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Nigel Savage

The teaching that speaks to me most deeply, at the moment, is the one about having two pieces of paper in our pockets. One says, ‘You are dust and will return to dust…” and the other says, “for you the world was made…”
—Nigel Savage
 
 

Nigel Savage   Founder & Former CEO

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 | nigel@hazon.org

Special Recent Posts

An Ending, and Two Beginnings (7 of 7)

An Ending, and Two Beginnings (7 of 7)

August 26th, 2021

Thursday, August 26, 2021 | 18 Elul 5781   Nigel: Hi! Jakir: Shalom!  You did it!  I’m not sure how you pulled it off, but you made it to the holy land! N: Yep. I’m now in bidud, the word the Israelis use for “quarantine”[...]

Why does shmita matter? (6 of 7)

Why does shmita matter? (6 of 7)

August 20th, 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021 | 12 Elul 5781   Dear All, I admit that I am baffled by Jeopardy!, and why people care about it. (What’s wrong with University Challenge?) But Jeopardy does remind us to ask this: what questions does shmita come to[...]

Israel (5 of 7)

Israel (5 of 7)

August 13th, 2021

Friday, August 13, 2021 | 5 Elul 5781   Dear All, The second day of the 2005 Israel Ride was on Thursday, May 12th. The day before we had ridden from Jerusalem to Ashkelon. Now we were riding to Mashabeh Sadeh, alongside the northern tip[...]

Climate at a tipping point: What do we do? (4 of 7)

Climate at a tipping point: What do we do? (4 of 7)

August 6th, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021 | 28 Av 5781   Dear All, You might think this email would for me be easy and obvious. But it has been the hardest one to write. I want to convey some seemingly contradictory ideas.  It has been right[...]

Does Jewish tradition support my politics? (3 of 7)

Does Jewish tradition support my politics? (3 of 7)

July 28th, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021 | 20 Av 5781   Dear All, There was the first time I went on this thing called Facebook. It asked my religion, so I wrote "Manchester United." It asked my politics, so I wrote “Jewish.” We can talk some other time[...]

Some thoughts for funders (2 of 7)

Some thoughts for funders (2 of 7)

July 22nd, 2021

Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 13 Av 5781  One big idea – and a few smaller ones. Dear All, First: gratitude. I don’t take anyone’s gift to Hazon for granted. (If it ever seemed like I did, I apologize.) We’re an imperfect organization, but[...]

Leadership and failure (1 of 7)

Leadership and failure (1 of 7)

July 15th, 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021 | 6 Av 5781    Dear All, As I step down as CEO, this is the first of seven emails, reflecting on a range of different topics, to the Hazon list, roughly weekly from today. That’ll take us from now[...]

Stepping down as CEO; Hazon merger

Stepping down as CEO; Hazon merger

July 8th, 2021

July 8, 2021 | 28 Tammuz 5781   Dear All, Here’s the statement that Hazon & Pearlstone have just released. All the rest (of this email) is commentary… I’m stepping down as CEO after 21 years. It is bittersweet. I love this organization, and I[...]

Getting down to bedrock

Getting down to bedrock

May 24th, 2021

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | 14 Sivan 5781   Dear All, Many of the arguments that divide contemporary Jewish life come down to different readings of what it means to be Jewish. I want to offer some of my own thoughts on this. Before[...]

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Shmita & Parshat Behar Bechukotai 5781

May 4th, 2021

Please enjoy this week's video newsletter message. Full text transcript is below.  We were thinking we might try and send out some videos as well as just written words, and this week's parsha seemed like a great time to begin. (Leviticus 25:1)[...]

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Different Jewish narratives in relation to place

April 21st, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 | 24th day of the omer – tiferet she'b'netzach   Dear All, Tomorrow is Earth Day, and there’s lots happening. I hope you will attend some of the many events that are taking place, including our second annual #SoundTheCall. And tune[...]

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Earth Day as a secular chag

April 9th, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021 | netzach she’b’gevurah    Dear All, It’s Earth Day two weeks from today. This prompts me to think about Earth Day as the secular equivalent of one of the festivals of Jewish life. Doing so helps us to better understand[...]

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The Economy, Krugman, Healthcare, Pesach – and Power, Ethics & Ecology in Late Jewish Antiquity

March 18th, 2021

March 18, 2021 | 5 Nissan 5781    Dear All, The whole world we live in, right now, is “both/and” rather than “either/or.” Everything happens simultaneously. Everything and its opposite is true. Things overlap and repeat, fold in upon themselves. I feel this strongly in relation to[...]

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Rosh Chodesh Adar, and a preview of the Shmita Prizes

February 11th, 2021

February 11, 2021 | Erev Rosh Chodesh Adar   Dear All, The Hebrew month of Adar, by tradition, “increases joy.” Those who are used to Jewish tradition may take this idea for granted. But underlying it are presumptions that are worth thinking about,[...]

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Thoughts on this Tu B'Shvat

January 28th, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021 | Tu B'Shvat 5781   Dear All, One of the questions underpinning the entire Jewish environmental movement is the question: to what end? If we want to make a difference in the world, can’t we – shouldn’t we –[...]

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Light In The Darkness

January 12th, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 | 28th Tevet 5781   Dear All, Tomorrow night it’s Rosh Chodesh Shvat. The beginning of the beginnings. Next week a new president, a new government. The week after it’s Tu B’Shvat and the Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest. The almond[...]

Darkness, and light – from the United Nations

Darkness, and light – from the United Nations

December 9th, 2020

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 | Erev Chanukah   Dear All, First: a huge thank you to every single person who has supported us in 2020. A record number of people supported us on Giving Tuesday. I and we appreciate it. This year we survived,[...]

Light, and the amplitude of life

Light, and the amplitude of life

November 20th, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 3 Kislev 5781   And announcing a new initiative for college students: Campus-at-Camp – at Isabella Freedman – spring '21. Applications opened today and close December 4th.   Dear All, I’m feeling intensely the amplitude of life right now. One of the things that[...]

September 9th, 2029

September 9th, 2029

October 20th, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 27 Tishrei 5781 Dear All, The Jewish holidays are over, and the rest of our lives now proceeds. I’ve been thinking about one particular future date that should be in our calendars - and why it should[...]

The fires this time: public goods, the Jewish community, different time horizons

The fires this time: public goods, the Jewish community, different time horizons

September 15th, 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | 26 Elul 5780   Dear All, We weren’t going to send an email this week. We figured there’d be enough in your inbox in the days before Rosh Hashanah. But I am prompted by the fires out West to[...]

View more of Nigel’s essays here.

Less Fear, More Resolve in Sh’ma Now, August 30, 2017

How the Once-Every-Seven-Years Observance of Shmita is Changing Jewish Lives in The Huffington Post, September 2014

On Tribes, Food and Community in Jewish MegaTrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future

Time for Jewish Evangelizing in The Jewish Daily Forward, June 2014

 

Rabbi Jesse Olitzky’s Behind The Ballot Box podcast: On The Climate Crisis with Nigel Savage, August 18, 2020

 

Talking Torah and Tzedek with Uri L’Tzedek

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s Inaugural Climate Conferencce


Nigel Savage on Hazon Mission Statement

Nigel Savage on Hazon Pedagogy