History

Hazon, in its current form, was formed in 2014, through the merger of two organizations: the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, which was founded as the Jewish Working Girls Vacation Society in 1893; and Hazon, founded by Nigel Savage in 2000 in New York City. The enlarged Hazon includes Elat Chayyim and the Teva Learning Center, each of which also was previously a separate organization. Click here to read the history of Isabella Freedman prior to 2000.

 

2000

Launch of the Cross-USA Jewish Environmental Bike Ride.
The Ride ends at the White House.
Hazon wins the EPA EnergyStar for Congregations Award.
Two of the people who first met as riders subsequently get married – the first (but not the last) couple to meet at a Hazon event.

 

2001

Launch of the New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride: Kingston, NY to Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan, with 40 participants.

 

2002

Launch of the Hazon Beit Midrash.
Richard Dale becomes board chair.

 

2003

Launch of the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride: Cycling for Peace, Partnership & Environmental Protection.
Isabella Freedman launches the Adamah program, directed by Dr. Shamu Sadeh. (The Hazon NY Ride provides a first $3,600 mini-grant.)

 

2004

Launch of the first Hazon Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, at Ansche Chesed, with Garden of Eve Farm.
The Hazon NY Ride starts, for the first time, at Isabella Freedman.

 

2005

Camp Isabella Freedman becomes the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.
Launch of The Jew & the Carrot.
Hazon publishes first draft of Food For Thought, a 130-page compendium of source texts on Jews, Food & Contemporary Life.
First Sukkahfest held at Isabella Freedman.

 

2006

Cheryl Cook joins Hazon as COO: Hazon has 5 staff, 5 CSAs, budget c$550k.
Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality merges with Isabella Freedman.
First Hazon Food Conference, at Isabella Freedman.

 

2007

175 participants at the Israel Ride.
Over 300 participants at the New York Ride. (A $25,000 grant from the NY Ride pays for the downpayment on the new Adamah house.)
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi teaches at the Shavuot retreat at Isabella Freedman for the first time.
10 Jewish CSAs are now in Hazon’s network.
At the Hazon Food Conference, we announce the launch of the Shmita Project.
David Weisberg becomes the director of Friends of the Arava Institute – Hazon’s partner on the Israel Ride.
The Cooper Silent Meditation Retreat becomes an annual tradition at Isabella Freedman.

 

2008

First Hazon Food Conference on the West Coast (Asilomar, Monterey).
Kaplan Family Farm is given to Isabella Freedman, to provide a much needed permanent home for the expansion of Adamah.

 

2009

Hazon opens office in San Francisco.
First Israel Sustainable Food Tour.
637 people at Hazon Food Conference, including major delegation from Colorado.
Hazon launches Jewish Climate Campaign and leads Jewish delegation to The Celebration of Faith Commitments for a Living Planet at Windsor Castle.

 

2010

First Hazon California Ride.
There are now more than 40 Hazon CSAs.
The Rose Community Foundation, Oreg, and 18 Pomegranates support Hazon to hire staff in Boulder and Denver.
Hazon joins the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable.

 

2011

David Weisberg becomes Executive Director of Isabella Freedman.
The first Siach conference takes place at Isabella Freedman, a partnership between Hazon, the Heschel Center in Israel and the Jewish Social Action Forum in the UK, and backed by UJA-Federation of NY and the Jewish Agency.
Relaunch of the Cross-USA Ride.

 

2012

First Hazon Jewish Food Festival in CO.
Siach Conference in Israel: Jeremy Benstein & Nigel Savage lead a significant session on shmita.
Hazon and Isabella Freedman announce planned merger.
Surprise Lake Camp and the Teva Learning Alliance, supported by the Hazon & Isabella Freedman boards, decide that Teva should also be part of the enlarged Hazon.

 

2013

Research begins on what will become the JOFEE Study, backed by six major funders.
Hazon Jewish Food Festivals are held in in Colorado, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
Hazon hires staff in Philadelphia, following several years strong work by  the Philadelphia Advisory Board.
First Jewish Intentional Communities Conference, at and with the Pearlstone Jewish Retreat Center.
Publication of Hazon Shmita Sourcebook. David Weisberg hangs a “Shmita Countdown Clock” at Isabella Freedman.

 

2014

January 1, the merger is completed and the new Hazon begins.

Beit Havurah house donated to Hazon in October


 

2015

Jim Joseph Foundation approves a major grant to support the nascent JOFEE field.
Pre-Jewish National Fund Sustainable Israel tour.
First ever Israel Intentional Communities tour.
Hazon President Nigel Savage represents the Jewish community at interfaith climate conference in Paris, hosted by President Hollande, ahead of the COP 21 talks in late 2015.
Together, Isabella Freedman Center and Hazon host the longest and most attended Sukkahfest ever!
For 10 days, 500 people gathered to celebrate and be together in nature.