Hazon-Pearlstone Merger

We are excited to announce that Hazon is in discussions to merge with Pearlstone!

After 21 years leading Hazon, Nigel Savage has stepped down. Jakir Manela, the current Pearlstone CEO and longtime Hazon participant and board member, now leads Hazon, with the plan of leading the joint organization.


Moving Forward Together

Together we are committed to making Pearlstone, Hazon, and the JOFEE & Jewish retreating movements stronger and more impactful than ever before. Together we will navigate the years ahead, together we will face the climate crisis, and together we will bring joy, inspiration, and love.


Nigel Savage Looks Back on Two Decades at Hazon
By Helen Chernikoff, EJewishPhilanthropy, July 19, 2021

Climate Change Tops Agenda in Hazon-Pearlstone Merger
By Sharon Rosen Leib, The Forward, July 16, 2021

With merger, Baltimore is set to become center of Jewish environmental work
Baltimore Jewish Times, July 15, 2021



We are leading a transformative movement weaving sustainability into the fabric of Jewish life, in order to create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable world for all.

Learn about our mission, vision, and values


Pearlstone offers a one-of-a-kind, memorable, and meaningful experience to all who visit. The picturesque facility helps create intimate and personal connections between people of all backgrounds and affiliations. From large corporate events to educational field trips and family, overnight and day camps, our space is welcoming to all Jewish, faith-based, and secular organizations, individuals, and families.

We are excited to add this facility to the Hazon family. Along with Isabella Freedman, the two retreat centers will allow us to offer immersive retreats to a wider audience.

Learn more about Pearlstone


Innovative – Immersive – Transformative

Hazon’s innovative sustainability programs will expand, allowing us to further inspire this and the next generation of leaders.

Isabella Freedman

Our kosher pluralistic retreat center on 400 acres in the Connecticut Berkshires.


Farming fellowship integrating Jewish learning, social justice, and spirituality.

Hazon Seal of Sustainability

Tools to help green your institution and create a sustainability plan.

Jewish Youth Climate Movement

Empowering teens to mobilize communities and take action.

Detroit tent

Hazon Detroit

Bringing sustainability to the Metro Detroit Jewish community.


Experiential learning fostering Jewish, ecological, and sustainability awareness.

Farm & Forest School

Joyful nature connection, spiritual wisdom, and loving community.

Brit Hazon

Become part of the solution to the climate crisis as an individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Pearlstone and Hazon hoping to merge?

After months of open dialogue, Pearlstone and Hazon leadership fundamentally share one mission: to lead a transformative movement weaving sustainability into the fabric of Jewish life, in order to create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable world for all – and we believe strongly that together we have much greater capacity and strength to achieve that mission. We share deeply held values, goals, and vision. We are operationally aligned as well, including our similar retreat centers, JOFEE programming, and sustainability initiatives. While each organization is already successful on its own, our collective strength as a combined entity will lead to even greater impact.

When will the merger happen?

Both the Hazon and Pearlstone boards voted in July 2021 to approve the intent to merge and install Jakir Manela as the new CEO effective August 1st. While the process to become legally merged is expected to take about a year, operational integration will begin later this summer.

What will be the name of the merged organization?

The national organization will be called Hazon and the headquarters will be at Pearlstone outside of Baltimore.

The Isabella Freedman brand will continue to be the primary experience for participants coming to the Freedman Retreat Center, as will the Pearlstone brand for everyone going to retreats there.

The combined entity contains a cornucopia of outstanding brands in the JOFEE world: Adamah, Family Farm Camp, Farm & Forest School, the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, Jewish Youth Climate Movement, Teva, Tiyul Adventure Camp, and more. We will engage consultants in the months ahead to create an intentional branding strategy that maximizes the strength and synergy of our brands both individually and collectively.

What programming will the new combined organization offer?

All current programming will continue to be offered by both organizations!

The Pearlstone Campus will continue to be home to many successful perennial programs including Tiyul AdventuresFarm & Forest School, TEVA, and Hebrew School on the Farm. Beloved annual immersive retreats such as Family Farm Camp and Jewish holiday celebrations will continue, as will eco-stewardship programs including the Permaculture Design Course and THRIVE.

Isabella Freedman will continue to host impactful retreats for Jewish Holidays, Adamah, and various JOFEE gatherings.

Across the nation, Hazon will continue to support the impactful Seal of Sustainability, Brit Hazon, and Jewish Youth Climate Movement, as well as Detroit programs such as the Michigan Jewish Food FestivalFood Rescue, and Relief Garden Initiative.

What will the new organization do with two retreat centers?

We strongly believe that immersive retreats have the power to change lives, reinvigorate Jewish life, and build community. We also believe that our campus amenities, meeting spaces, farm-to-table meals, and variety of lodging make our two settings the perfect locations for professional conferences, spiritual and faith-based retreats, weddings and life-cycle events for people of all backgrounds searching for a warm and welcoming venue. Just ask the thousands of individuals that Isabella Freedman and Pearlstone have welcomed over the years! Now with two retreat centers in our portfolio, we have more availability, more options, and more choices to offer over a wider geographic area. Two locations, one clear mission.

Who and where is leadership?

The idea for this merger arose as Nigel Savage, Hazon’s founder and CEO, told the Hazon board in the summer of 2020 that he had chosen to transition out of his leadership role during the summer of 2021.

Jakir Manela will serve as the new CEO of Hazon effective August 1st, based at Hazon’s new headquarters at Pearlstone.

In the months to come, we will continue sharing news regarding the development of Hazon and Pearlstone’s new leadership teams.

Will there be a new board? What happens to existing board members of Pearlstone and Hazon?

The new national board of directors will include equal representation and leadership from both organizations. Advisory Boards will be established to oversee major program areas, including the Pearlstone Campus.

Who served on the merger negotiation team?

Hazon was represented by Nigel Savage along with Board Members Marina Lewin, Brett Cohen and Daniella Hirschfeld.

Pearlstone was represented by Jakir Manela, and Board Members Emile Bendit, Rachel Siegal and Becky Brenner.