring two of the biggest names in the Jewish food and music scene, The Hester and Zion 80, to create our own Food Conference New Year’s Speakeasy. This is one party that you don’t want to miss!

Program Tracks

Hazon Cooking Institute
Before there was a frozen food aisle in the supermarket, people enjoyed nutritious, naturally preserved food. Foods once integral to the life of the home and community have had their production outsourced to multi-national corporations. This track provides skills and strategies for you to reclaim your kitchen, your community and beyond. Roll up your sleeves, and get ready to be inspired.

Food Justice
What does a just food system look like? What’s wrong with the way we’re doing things, and what are some of the creative ways that people across the country and the world are working to make it right? Explore how to be part of creating a socially- and economically-just, environmentally-sound food system. These sessions will showcase examples of food programs, social justice and community activists who are voting with their forks and more.

Jewish Tradition, History, and Culture
Wherever the Jewish people go, a love and respect for food is always a constant. What changes are the traditional methods of preparing meals and the questions we ask about how and why we eat what we eat. Analyze the evolutions and changes in Jewish eating over the past two millennia from the changing paradigms of kashrut to understanding what is so Jewish about the Jewish Food Movement. Ground yourself in tradition.

Food Makers and Shakers
Producers and consumers are working to create sustainable food systems that enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place and increase access to food that is produced without depleting natural resources or compromising our planet’s survival. This track will include local, sustainable kosher meat and dairy producers, gardeners, institutional change-makers, and educators who will share their stories and inspire you to make change in your own community.

Shmita and Jewish Agriculture
The Bible is rooted in agrarian concepts and metaphors, and yet most of us today live in quite un-agricultural ways. Across the globe, Jews are reconnecting with their agricultural roots, and in doing so are not only bringing ancient traditions to life, but are bringing new life into their families, synagogues and communities. As the Shmita (Sabbatical) year approaches, these sessions will explore the agricultural voices in Jewish tradition, and the innovative Jewish agriculture projects from CSAs and community gardens at synagogues to short-term service learning projects and multi-month agricultural programs that are using those voices to re-engage Jews of all backgrounds in meaningful ways.

Health and Mindfulness
According to the World Health Organization, health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing.” How do various Jewish perspectives add to our understanding of health? How can we better negotiate “healthy choices” among the myriad of information about health and nutrition that is thrown at us every day? Sessions in this track will guide participants in discovering new ways of thinking about the foods we choose to put in our bodies from physical, social, mental and spiritual health perspectives.

The goals of the Food Conference are to:

Think. Encourage participants to think more deeply and broadly about their food choices, food systems –including issues of food access and affordability–and the connection of contemporary food issues to Jewish tradition and texts.

Connect. Build a Jewish community and a Jewish food movement by providing a model of a vibrant, joyful Jewish life that connects Jewish tradition, learning and spirituality with sustainable, healthful food practices.

Inspire. Convey a sense of energy, importance and enjoyment to inspire positive change around food issues and Jewish tradition so that participants who are more familiar with contemporary food issues see the Jewish connections, and Jewishly-knowledgeable participants explore contemporary food issues locally and nationally.

Strengthen. Build leadership capacity by supporting volunteers to help create change in their own communities.

Act. Create change agents to speed the velocity of best practices and action in Jewish homes, institutions, and communities, and the world as a whole.

Dig in. Join this powerful Jewish Food Movement that works to create healthy and sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond.