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   President & CEO

Nigel Savage, originally from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in 2000, with a Cross-USA Jewish Environmental Bike Ride. Since then, Hazon has grown the range and impact of its work in each successive year; today it has more than 60 staff, based in New York City, at Hazon’s Isabella Freedman campus, and in other locations across the country. Hazon plays a unique role in renewing American Jewish life and creating a healthier and more sustainable world for all.

Hazon is one of a tiny handful of groups to have been in the Slingshot 50 every year since inception, and in 2008, Hazon was recognized by the Sierra Club as one of 50 leading faith-based environmental organizations.

Nigel has spoken, taught, or written for a wide and significant range of audiences.  (A selection of his essays are at 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, and is a recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award. He has given Commencement speeches at Wagner (NYU, in 2011) and at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014). In 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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 |

Special Recent Posts

Less Fear, More Resolve

Less Fear, More Resolve

September 8th, 2017

by Nigel Savage Originally posted in the Forward on August 30, 2017. "Who shall live and who shall die,” a line in the prayer Unetanneh Tokef, is the emotional highpoint of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgy. The power of it[...]

No thumbnail available

The Paris Accords – Now What?

June 2nd, 2017

From Nigel Savage June 2nd, 2017 | 8th Sivan 5777 Dear All, Jewish tradition isn’t just for kids and it isn’t just for synagogues and it isn’t just about bagels or dressing up on Purim. This last week, across the Jewish world, we celebrated Shavuot,[...]

No thumbnail available

I hope to see you this Sunday at the Celebrate Israel Parade...

June 2nd, 2017

From Nigel Savage June 2nd, 2017 | 8th Sivan 5777 Dear All, It’s the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration this year. When Lord Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild, on behalf of the British government, neither of them knew that, thirty years later,[...]

No thumbnail available

"Time Is So Precious..."

May 25th, 2017

From Nigel Savage May 25th, 2017 | 29th Iyar 5777 | Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan | 44th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’tiferet "Time Is So Precious..." Dear All, That’s a lot of dates on the dateline above. And we’re also: three days after[...]

No thumbnail available

Changing the world, one (JOFEE) Fellow at a time…

May 18th, 2017

From Nigel Savage May 18th, 2017 | 22nd Iyar 5777 | 37th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’yesod Changing the world, one (JOFEE) Fellow at a time… Dear All, 16 partner organizations. 17 JOFEE Fellows. Over 500 discrete programs. And an estimated 37,000[...]

No thumbnail available

Halachah and Aggadah

May 4th, 2017

From Nigel Savage May 4th, 2017 | 23rd day of the omer; gevurah she’b’netzach | 8th Iyyar 5777 Halachah and Aggadah Dear All, Let me start at the end. Shavuot this year falls midweek. It is one of the most glorious times of the year[...]

No thumbnail available

47 years... and the next ten days

April 20th, 2017

From Nigel Savage April 20th, 2017 | 24th Nisan 5777 | 9th day of the omer; gevurah she’b’gevurah   Dear All, Nearly half a century ago, on April 22, 1970, twenty million people took to the streets for the first Earth Day – which[...]

No thumbnail available

This year in Jerusalem…

April 6th, 2017

From Nigel Savage   April 6th, 2017 | 10th Nissan 5777 This year in Jerusalem… Dear All, The last year in which I didn’t set foot in Israel was 1984. My visits have encompassed the days of the asimonim, the devolution of the currency, and[...]

No thumbnail available

Significant news from Isabella Freedman…

March 23rd, 2017

From Nigel Savage March 23rd, 2017 | 25th Adar 5777 Significant news from Isabella Freedman… Dear All, How do we maintain balance in the 24/7 news cycle? How do we mediate social media and real life – and does the latter need airquotes (“real[...]

Yom hafuch  / eating treif…

Yom hafuch / eating treif…

March 9th, 2017

From Nigel Savage Dear All, “Hafuch” means something like “upside down.” If you order a “café hafuch” in Israel you’ll get the Israeli version of a cappuccino. One of my favorite phrases, from the same root, is “mamash l’hefech” “exactly the opposite.” So[...]

No thumbnail available

When they go low, we go deep...

February 23rd, 2017

From Nigel Savage February 23rd, 2017 | 27th Shvat 5777 Dear All, There’s a lot going on. In recent weeks I was at the Jewish Community Farming gathering at the Leichtag Commons in Encinitas – one of the best gatherings of its sort that[...]

Here's what you can do this Tu b'Shvat

Here's what you can do this Tu b'Shvat

February 7th, 2017

From Nigel Savage Dear All, Tu b'Shvat, the Jewish celebration of trees, is observed this Friday night (February 10th) and Saturday (February 11th). This holiday offers us a midwinter moment to take stock of our relationship with Jewish tradition, the natural world,[...]

No thumbnail available

Inspiration, aspiration, respiration…

January 26th, 2017

From Nigel Savage   Dear All, In December we had a board meeting and took part of the time to discuss the election. One of[...]

No thumbnail available

Transitions & beginnings / a first-ever joint email...

January 17th, 2017

Dear All, This past Shabbat, we read the last chapter of Bereishit, the book of Genesis. On Sunday and Monday, we celebrated MLK weekend. And this coming Shabbat, we start the book of Shmot, the book of Exodus. Bereishit is a story[...]

No thumbnail available

Gratitude & practice

January 12th, 2017

From Nigel Savage Dear All, It’s a hundred years since 1917. Technological change was accelerating. The promise of human-powered flight had turned into bombs raining down on the miserable soldiers in the trenches of the First World War. (One of them was[...]

No thumbnail available

New light, new ideas, new collaboration

December 22nd, 2016

From Nigel Savage Dear All, We’re going strong into 2017. Hazon has had the best year in our history, and we have big ambitions for 2017 and beyond. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us this year (including the many of[...]

No thumbnail available

Adaptive leadership / "the 3 x 3 grid"

December 6th, 2016

From Nigel Savage Dear All, This last weekend at Isabella Freedman we held our fourth Jewish Intentional Communities Conference. I arrived at Freedman – truthfully – tired, a little sick, and more than somewhat depressed about the state of the world. I[...]

No thumbnail available

One week later / a 9-year-old's question to G!d...

November 17th, 2016

From Nigel Savage Thank you for the kind and thoughtful comments that many of you sent in response to last week's email. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and I fear the intensity of what is going on at the moment.[...]

No thumbnail available

The day after the election

November 9th, 2016

From Nigel Savage I had a very strange day today: I rode out of Jerusalem, on the first day of our Israel Ride, with our largest ever group of participants, on a beautiful day. The day went smoothly and easily. The[...]

Brexit, the presidential election, social capital & the evolution of synagogues…

Brexit, the presidential election, social capital & the evolution of synagogues…

November 1st, 2016

From Nigel Savage There's a fascinating academic study on the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the UK. One of the things it looked at was the relationship between social capital and the referendum. It defines social capital as the[...]

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

Nigel Savage on Hazon Mission Statement

Nigel Savage on Hazon Pedagogy