Staff

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

Click here for contact information by region and department.

 

Aharon Ariel Lavi   Director of Hakhel

Aharon Ariel Lavi is the founder and director of Hakhel: The Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator in the Diaspora. Lavi is a professional community organizer and serial social entrepreneur who believes that networks are key to shaping our reality. Lavi is co-founder of Garin Shuva on the Gaza border; the Nettiot Intentional Communities Network, reengaging Haredi Ba’aley Teshuva into society; And MAKOM: the national umbrella organization of intentional communities in Israel. Lavi lives with is wife Liat, their four children, and a dog in the Negev and when he doesn’t work or study Torah he likes riding his bikes in the open fields of the Negev, and desperately trying to learn to play the flute, a guitar or anything that makes music.

Shuva, Israel | lavi@hazon.org
Arielle Aronoff   Director of Teva
Arielle came to Hazon first as a Teva educator. She found a place in this community and did not want to leave. After spending the fall and winter at Isabella Freedman, she took a seasonal outdoor education position for the spring and quickly returned to be manage Camp Teva prior to her current role as Director of Teva. Before coming to Hazon, Arielle worked as a farmer, baker, and healthy school food advocate/educator. Arielle spends her time hiking, baking sourdough bread, and foraging for berries and mushrooms.
Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x401 | arielle.aronoff@hazon.org
Ayala Azari   Retreat Coordination Manager

Ayala Azari serves as the Retreat Coordination Manager at Isabella Freedman with a portfolio that supports simchas (celebrations) including weddings and special family events as well as the Jewish holidays and organization partnerships. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Psychology from Sonoma State University. While growing up in California, Ayala has always had an affinity for hiking, healthy eating, yoga, and sunny days. Her passion and knowledge of planning weddings extends beyond her professional role as she planned her own wedding at Isabella Freedman. She currently lives in Falls Village with her husband.

Falls Village, CT | 860.453.3964 | ayala.azari@hazon.org
Judith Belasco   Executive Vice President

Judith Belasco is the Executive Vice President at Hazon. In this role, she serves as the Chief Program Officer and oversees the growth and development of Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) through transformative experiences, thought-leadership, and capacity-building. She strengthens program delivery and operations across all of Hazon’s programs, and manages development, marketing and communications. She brings to the role extensive experience with staff development and training, new program expansion, and evaluation-based program improvements. Prior to joining Hazon in 2007, Judith was the Program Coordinator at Linking Food & the Environment (LiFE) at Teacher’s College, Columbia University and a Program Associate at the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Judith is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist 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. Judith lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY with her husband and two children.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x308 | judith.belasco@hazon.org
Jess Berlin   Director of Retreats
As the Director of Retreats at Isabella Freedman, Jess Berlin leads the talented Retreats team who produce and host over 70 events each year.  Jess is a strong believer in the power of multi-day immersive experiences as a tool for creating long-lasting positive change in a person’s life.  She has a lifelong passion for Judaism and spirituality, having spent four years studying and teaching in Israel as well several months studying meditation in India. After graduating from Queens College, with a degree in Urban Planning, she served as a key administrator at American Jewish World Service and AVODAH and a farm educator at Eden Village Camp. Jess enjoys being part of two meditation communities, practicing and teaching visualization techniques, rockhounding, and caring for her cast iron cookware.
Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x305 | jessica.berlin@hazon.org
Rebecca Bloomfield   Director of Adamah

As the Director of Adamah, Rebecca recruits, teaches, and mentors Adamah fellows. Since being an Adamah fellow herself in the Fall of 2005, Rebecca has taught at The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California, managed the Organic Farmer Training Program at Michigan State University, and operated her own small farm business, Bloomfield Farm, in Ottawa, Canada.  Her values of good food, strong community, and the connection to something-greater has brought her back to Adamah. She loves yoga, coffee shops, walking in the woods, and any time spent at her family cottage in Temagami, Ontario.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x306 | rebecca.bloomfield@hazon.org
Z'ev Chana   Associate Registrar

Z’ev is from Albany, NY. They arrived as an Adamahnik in the fall of 2014, and fell in love with the work, the community, and the seasons at Isabella Freedman. They love helping to facilitate transformative experiences for the Adamah fellows and for retreat guests. They also love the woods, the goats, and radical Jewish ritual.

Falls Village, CT | zev.chana@hazon.org
Merav Cohen   Manager, Seal of Sustainability

Merav Cohen manages the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program and in this role she supports organizations and congregations in their efforts to adopt more sustainable practices. Prior to coming to NY, Merav lived in Beijing and worked with an EU aid program to help the Chinese government improve its environmental governance and prior to that, Merav practiced corporate law at a leading Israeli law firm, focusing on infrastructure and energy projects. Merav holds an LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and specialized in international law at Erasmus Universiteit in Rotterdam. Merav also holds a Master’s of Public Administration specializing in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is an avid traveler, a tree-hugger, passionate about all things culture, nature and science. In her free time she enjoys Israeli Folk Dancing, hiking, opera and classical music.

New York, NY | merav.cohen@hazon.org
Mike Davino   Managing Director, Facilities

Mike is the Director of Campus Operations at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. In the past he’s been an emergency services dispatch supervisor, paramedic, and carpenter. Mike likes the challenges of organizing, scheduling, communicating, and meeting. Mike also enjoys the many varied and great people he’s met through his work with Hazon. His hobbies include backpacking, fly-fishing, biking, traveling, reading, eating chocolate, cooking and bursting out in spontaneous song.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x106 | mike.davino@hazon.org
Nate DeGroot   Hazon Detroit Co-Director, Spiritual and Program Director

Rabbi Nate DeGroot is the Hazon Detroit Co-Director and Spiritual and Program Director. In this role, he is helping the Detroit Metro Jewish community to reconnect with their own inherited earth-based Jewish spirituality and reinvest in their historic relationship with the Detroit community around its transformative environmental justice work. He was ordained at Hebrew College in Boston, where he also received a Masters in Jewish Education. He most recently served as the inaugural Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow at IKAR in Los Angeles, and before that founded a grassroots cooperative Jewish community in Portland, Oregon. He is a lover of the wild and is excited to bring his passion for all things sacred to his work at Hazon.

Detroit, MI | nate.degroot@hazon.org
Morgan Dorsch   Development Manager

Morgan serves as Hazon’s Development Manager in the New York office, supporting both foundation and individual fundraising. Prior to joining Hazon she was a Program Associate at a private foundation. Morgan earned her bachelor’s degrees from List College, the joint program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, receiving a B.S. in Environmental Biology at Columbia University, and a B.A. in Bible at JTS. She is an avid volunteer and can often be found in one of New York City’s many parks.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x307 | morgan.dorsch@hazon.org
Rebecca Eisen   Human Resources Manager

Rebecca Eisen is the Human Resources Manager. She works with and for the employees, dealing with training, benefits, and ensuring all policies and procedures are followed. Rebecca has worked in the financial, retail, health, and start up industries. The bulk of her HR experience comes from IKEA Long Island where she was responsible for training and development of all employees. She received her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Labor Relations from NYIT where she was the Vice President for the SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) student chapter. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from SUNY Oswego. Rebecca lives in Queens with her husband and plays both indoor and outdoor volleyball.

New York, NY | 212.908.2511 | rebecca.eisen@hazon.org
Hannah Elovitz   Digital Marketing Strategist

Hannah is Hazon’s digital marketing strategist, responsible for managing and utilizing digital platforms to help increase revenue and brand awareness. Previously, she worked in communications for Hillel International in Washington, DC for three years. She spent a year of study each at Yeshivat Hadar and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Originally from Olney, MD, Hannah earned her B.S. at the University of Maryland (go Terps!), where she studied marketing and religious studies.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x328 | hannah.elovitz@hazon.org
Brittany Feldman   Manager, Sustainability and Outdoor Engagement

Brittany Feldman is the Program Coordinator for Environmental and Outdoor Engagement at Hazon Detroit. She attended Central Michigan University where she studied Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration. Prior to joining Hazon, she worked as an Outdoor Educator for Tamarack Camps and a Program Coordinator at the Farmington Hills Nature Center. Her background includes leading educational programs in teambuilding, adventure courses and environmental wilderness classes. In her spare time Brittany enjoys hiking, tie-dyeing, and watching the Food Network.

Detroit, MI | 248.752.4294 | brittany.feldman@hazon.org
Hannah Fine   Program Coordinator for Food and Environmental Justice, Hazon Detroit

Hannah previously worked in environmental consulting and has lived and worked on organic farms across North and South America. A transplant to Detroit from the metropolitan area, Hannah has fallen in love with the city’s urban agriculture scene and when not getting her hands dirty she can be found exploring, talking to strangers, or planning her next trip. Hannah attended Wayne State University where she studied biochemistry and chemical biology with a focus in environmental science.

Detroit, MI | hannah.fine@hazon.org
Wren Hack   Hazon Detroit Director

Wren is passionate about the outdoors and living sustainably. She grew up on a small animal farm in Southeastern Massachusetts where chickens and turkeys roamed free, and the woods, lakes, and cranberry bogs were her first playgrounds. She learned to organic farm between the pine trees and has continued the practice for over 30 years. Hence, coming to Hazon completes a life circle. She sharpened her horticultural instincts while managing greenhouses, and her love of natural healing was fostered in the health food industry and honed while raising her children, Maggie and Aaron. Education was a natural next step for Wren; she spent the next chapter of her life working in Waldorf and Jewish experiential education. Thus began her Jewish professional journey: she progressed from teacher to Director of Education at a Reform/Renewal synagogue to Director of the Berman Center for Jewish Education at a Conservative Synagogue to Senior Director of Adult Jewish Engagement at the Jewish Community Center.
Having recently completed building an eco-friendly house in Milford, you can find her in her off time protectively watching over her bees and seedling trees as she learns the ways of her land and her tractor. She is beyond excited to be working at Hazon – blending her love for Judaism, her talent for active community collaboration, and her passion for living sustainably.

Detroit, MI | 248.535.7110 | wren.hack@hazon.org
Amy Hannes   Director of Marketing & Communications

Working at Hazon serves as a 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 lives in New Paltz, NY with her daughter Ruby Blu.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x310 | amy.hannes@hazon.org
Hannah Henza   JOFEE Program Manager

Hannah works to collaboratively build the JOFEE field, specifically leading and managing the JOFEE Network Gathering, the JOFEE Leaders Institute, and supporting the JOFEE Fellowship. Previously Hannah has worked in non-profit event management, fundraising, and outdoor education for a variety of different organizations across the United States. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from North Carolina State University and is pursuing an M.S. in Nonprofit Management with a Jewish Studies Certificate from Gratz College. She is an avid outdoors-woman and proudly shares her home – a self-built tiny house on wheels – with her husband and cat.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x309 | hannah.henza@hazon.org
Lisa Kaplan   Marketing & Communications Manager

Lisa joined the Hazon staff after many years of involvement as an intern, freelance designer, and member of the NY Ride & Retreat planning team. To say Hazon has had a huge impact on her life is an understatement. Lisa is an experienced cyclist and composts her food scraps weekly – two things she could never have imagined doing before learning of Hazon’s work. Immediately prior to starting at Hazon, Lisa spent a transformative three months in Africa. She’s happy to tell you about the volunteer work she did in Ethiopia or her adventures around Africa, including summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Psychology from Binghamton University, where she co-founded the University’s chapter of Challah for Hunger.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x331 | lisa.kaplan@hazon.org
Jessie Karsif   Associate Director of Cycling Events and Engagement

Jessie Karsif is the Associate Director of Cycling Events at Hazon. Her resume
is a mix of fundraising, database management, managing summer camps, and
organizing programs (like bike rides!). Originally from New Haven, she knows
empirically that her home city has the best pizza. Jessie lives in Brooklyn with her
husband, Eli, and their cats Dot and Zelda.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x324 | jessie.karsif@hazon.org
Chaya Klein   Lead Mashgicha

Chaya Klein is a Mashgicha at Isabella Freedman. She joined Hazon after serving as the co-director of Chabad of Evanston, Illinois, servicing Northwestern University and the surrounding community. She taught adult education classes and was an early childhood educator for 21 years. She subsequently got her licensure in massage therapy, specializing in oncology massage. When she is not at Isabella Freedman she enjoys spending time with her three children who reside in New York and Israel, as well as her extended family on the East Coast and in St. Louis.

Falls Village, CT | chaya.klein@hazon.org
Jeremy Kranowitz   Managing Director for Sustainability

Jeremy Kranowitz is Hazon’s Managing Director for Sustainability. In that role, he leads our work to weave sustainability into the fabric of American Jewish institutions and American Jewish life. He was most recently the CEO of Sustainable America, a national nonprofit working to make the nation’s food and transportation fuel systems more efficient and resilient. Prior to Sustainable America, Jeremy worked at the Keystone Policy Center as a mediator and educator to resolve complex, multi-stakeholder environmental disputes. He began his career as the knowledge manager for the environment practice at McKinsey & Co. Jeremy first became involved in Hazon’s work as a lay leader sitting on the Advisory Board of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability. He has an MPA from NYU, and a Masters in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins, where he also earned his undergrad degree. Jeremy and his wife and three children love walking the beach near their home in Fairfield, Connecticut.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x304 | jeremy.kranowitz@hazon.org
Frances Lasday   Education Coordinator

In her role as Teva Education Coordinator, Frances is thrilled to be spending her time nerding out over curriculum development and referring to the vast library of books in the Teva office. Frances came to Hazon to live and work on the Topsy Turvy Bus which she did for two summers before settling at Isabella Freedman to work for Teva in the Fall of 2016. Frances graduated from the University of Vermont in May 2016, with a major in Environmental Studies, a minor in Food Systems and a thesis on the possibility of local kosher meat in the state of Vermont. In her free time she enjoys reading, starting knitting projects, general silliness, and getting dirty.

Falls Village, CT | frances.lasday@hazon.org
Miriam Leichtling   Director of Cycling Events and Engagement

Miriam Leichtling crafts and executes the organization’s largest fundraisers which include the New York Ride and Retreat, The Israel Ride, and a host of supporting programs throughout the year. Previously, Miriam was the lead programmatic director at Manhattan Jewish Experience. She has degrees in linguistics, language development, and gemology. A huge fan of creativity and entrepreneurship, Miriam‘s background includes running her own jewelry company, five years of program development in the Jewish non-profit world, and eight years of marketing/business development on the Israeli start-up scene. Miriam enjoys hosting Shabbat dinners, traveling, hiking, reading, knitting, yoga, cycling, and cranking out burpees at her Crossfit box.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x361 | miriam.leichtling@hazon.org
Meredith Levick   Director of Community Engagement

Meredith Levick is the Director of Community Engagement at Hazon. She values Jewish communal work as an opportunity to weave together her interests in building transformational learning experiences for a variety of populations and strengthening the collective Jewish community via innovation, adaptability, and thoughtful communication. Meredith received her Master’s degree in Jewish education with a focus on experiential education from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Additionally, she completed a Master’s concentration in Israel education via the iCenter. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Spanish from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Meredith lives in New York City with her husband, Danny, a fellow Jewish communal professional.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x360 | meredith.levick@hazon.org
Elan Margulies   Director of Education

As the Director of Education, Elan aims to inspire joy and reverence for the natural world by introducing students to earth-based Jewish traditions and the wonders right outside their door. He has taught ecology at Eden Village Camp, the Student Conservation Association and the Cornell University Naturalist Outreach Program, led hikes in Israel, volunteered in the Kalahari Desert, worked for the US National Park Service, and directed a Jewish educational farm outside Chicago – where he learned that the best way to catch a goat is to run away from it. Before returning to Teva he pursued graduate studies in forest ecology at University of Michigan and The Hebrew University. In his free time, he enjoys finding wild edibles, brewing ginger beer and working with wood and metal.

Falls Village, CT | 212.644.2332 x354 | elan.margulies@hazon.org
Tonia Moody   Housekeeping Manager

Tonia joined Isabella Freedman more than 20 years ago, and has worked in a variety of capacities including porter, dishwasher, prep cook, dining hall manager and now leads the housekeeping team. Tonia has enjoyed her travel through the United States during her younger years. Tonia never turns down an opportunity to relax, and on special occasions, she’ll sit with her favorite snack Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Falls Village, CT
Becky O'Brien   Director, Boulder

Becky O’Brien is Hazon’s Director for Boulder, Colorado. She has worked for a variety of social justice causes in the nonprofit sector for more than 18 years. She has a background in volunteer coordinating, programming, political advocacy, fundraising, communications, and non-profit administration. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida and a Master’s 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, knitting, and applying the principles of Voluntary Simplicity to her life.

Boulder, CO | 303.886.5865 | becky.o'brien@hazon.org
Kate Re   Senior Development Associate

Kate worked in the Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) field for seven years prior to her current role at Hazon. She has has served as production manager at a Jewish organic educational farm, as a farm and nature educator for individuals of all ages, and more recently as a part of Hazon’s Teva team. Kate holds a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She is a passionate advocate for all things natural, sustainable, and community oriented.

Falls Village, CT | kate.re@hazon.org
David Rendsburg   Director of Data and Analytics

David Rendsburg is the Director of Data and Analytics at Hazon, supporting all departments with number-crunching. David graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 with a degree in Jewish Studies, and spent time learning in Israel as well. David cycles about 1000 miles each summer, commutes to work regularly by bike, and has participated in every Hazon bike ride since 2005.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x302 | david.rendsburg@hazon.org
Yosef Resnick   Mashgiach

Rabbi Yosef Resnick is a Mashgiach for Hazon who takes great care and pride in his role of helping the guests at Isabella Freedman partake in kosher food. Outside of his work at Hazon, he works as a certified holistic health practitioner, a trained Torah scribe, a teacher of Torah to both adults and children, and a musician, whose work has been featured on the radio, in clubs, and in the Isabella Freedman dining room! He has a master’s in Education, as well as Rabbinical ordination, and two bachelor’s degrees in audio engineering and religious studies. Rabbi Resnick enjoys meditation, reading, and playing guitar.

Falls Village, CT | yosef.resnick@hazon.org
Isaiah Rothstein   Rabbi-in-residence

Isaiah serves as the Rabbi-in-residence for Hazon. Growing up in a multi-racial Chabad family in Monsey, NY, Isaiah is pulled towards building platforms for Jews of all backgrounds to celebrate their identities and affinities – together – with the rest of community. Isaiah received rabbinic ordination and master of social work from Yeshiva University’s RIETS and Wurzweiler School of Social Work. During his spare time, Isaiah enjoys bringing movement to strings, things, and people at the Union Street Sanctuary, a community magnet for spiritual innovation, or with his band Zayah. Isaiah currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Falls Village, CT | isaiah.rothstein@hazon.org
Shamu Sadeh   Managing Director of Adamah and Teva

Shamu Fenyvesi Sadeh is the co-founder and director of Adamah, and prior to that he worked as the Director of Teva. He teaches Judaism and ecology, turns the compost piles, maintains the orchards, and supervises and mentors staff and Adamah Fellows. His wife Jaimie and kids Yonah, Ibby and Lev keep the bees, help harvest and pickle, and DJ staff dance parties.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x300 | shamu.sadeh@hazon.org
Sue Salinger   Director, Denver Region

Sue Salinger creates the direction of and manages Hazon’s program in Denver. She leads Ekar Farm and brings Hazon’s strength in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education to Ekar’s goal of addressing the root causes of hunger through sustainable ag-based initiatives. She partners to build capacity within existing Jewish institutions in JOFEE, and creates new programs and experiences that bring people together across difference around health and sustainability. Sue was most recently Managing Director for the startup of Hazon in Detroit. Sue was the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park, Michigan, and Director of Education at Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado. She graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Poetics at Naropa University, an MA in Communications and Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. While at Naropa, Sue was a teaching assistant to Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, zt”l. She’s a Master Gardener.

Denver, CO | 720.434.0470 | sue.salinger@hazon.org
Nigel Savage   President & CEO

Nigel Savage founded Hazon, the Jewish lab for sustainability, in 2000.
We have grown steadily each year since then. Today we have a wide range of programs, all focused on turning Jewish life outwards to create a more sustainable world for all – and strengthening Jewish life in the process in vital and innovative ways.

Hazon is one of only two groups to have been recognized in every single Slingshot guide. We have been recognized by the Sierra Club as one of 50 leading faith-based environmental organizations.

In 2015 Nigel was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has twice been named a member of the Forward 50, the annual list of the 50 most influential Jewish people in the United States. He is a recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award, and has given Commencement speeches at Wagner (NYU, in 2011) and at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014).

Before founding Hazon, Nigel was a professional fund manager in London, where he worked for NM Rothschild and was co-head of UK Equities at Govett. He has an MA in History from Georgetown, and has learned at Pardes, Yakar, and the Hebrew University. He was a founder of Limmud NY, and serves on the board of Romemu.

Nigel executive produced the British independent movies Solitaire For 2 and Stiff Upper Lips and had an acclaimed cameo appearance in the cult Anglo-Jewish comic movie, Leon The Pig Farmer. He is believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.

New York, NY | 212.908.2503 | nigel@hazon.org
Marla Schloss   Detroit Food Festival Manager
Marla Schloss is the Detroit Food Festival Manager. Working with Hazon gives Marla the opportunity to combine her commitment to the Jewish community with her desire to create healthy, sustainable, and green living practices. Marla became aware of Hazon when she, her husband, and her daughter, all Jewish educators, were part of a JOFEE certification program offered through the Jewish Federation and led by the Hazon staff in Detroit.
Prior to her current position, Marla was an art teacher for 30 years in the Detroit public school system. She was recognized for having the largest student involvement in the Detroit Institute of Arts Student Exhibition. Marla is a native Detroiter who enjoys spending time with her family and pets, creating art, attending Broadway shows, movies, shopping, and then resting on Shabbat.
Detroit, MI | marla.schloss@hazon.org
Mordechai Schram   Executive Chef and Director of Hospitality

Reb Nahman of Bratslav says, that when you go on your life’s journey, be careful you might NOT get lost. Hazzan Mordechai Schram has had quite a circuitous route to arrive as the Executive Chef and Director of Hospitality.

Mordechai’s apparently disparate careers in advertising and the cantorate, combine with his passion for food values and eco-kashrut make him understand that the sum of all his life journey’s have all been leading to here. Mordechai came to Isabella Freedman in October 2014 as a mashgiach and fell in love with Adamah Foods, our farm to table kitchen providing local, ethically sourced, sustainable, fair trade, organic foods for all of our retreats and programs. Our on-site organic farm, Adamah Farms, contributes the bulk of our kitchen’s produce during the spring, summer and fall seasons. We look forward to feeding you soon.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x301 | mordechai.schram@hazon.org
Jaclyn Schwanemann   Director of Retreat Sales and Outreach

Jaclyn is the Registration Manager at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. She graduated from New College of Florida with a concentration in religion and gender studies. Before joining Hazon, she lived in Spain three years, where she worked at a hostel on the Camino de Santiago. She is blessed to live in the beautiful, lush foothills of the Berkshires.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x105 | jaclyn.schwanemann@hazon.org
Adam Segulah Sher   General Manager, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

Adam serves as the General Manager of Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. Adam leads the fantastic Isabella Freedman team, who produce and host over 70 events each year including pilgrimage holidays, conferences, spiritual retreats, family celebrations, and synagogue retreats. He enjoys classic reggae and soul music, mystical poetry, disc golf, and purple things. He lives in Falls Village with his sons Eli and Noah, and wife Megan – whom he met at Isabella Freedman in 2007 when she staffed the Adamah Farm & Fellowship.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x203 | adam.sher@hazon.org
Victoria Shestack Aronoff   Grant Writer

Victoria has 20 years of experience raising money for nonprofits. In addition to writing grants for Hazon, she also does fundraising for a New Jersey organization that helps kids with cancer. She grew up in New York City’s Greenwich Village, lived in London and Washington, DC, and now lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and is surprisingly happy with suburban life. She has a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University and has two children, Dalia and Solomon.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 | victoria.aronoff@hazon.org
Janna Siller   Adamah Farm Director

Janna leads the Adamah crew in growing organic vegetables for CSA distribution, value-added production, Isabella Freedman food service, and donations, while maintaining the fields as resonant learning space for fellows and visitors. She teaches classes on practical farming and gardening skills as well as classes that explore the big picture systems, policies and issues that shape what we eat and how it is grown. Janna lives in Falls Village with her daughter Tzuf and their cats.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x303 | janna.siller@hazon.org
Yoshi Silverstein   Director of JOFEE Fellowship
Yoshi Silverstein is Director of the JOFEE Fellowship, Hazon’s flagship training and certification program for Jewish outdoor, food, farming & environmental education professionals. A landscape designer, writer, and educator with over fourteen years of experience in JOFEE and related fields, Yoshi holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in European Cultural Studies and Near Eastern/Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. He is a proud alumnus of the Dorot Fellowship, the Selah leadership program (Cohort 14 – Jewish Leaders of Color), and the PresenTense NYC Fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs. Yoshi really likes Fellowships. He has also worked as Education Director at the Pearlstone Center (back when it was still Kayam Farm) and has taught throughout the US and Israel, including several seasons as a Teva educator and stints at Camp Wise in Cleveland and Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, WA. Originally from Spokane, WA, Yoshi has resided in roughly thirteen different places since his eighteenth birthday – including the Olympic Mountains, central and northern Idaho Rockies, Berkshire Mountains, and the Arava Valley – and now lives in the Bushwick Plains of Northern Brooklyn with his wife Abby and their pup, Norman Jellybean.

 

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x356 | yoshi.silverstein@hazon.org
Jed Snerson   Chief Operating Officer

Jed Snerson is the Chief Operating Officer at Hazon. He has a strong background in non-profit management, including 15 years in senior roles at UJA-Federation of New York, where he was the Executive Director of the Commission Management and Budget Office, managing the $150 million grant budget and overseeing allocations. Following UJA-Federation, Jed served as the Chief Financial Officer at the New York Legal Assistance Group. Jed was part of the initial class of UJA’s Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership, which fortified his identity as a Jewish communal professional. He received a Masters in Public Finance from NYU-Wagner and graduated as an English major from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, he spent a year on Kibbutz Hazorea in Israel with Project Oren.

He is an enthusiastic cyclist and has participated in a number of trips in North America and Europe. Jed lives with his wife in Brooklyn.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x306 | jed.snerson@hazon.org
Simone Stallman   Retreat Sales & Outreach Manager

Simone Stallman is the Retreat Sales & Outreach Manager at Isabella Freedman. She comes to Hazon with extensive experience in hospitality management and event planning. A native New Yorker, Simone moved upstate to the Catskills five years ago and now resides in Millerton, NY. She studied fashion and art at Syracuse University and enjoys going to see live music, snowboarding, and cooking. She is excited to be a part of the Isabella Freedman family.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x101 | simone.stallman@hazon.org
Sasha Ariel Ullman   Culinary Director, Isabella Freedman

Sasha Ariel Ullman, Culinary Director at Isabella Freedman, is a South Florida native who has always had a passion for food and cooking. After working in restaurants since she was 14, and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, her love of food, animals, and community all came together when she participated in Adamah, the Jewish farm fellowship program. She has since worked for some incredible female chefs, hotels, and catering companies, and has made a real name for herself in the Food & Beverage industry in Miami. Sasha hopes to have a lasting impact on the food we serve to our Hazon community.

Falls Village, CT | sasha.ullman@hazon.org
Vlastik Valasek   Senior Event Coordinator

Vlastik Valasek is the Senior Event Coordinator at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. In his native Czech Republic, Vlastik was a social worker, motivated by his love for and interest in people. He completed the Multinational Leadership Training Program twice – once he focused on Education, Social Services, Management, Customer Service, and Counseling, and the second time he focused on Management, Business, Commerce, and Finance. Vlastik is responsible for many of the organizational aspects of our organizational retreats and family simchas, working closely on logistics with families and group leaders to ensure that Isabella Freedman provides the best food, programming, and services possible. Vlastik likes traveling, modern art, music, literature, and good coffee.

Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x104 | vlastik.valasek@hazon.org
Jeff Wallace   Controller

Jeff Wallace is the Controller at Hazon. Prior to joining Hazon Jeff was the controller for the New York City Ballet. His background also includes working at Deloite and CBS Television Network. Jeff graduated with an accounting degree from SUNY Albany and an MBA in Finance from Fordham. He is a licensed certified public accountant in New York and is the Treasurer for Limmud NY.

Jeff lives in Westchester with his wife Marla Alt and his two teenage sons.

New York, NY | 212.908.2521 | jeff.wallace@hazon.org
Eliezer Weinbach   Retreat Coordinator

Eliezer Weinbach is the Retreat Coordinator at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Prior to joining Hazon, he worked as a Research Associate for Haskins Laboratories, a research institution affiliated with Yale University. He attended Yeshiva University where he studied Psychology. In his spare time Eli enjoys reading, listening to music, and adventuring.

Falls Village, CT | eliezer.weinbach@hazon.org
Jacob Weiss   JOFEE Fellow

Jacob is thrilled to be a JOFEE fellow at Isabella Freedman working with the retreats team. He was born and raised in the great city of Cleveland, Ohio, and has spent the better part of the past six years living in New York City. Jacob studied Political Science and Fine Arts at Yeshiva University, and then went on to receive his Chef’s training at the Natural Gourmet Institute. He has spent his time since then cooking at various restaurants in New York, as well as taking time away from the kitchen, to work on farms around the country. With his free time, Jacob loves to cook for friends and family, get lost in the woods, take long bike rides and climb on things.

Falls Village, CT | jacob.weiss@hazon.org
Rachel Wetter   Development Associate

Rachel Wetter supports the fundraising efforts of Hazon as the Development Associate. She holds degrees in History and Jewish Studies from Rutgers University, and comes to Hazon with a background in (and passion for) experiential education and community building. Prior to joining Hazon, Rachel taught with a number of museums and Jewish education programs in New York City. She loves learning Jewish texts, a good walk in a forest or down crowded city streets, and is an avid contra dancer.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x353 | rachel.wetter@hazon.org
Sarah Wolk   Operations Manager

Sarah is the Operations Manager for Hazon and Makom Hadash. She derives great pleasure from implementing, maintaining, and tidying systems of all sorts and sizes. Before coming to Hazon, Sarah worked in various Jewish nonprofits, followed by an AmeriCorps service spent with the New York Restoration Project, working in community gardens in the Bronx. Sarah enjoys learning of all kinds, especially Torah, which she focused on for two years as a Fellow at Mechon Hadar, while in the summers she learned Yiddish at Yiddish Farm. Sarah has some of the best coworkers around and is grateful to work for an organization that shares so many of her values.

New York, NY | 212.908.2500 | sarah.wolk@hazon.org