Learn more about Hazon’s merger with Pearlstone. This staff list will be updated as the merger is effectuated, in 2022.
Hazon staff are located across the United States and are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.
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 | 718.305.7075 (US) | 972.50.473.4513 (Israel) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Bresler is the Jewish Youth Climate Movement Coordinator. She has a background in youth climate justice organizing and helping movements center diversity, equity, and inclusion. She co-founded and co-coordinated a disability justice team in a major climate movement, as well as a local organizing hub and an accessibility group on her college campus. Abby is excited to be working in a setting that combines her passions for social justice, the environment, and Judaism. In her free time, Abby enjoys cooking, writing poetry, singing, and spending time outdoors.Lexington, MA | email@example.com
Libba Cooper is the National Programs Coordinator providing support for the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program and logistical support for events. She has a background in event planning and management and has worked for a variety of nonprofits within the community action network, higher education, and museum industry. Libba graduated from Roanoke College with a BA in music for vocal performance and still resides in Roanoke, VA. She’s a maker, loves podcasts and yoga, and enjoys being outside as much as possible, either hiking, camping, biking, or hammocking.Roanoke, VA | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Nate DeGroot is the Hazon Detroit Associate Director and Spiritual & 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 | email@example.com
Morgan serves as Hazon’s Associate Director of Development 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 can often be found in one of New York City’s many parks.New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x307 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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 | email@example.com
As Hazon’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Hannah guides the messaging and tone of Hazon’s marketing and communications and oversees the successful execution of the overall marketing strategy. Previously, Hannah 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 in marketing and religious studies.New York, NY | 212.908.2517 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Elana Eyal is Hazon’s Special Events Coordinator, dedicated to the organization and smooth sailing of our special events, including the Israel Ride. Prior to joining Hazon, she worked for a renewable energy (biogas) startup, and at a socially-conscious video production company. Elana is very connected to Israel, where she lived for 8 years after graduating from Tel Aviv University. She loves all things outdoors, making art, practicing yoga, and has backpacked solo throughout the world.New York, NY | 212.908.2513 | email@example.com
Hannah engages the Detroit and Metro Detroit community in conversation, education, action, and advocacy as it relates to climate justice. She 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 deep sense of community, especially as it relates to food and environmental justice. Hannah attended Wayne State University where she earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Chemical Biology. When not getting her hands dirty she can be found exploring, cooking, or planning her next trip.Detroit, MI | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lily Fryburg is the Marketing and Communications Associate, contributing to the awareness of and engagement with Hazon’s programs. Previously, Lily was a copywriter and content creator. She holds a BA from Muhlenberg College, where she was a member of the Environmental Action Team (EnAcT) and lived in the Sustainability House on campus. Lily enjoys comedy writing, yoga, singing, and playing ukulele in her free time.New York, NY | 212-908-2515 | email@example.com
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.
Hannah is the Director of National Programs, managing programmatic content and outreach across the organization including a variety of field building and climate-related initiatives including JOFEE gatherings, the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, and ongoing efforts to catalyze our community-centered response to a global climate crisis. Hannah has more than 12 years of experience in the non-profit sector and has previously held positions in fundraising, event management, and community organizing. Additionally, Hannah has worked as an outdoor educator, wilderness guide, and experiential youth educator across the United States. She earned her Master’s in Nonprofit Management and Jewish Studies at Gratz College as a Legacy Heritage Fellow and holds a Bachelors’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies from North Carolina State University. Hannah is a certified yoga teacher, avid outdoors-woman and global explorer from her home base in Greensboro, North Carolina.New York, NY | (212) 908-2516 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Lewis is an Associate Director, National Programs, working with the team to elevate Hazon’s initiatives and create opportunities that build partnerships with other Jewish organizations. Her passion for environmental stewardship has strengthened her connection to Judaism which then uplifts her sustainability work; a feedback loop driving faith-based action toward mitigating climate change and increasing engagement in Jewish life. For over twenty years, Karen has been engaged in nonprofit program management, partnership development and community engagement, primarily in environmental and faith-based sectors. Karen lives in Chicago, balances her passion for protecting nature with her love of books, theatre, and cooking, and can frequently be found walking with friends, family or her dog, Hobbes.Chicago, IL | 212-644-2332 x324 | Karen.email@example.com
As an Adamah Apprentice Luna is excited to get her hands dirty working the land, expand her knowledge on social justice, and more deeply explore her Jewish identity. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in musical theater, she decided to pull a 180° and learn about organic agriculture and permaculture, living communally at Hava ve Adam Eco-Educational Farm in Israel. She is a book nerd, a shruti box enthusiast, and loves cooking up a storm while simultaneously busting out her ever growing repertoire of kitchen dance moves.Falls Village, CT | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jakir Manela is the CEO of Hazon and Pearlstone, just outside of Baltimore, MD. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2004, and after training as a Teva Jewish outdoor environmental educator, he founded Kayam Farm at Pearlstone in 2006. Jakir was promoted to become Pearlstone’s Executive Director in 2012, helping to lead an amazing team engaging over 22,000 participants each year in immersive retreats, experiential Jewish outdoor education, and community sustainability initiatives. Jakir works collaboratively with a wonderful staff and board, as well as supportive funders and partners, leading Pearlstone towards a campus master plan and $20 million capital campaign that will transform Pearlstone’s 180-acre campus and double its impact. Jakir was the 2014 JCSA North American Young Professional of the Year, and received the inaugural Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom in 2016 for the groundbreaking Jewish farm-based curricula Chai VeKayam & Hadrah Alach. For the past ten years, Jakir has helped lead Pearlstone to its perennial status in the Slingshot Guide as one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in North America. Jakir lives just up the road from Pearlstone with his incredible wife Nets, four boys ages 4 to 14, and an energetic puppy named Gaia. He coaches youth sports and loves building campfires and making music with friends.Reisterstown, MD
Rachel is Hazon’s National Programs Associate, overseeing the administrative and creative elements of Hazon’s programming work alongside the National Programs Team. Bringing her passion for design and her unique problem solving abilities to life, Rachel is the driving force behind many of the graphic and logistical elements of Hazon’s programs. Before joining the team, Rachel worked as a menswear clothing designer emphasizing the role technology and innovation could play in performance wear; she also spent several years providing direct care and service in hospital and civil-service settings. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies with a concentration in Apparel Product Design from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and in her downtime enjoys crafting of all sorts, live musical theater and playing video games. Rachel currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and their two dogs.Johnson City, TN | 212.644.2332 x306 | email@example.com
Becky O’Brien is Hazon’s Director of Food & Climate. Prior to that, she was Hazon’s Director of Boulder for nearly 9 years. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years. She is passionate about Hazon’s mission and brings to her work her experience in project management, volunteer coordinating, programming, advocacy, fundraising, communications, and nonprofit 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. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and camping in the beautiful Colorado outdoors, knitting, and volunteering to make the world a better place.Boulder, CO | 303.886.5865 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvette Ouellette is the Executive Chef at Hazon, working at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Yvette is in love with cooking for her health and happiness, and has been cooking locally since 1990. Yvette’s favorite things to do outside of cooking are gardening and going on family vacations.Falls Village, CT | email@example.com
Sara Pilavin is the Associate Director of Special Events at Hazon. Prior to joining Hazon, she spent 8 years working at UJA-Federation of New York in both Fundraising and Marketing. She graduated from Queens College with a degree in Sociology, and a minor in Student Services and Counseling. Sara enjoys hiking, the beach, thrift stores, extremely dark (and fair trade, and vegan) chocolate, and owns every John Grisham novel. She is over the moon about working at Hazon – blending her love and passion for Judaism, sustainability, and connection.New York, NY | 212.908.2520 | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Rendsburg is the Budget Director 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.Philadelphia, PA | 212.644.2332 x302 | email@example.com
Liana Rothman is a National Programs Manager for Hazon. Liana manages the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program, supports JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education) field-building initiatives, and is the co-founder and director of Hazon’s Jewish Youth Climate Movement. Liana was an Adamah Fellow, Teva Educator, and JOFEE Fellow from 2018-2020. Liana loves to go on hikes, spend long hours on porches with friends, and is committed to building a more just society.Boston, MA | (212) 908-2526 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Shamu Fenyvesi Sadeh is the Managing Director of Education at Isabella Freedman. He is the co-founder and former director of Adamah, and prior to that he worked as the Director of Teva, and now he leads our efforts to educate all Isabella Freedman guests. 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 help harvest and pickle, and DJ staff dance parties.Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x300 | email@example.com
Nigel Savage founded Hazon, the Jewish lab for sustainability, in 2000. He served as its CEO for 21 years, stepping down in July 2021.
Under his leadership, Hazon became the largest environmental organization in the American Jewish community.
Hazon was one of only two groups to have been in every single Slingshot guide, and was recognized by the Sierra Club as one of 50 leading faith-based environmental organizations.
Nigel has been a popular teacher and speaker in a wide range of venues.
In recognition for his work, in 2015 he 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), at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014) and at Spertus (in Chicago, in 2018).
Before founding Hazon, Nigel worked in asset management in London for NM Rothschild and as 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.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Schwartz is the Development Coordinator for Hazon. In this role she manages and tracks institutional and individual gifts, Hazon’s fundraising calendar, and donor relations as well as assisting with grant writing and reporting. Previously, Leah has worked as an Adminsitrative Assistant at the Jewish Labor Committee in Manhattan and El Camino Community Laison for Genesee Land Trust in Rochester, NY. Leah earned her B.A. at the University of Rochester in English (Language, Media, and Communications track) and Anthropology with a minor in Business. She is a film enthusiast and incredibly passionate about food and environmental justice and has volunteered and worked for urban farms, farmers markets, and SNAP division of social services.New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x326 | email@example.com
Janna wears a few hats at Hazon. As the Adamah Farm Director, Janna leads apprentices, residential fellows, and volunteers in growing organic vegetables for the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, local customers, and food banks while maintaining the fields as resonant learning space. She teaches about growing food, climate change, policy, food systems, and Jewish tradition. As Hazon’s advocacy coordinator, Janna leads grassroots efforts to raise Jewish voices on behalf of a more just and regenerative food system. Janna has been farming since 2005 and has been at Adamah since 2011. Physical work with community and in the soil informs and inspires her approach as an advocate and educator.Falls Village, CT | 860.824.5991 x303 | firstname.lastname@example.org
After 17 years in the plastics extrusion industry and moving the family across 4 states, Ken Smith and his family decided to settle down on family land in Sheffield, MA in 2014. Since then, he has worked at another local nonprofit much like Isabella Freedman. As the Director of Facilities, he enjoys taking care of buildings and keeping them operational. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids and two dogs. They also have a small farm with beef cattle, goats, chickens, guinea hens and bee hives.Falls Village, CT | 860-453-3961 | email@example.com
Bruce is the Public Education Manager at Hazon, overseeing and directing the development of public education programs that challenge and support Jewish institutions to develop and integrate commitments to addressing the climate crisis. Bruce brings ten years of experience working in urban agriculture, community composting, and public horticulture. Additionally, Bruce has worked in nonprofit strategic planning and leadership development. He holds a Masters degree from New York University in Environmental Conservation Education focusing on Nonprofit Management. Bruce is an amateur naturalist, lover of composting, and an avid fermenter of food and drink.New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x319 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Simone Stallman is the Director of Retreats 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. 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 x0 | email@example.com
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah is the Information Systems Manager for Hazon. 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.Philadelphia, PA | 212.908.2500 | email@example.com
Sarah Zell Young is an Associate Director, National Programs and comes to Hazon with over a decade of educational and nonprofit management experience. She most recently was the Director of Finance at a flagship Jewish day school and a co-director of the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Boston University partnering with Hillel. While living In Israel, she earned a certificate in educational and spiritual leadership at the Claudia Cohen Women’s Educators Institute, was an inaugural art fellow at Pardes, and a Dorot Fellow. Sarah is also a certified Urban Zen Integrative Therapist and an award-winning visual artist and is excited to be bringing her creativity to an organization that shares her values of learning from the wisdom of Jewish tradition to create a sustainable world for all.New York, NY | 212.908.2504 | firstname.lastname@example.org