FC_711x350_website_banner

Hazon Food Conference

Aug 9, 2017 - Aug 13, 2017

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

register now!

The Hazon Jewish Food Conference was life changing for me. It was like nothing I’ve ever been a part of before and more beautiful and inspiring than anything I could have imagined. Collaboration, creativity, healthy food, Jewish culture, sustainability, food justice, and the deep connection to others who share my passions for creating a world that I want to live in.
—Amy Green, Owner of Naked Hummus and acclaimed Holistic Nutrition Consultant
 

 

Take a vacation at the home of farm-to-table Jewish food.

Expand your culinary repertoire while you experience the pleasure of harvesting your own organic fruits and veggies. Unpack the complexities of our global food system and connect to our ancient food tradition in a bucolic Berkshire setting.

  • Enjoy outdoor wood-fire cooking, berry picking and veggie harvesting, late-night stargazing and bonfires, swimming, boating, hiking, and other summer-fun activities.
  • Feast on kosher, organic, and ethically sourced farm-to-table cuisine.
  • Develop a deeper relationship with your food and where it comes from.
  • Learn with world-class experts, activists, artists, chefs, and community leaders.
  • Strengthen your culinary skills with leading chefs.
  • Examine issues of food justice and climate change.
  • Celebrate Shabbat in a vibrant, pluralistic Jewish community, with three options for prayer services – renewal, traditional egalitarian, and orthodox.
  • Young foodies – ages 5-12 – can learn alongside their parents and guardians in our specially designed Kids’ Food Conference. Click the “kids” tab to the right to learn more.

take a look at last year’s schedule

 


Presenters

Stay tuned for more presenters!

view last year’s schedule

Mitchell Davis
Mitchell Davis is the executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, a cookbook author, a food journalist, and a scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from New York University. With the Beard Foundation for 20 years, Davis has created and overseen many of the organization’s important initiatives, including the JBF Greens for “foodies under 40”; the non-profit’s popular five-week pop-up restaurant JBF LTD in Chelsea Market (2011); the annual JBF Food Conference, a national dialogue of thought leaders on sustainability and public health in the food system; and the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change. In 2013 Davis assembled and led the team that was selected by the U.S. Department of State to create the USA Pavilion at the World Expo Milano 2015, the theme of which is American Food 2.0.In addition to his work at the Foundation, Davis frequently writes about and reviews restaurants. He holds a chair on the academy of the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking program. He has written four cookbooks, including The Mensch Chef and Kitchen Sense (both Clarkson Potter), co-authored the ground-breaking electronic book My Provence (Alta Editions) with famed French chef Laurent Gras, which won two 2013 awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, including “Judges Choice,” and is a regular contributor to The Art of Eating. Davis’s television appearances include History Channel’s 101 Fast Foods that Changed the World, Food Network’s Food(ography), Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Best in Smoke. Davis is host of Taste Matters, a weekly radio show (Wednesdays at 11 a.m.) on the Heritage Radio Network. In 2013 The Forward selected Davis as one of the 50 most influential Jews under 50 in America.
 

Yael Lehmann
Yael Lehmann serves as Executive Director of The Food Trust, a nonprofit founded in 1992, which strives to make healthy food available to all. The Food Trust’s work has been recognized by former First Lady Michelle Obama and described by Time Magazine as being a “remarkable success” for increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in schools and reducing the number of students becoming overweight by 50%. The Food Trust has been the recipient of many national and local awards; the organization was named one of the top two “high-impact” nonprofits in America working in field of health and childhood nutrition by Philanthropedia. Yael is a frequent speaker on food access issues nationally. She has been quoted in publications such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and has been interviewed on PBS NewsHour, BillMoyers.com, CNN, and Good Morning America among other media outlets. Yael was named “One of the Smartest People in Philadelphia” by Philadelphia Magazine and has received several leadership awards including the Urban Leadership Award from the Penn Institute for Urban Research. Yael has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.
 

Jeffrey Yoskowitz
Jeffrey Yoskowitz is the co-owner of The Gefilteria, a culinary venture that reimagines Ashkenazi cuisine, and co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods. He fell in love with the art of lacto-fermentation while training as a pickler at Adamah. He has since worked in the food world as an entrepreneur, consultant, cook, public speaker, and a writer for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and Gastronomica. He was also featured in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30.
 

Arielle Aronoff
Arielle Aronoff came to Hazon first as a Teva educator. She found a place in this community and did not want to leave. After spending the fall and winter at Isabella Freedman, she took a seasonal outdoor education position for the spring and quickly returned to be manage Camp Teva prior to her current role as Director of Teva. Before coming to Hazon, Arielle worked as a farmer, baker, and healthy school food advocate/educator. Arielle spends her time hiking, baking sourdough bread, and foraging for berries and mushrooms.
 

Jess Berlin
Jess Berlin manages the Programs Team at Isabella Freedman as the Senior Program Manager, whose aim is to consistently deliver exceptional programming to all retreat guests. This role feels like a natural fit for Jess as she is a strong believer in the power of multi-day immersive experiences as a tool for creating long-lasting positive change in a person’s life. She has a lifelong passion for Judaism and spirituality, having spent four years studying and teaching in Israel as well several months studying meditation in India. After graduating from Queens College, with a degree in Urban Planning, she served as a key administrator at American Jewish World Service and AVODAH and a farm educator at Eden Village Camp.
 

Rabbi Michael Birnholz
Rabbi Michael Birnholz arrived at Temple Beth Shalom in Vero Beach in 2002 following his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Over the fifteen years that Rabbi Birnholz has been in Indian River County, he and his family have had a chance to grow in body, mind and spirit right along with Temple Beth Shalom. Rabbi Birnholz enthusiastically shares his ruach and koach -spirit and strength – with the many diverse generations and facets of the Jewish community. From the biblical garden to tot shabbat, from men’s club bowling night to adult learning while making challah, Rabbi Birnholz is proud to be part of vibrant and meaningful life of his congregation. Rabbi Birnholz has also enjoyed his wide variety of community opportunities to teach and preach Jewish values and wisdom, in person at various events or through his column in the Vero Beach Weekly. His hope is to build Temple Beth Shalom into a House of wholeness, completeness and peace and see these efforts spread caring, compassion and harmony to the whole Treasure Coast.
 

Sarah Shamirah Chandler
Sarah Shamirah Chandler is the CCO (Chief Compassion Officer) and team leader at Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA) where she works to support Jewish institutions to establish meaningful food policies rooted in Jewish ethics and animal welfare. She recently served as the Director of Earth Based Spiritual Practice for Hazon’s Adamah Farm and teaches, writes, and consults on a national level on issues related to Judaism, the environment, mindfulness, food values, and farming. Sarah managed the 2014 Food Conference as part of the Isabella Freedman/Adamah/Hazon staff.
 

Amy Green
Amy Green is the owner of Naked Hummus, a small batch food company with a world changing vision. Naked Hummus was born in 2013, when Amy was inspired to act on her passion and create healthy, nutritious, delicious food which would serve the larger mission of supporting small family farms and sustaining the Earth. “Saving the Earth one container of hummus and one falafel at a time” is what Naked Hummus is all about, as they continue to source any ingredient in their products that grow locally from small family farms in Kentucky and the surrounding areas. Amy believes in giving back to the land while feeding the world. The experience of Naked Hummus and falafel is like no other, as everything she does is made with love, the most nutritious ingredients on the planet.”Hummus With a Heart and Falafel With a Flair”…the flavors of love. As a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Health Coach, Amy empowers her clients to realize their true potential and become the best version of themselves through guided healing and healthy lifestyle choices. She also caters events and falafel parties with delicious treats that’ll have you wanting more. Amy is passionate about food, family, and sustaining the earth. She especially loves sharing her food with their family, friends, and her community.
 

Yadidya Greenberg
Yadidya Greenberg is the program coordinator and kosher meat & animal welfare specialist at JIFA. Yadidya works to increase access to and popularity of higher welfare kosher meat products. Yadidya is a certified shochet (kosher slaughterer) who’s worked in an industrial kosher slaughterhouse and has taught about shechita and animal welfare throughout the country.
 

Melissa Hoffman
Melissa Hoffman is a humane education and program specialist at JIFA. Melissa works with Jewish institutions and communities to develop materials and programs that foster compassion, respect, and responsibility for all living beings. Recently, she earned a M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. Melissa has also worked extensively as a cantorial soloist and Jewish educator, and is an animal care volunteer at the International Bird Rescue in California.
 

Clare Hyre
Clare Hyre has been working to build a more sustainable food system for the past nine years. Clare was a part of the fall 2009 ADAMAH cohort, has managed several farm education programs, farmers’ markets, and is currently a research assistant at Edible Schoolyard NYC. In 2016 Clare graduated from New York University’s Food Studies Master’s Program, where she studied the intersection of food systems and social justice. She currently resides in Queens, New York, where she enjoys composting, making kimchi, and looking for new foods to try with her husband.
 

Adrienne Krone
Adrienne Krone, is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Jewish Life at Allegheny College. She is in the process of conducting a multi-year study of the Jewish Community Farming Movement with the support of the Jewish Initiative for Animals and the Leichtag Foundation. She and her research team of environmental studies students at Allegheny College, Madeleine Zimmerman, Autumn Clark, and Maura McCampbell, will offer some of their findings based on this research.
 

Isaiah Rothstein
Isaiah Rothstein was born and raised in Monsey, NY, the youngest of three boys. Growing up in a mixed-raced Lubavitch family, he identifies proudly as a Jew of Color. After a year and a half of yeshiva study in Israel, Isaiah received his BA from Binghamton University. He has ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and an MA from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Isaiah is the spiritual leader at Carmel Academy and organizes at The Beis Community in Washington Heights.
 

Shamu Sadeh
Shamu Sadeh is the co-founder and director of Adamah, and prior to that he worked as the Director of Teva. 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 keep the bees, help harvest and pickle, and DJ staff dance parties.
 

Judy Seldin-Cohen
Judy Seldin-Cohen is co-author of the upcoming book, Recharging Judaism: How Civic Engagement is Good for Synagogues, Jews, and America (CCAR Press, expected December 2017). After two decades in a business career, Judy spent the next ten years collaborating on social justice issues as a volunteer lay leader with Rabbi Judith Schindler, her synagogue rabbi and now co-author. Their work at Temple Beth El in Charlotte (NC) included advocacy on housing solutions for homelessness, two award-winning “Souls” documentaries, and the first Jewish-sponsored site for the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools. Judy is thrilled to be at Hazon with her daughter, Sarah Seldin.
 

Sarah Julia Seldin
Sarah Julia Seldin is a first generation farmer in Western North Carolina. Her growing focuses on reconnecting to the agricultural, earth-based traditions of Judaism and in community-building through the growing and sharing of food. She is a co-founder of the Jewish Farmer Network, a Facebook group connecting 400+ Jewish farmers and growers around the world. She is a member of the 2017 Hazon Food Conference planning committee, overseeing the Jewish Food Traditions track.
 

Gahl Shottan
Gahl Shottan has had over 10 years of experience in outdoor education, horticulture, and gardening. She has worked with youth and adults on farms and gardens throughout the country from Alaska and California to New York City. She holds a Masters Degree in City in Regional Planning from the Pratt Institute of Technology with a focus on Watershed Management and Urban Farming. She currently teaches Landscape Management to New York City High School Students through a partnership with the National Park Service and Stephen T Mather High School in Hell’s Kitchen. She grew up riding on her grandfather’s lap while he rode a tractor through his banana fields in Israel which left an indelible mark on how she lives her life.
 

Chava Tzemach
Chava Tzemach is an educator and activist who has spent the last nine years working in the non-profit world doing development, marketing, and programming. Building on her passions for the environment and sustainable living, Chava created Sustainable Skoolie Adventure with hopes of inspiring people to reduce their carbon footprints and raise Earth consciousness. When she isn’t working as a Teva Educator or keeping it kosher in the Isabella Freedman kitchen you can find her hiking, cooking yummy meatless meals, snuggling with her cat, Virtue, or staring relentlessly at her computer screen working on ten projects at once.
 

Jacob Weiss
Jacob Weiss is thrilled to be a JOFEE fellow at Isabella Freedman working with the retreats team. He was born and raised in the great city of Cleveland, Ohio, and has spent the better part of the past six years living in New York City. Jacob studied Political Science and Fine Arts at Yeshiva University, and then went on to receive his Chef’s training at the Natural Gourmet Institute. He has spent his time since then cooking at various restaurants in New York, as well as taking time away from the kitchen, to work on farms around the country. With his free time, Jacob loves to cook for friends and family, get lost in the woods, take long bike rides and climb on things.
 

Nancy Wolfson-Moche
Nancy Wolfson-Moche is a nourishment educator, counselor and writer guiding people in improving their health and well-being through making informed diet and lifestyle choices. She has created several Jewish and secular food awareness curricula for children and adults that she teaches in schools, community centers, camps and privately. Prior to this, Nancy was an editor on Style.com, Glamour, Seventeen, Parents, and Redbook, and her articles have appeared in scores of magazines and newspapers. Visit her blog at www.vfbnancy.com.
 

Rates and Registration

Last year we sold out, and this year we are expecting an unprecedented 250 participants at this continuously growing event. Register now!

Registration fees include four-night stays at Isabella Freedman in our comfortable rustic lodging, wonderful, healthy, farm-to-table kosher meals throughout the weekend, and all programming. All prices are per person.

Standard Plus This per-person price is for double-occupancy. Standard Plus rooms have queen or twin-sized beds, a private bathroom, and are located in our Weinberg and May buildings. $990
Standard Housing This per-person price is for double-occupancy . Standard rooms have queen or twin-sized beds and a private bathroom in our Pine and Scheuer buildings. $775
Basic Housing This per-person price is for double-occupancy. Basic rooms have twin-sized beds (some queen beds are available on a limited basis and are first come, first served) and a shared bathroom in our Maple, Blue Heron, and Cedar buildings. $610
Dormitory This per-person price is for double or triple-occupancy, meaning you could be sharing a room with up to two other people. Dormitory rooms have bunk beds and a shared bathroom in our Kaufmann or Elm buildings. $530
Camper The camper fee includes all meals, programming, use of the facility, and access to bathrooms and hot showers. Campers must provide their own tent and bedding. Prices are per person. $300
Commuter The commuter fee includes all meals, programming, and use of the facility throughout the Conference. Overnight lodging is not included. Prices are per person. $300
Children Children’s rates apply to children ages 5 -12 staying in the same room as two adults. Children under the age of 5 are free, and teens 13 and up pay adult prices. Prices are per person. Children will be automatically enrolled in the Kids’ Food Conference upon registering. $240

register now!

Single-occupancy upgrades are available for Basic, Standard, and Standard Plus lodging.

Online registration is for full credit card payments only. You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, please call us at (860) 824-5991 ext. 0

We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone. Limited scholarships are available, please see the scholarships tab for details.

Kids Food Conference

While adults and teens are participating in the Hazon Food Conference, the home of the Jewish food movement, kids ages 5-12 will be having their own memorable experience at the Kids’ Food Conference! The Kids’ Food Conference will give KFC a whole new meaning!

Children will engage with field experts in dynamic and age appropriate ways on the same topics as the adult programming, including:

  • Health and Nutrition
  • Jewish Learning, History, and Culture
  • Food Justice and Values
  • Cooking Demonstrations and DIY Projects

Hazon, means “vision,” and works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. In order for this work to succeed, we need young people to become involved in the movement towards a healthier food system. Youth have the power to take our society in a new direction and rethink the world into which they have been born.

It is up to us to make healthy food choices for ourselves, but in many ways our society puts us at a disadvantage. Youth do not have the buying power of adults, yet food advertisements are filled with exciting images of junk food. How do we ingrain the knowledge of healthy snacking into our minds so it is an easy choice to go for carrots and peanut butter instead of potato chips? How do we change the larger system so school food is healthy and tastes good? How can we grow food in our homes and communities? The KFC will address these issues and more in a dynamic, engaging, age-appropriate way.

I am planning to eat fewer processed foods at dinner times – i.e. things that come in a box – and work harder to prepare meals in advance that use whole ingredients instead, so I don’t have to sacrifice the efficiency of having food ready to eat when I get home.
—Maddy, New York, NY
 

Scholarships

We strive to make our retreats affordable to everyone.We believe retreats are important experiences to be shared. Inclusiveness is one of our core values. We strive to ensure that our retreats are as financially accessible as possible. We have a variety of scholarship options available.

Tamar Fund Scholarships

The Tamar fund makes our aspiration for inclusive retreats possible. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis and are awarded exclusively for dormitory lodging, camping, and commuting (pending availability).
Read about more about the Tamar Fund, in loving memory of Tamar Bittelman z’’l.

Click to view Tamar Fund Application

Application Process

  • Applications must be received at least three weeks in advance of the retreat for which you are applying. Please only register after receiving a response; the scholarship will not be applied retroactively.
  • We will respond to Tamar Fund scholarship applications within seven business days of receipt.
  • If you are awarded a scholarship, you will have one week to register for the retreat at the reduced rate, after which time the offer will expire.
  • A scholarship does not guarantee availability at the time of registration; due to the inherent turnaround time of the application process, we recommend applying as early as possible to secure a spot at the retreat.
  • If you have any questions, please contact us at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.

Lisa Anne Botnick Scholarship for Teens (13-17 years old)

Are you a young foodie? Do you dream about milking cows while in class? Are you interested in learning how to eat more sustainably? Are you curious about how to fight climate change at the grocery store? Then the Hazon Food Conference is for you! Learn, explore, and meet new people who are also excited about food! Bring back new ideas to your school and community. Through the generous support of a donor, Hazon is pleased to offer scholarships to a limited number of teens between the ages of 13 – 17. Email arielle.aronoff@hazon.org for more information.

Scholarship For Rabbinical Students

Through the generous support of an anonymous donor, Hazon is able to offer a limited number of scholarships for current rabbinical students to participate.  The goal of this scholarship is not only to make it possible for current rabbinical students to attend the Hazon Food Conference, but additionally to support rabbinic students who are interested in including issues of food justice and Jewish food traditions in their repertoire as rabbis and leaders in the Jewish community.

We are especially looking for individuals who are looking to bring back Jewish food education to their communities and their studies. Open the application below to apply. For more information, please email jessica.berlin@hazon.org.

Click to view Rabbinical Student Application

Application Details

The scholarship will cover all program fees and housing expenses ($530 value).

The following will be expected from all rabbinical student scholarship recipients:

  • Active, enthusiastic participation throughout the entire conference, beginning Wednesday August 9th at 3:00 pm through Sunday, August 13th at 11:00 am
  • Participation in services, according to your background and training, such as preparing allyiot for Saturday morning services, leading services, etc;
  • Help lead blessings before or after meals;
  • Other responsibilities, as they arise. These roles will be established prior to the conference with enough time for you to adequately prepare.

In addition, all rabbinical scholarship recipients will be asked to participate in:

  • Advertising and recruiting at your Rabbinical school – you will share with the newsletter, listserv, both prior to the Food Conference and writing about your experience after.
  • Organize one event at your school before the conference like a lunch-time or evening text study, and one follow-up event after the food conference. Some potential post event ideas can be a house-meeting, teaching, pie baking event with text study, a dvar torah given at your student pulpit, or an adult study session.

This scholarship is available to matriculated students of accredited rabbinical schools. Students entering Rabbinical School in Fall 2017 are eligible to apply. Students who will have graduated before August 2017 are not eligible to apply.

If you are currently enrolled in a rabbinical school and are interested in further exploring the intersection of Jews, food, and contemporary life please submit your application by July 9, 2017

Denver and Boulder Area Residents Scholarship

Through the generous support of Rose Community Foundation, Oreg Foundation, and 18 Pomegranates, Hazon is pleased to offer Food Conference scholarships for people from the Denver and Boulder areas. We are seeking a diverse group of applicants of all ages and religious backgrounds who want to get inspired by national programs and like-minded leaders so that they can return and continue to make Jewish food and environmental programming a vibrant part of the Colorado Jewish community. If you have any questions, please contact colorado@hazon.org.

Detroit Residents Scholarship

Hazon Detroit has limited scholarship funding available for participants at the Food Conference. For more information, please email sue.salinger@hazon.org.

Jewish Farmer Network Scholarships

Hazon and the Jewish Farmer Network are pleased to offer Food Conference scholarships for Jewish farmers, ranchers, and growers. If you have any questions, please contact jessica.berlin@hazon.org.

Jewish Southerners Scholarships

Hazon is pleased to offer Food Conference scholarships for people from the American Southeast. We are seeking a diverse group of Jewish Southerners of all ages and religious backgrounds who want to make Jewish food and environmental programming a vibrant part of the Southern Jewish community. If you have any questions, please contact jessica.berlin@hazon.org.

Guest Pre-Arrival Information

Arrival & Departure

Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Wednesday, August 9. If you are arriving on a different day, you may check in with the retreat manager on duty anytime after 4 pm on your arrival day. You must be checked out of your room by 10 am on Sunday, August 13 or by 10 am on your last day. The Conference will come to an end with brunch on Sunday.

Transportation

For those coming from the New York City area, we are conveniently located just half an hour from Wassaic Train Station, the last stop on the Harlem Line of the Metro North. We offer a shuttle service at the following times for this retreat:

  • 2:03 pm on Wednesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 4:03 pm on Wednesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 11:30 am on Sunday from IF to Wassaic Train Station

If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please call (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 to reserve your spot.

For more information on getting here, click here.

Rideshare

Help to reduce the environmental impact of car trips to and from Isabella Freedman by checking out our carpool initiative! Upon registering for the Conference, you will receive access to a virtual rideshare board so you can connect with fellow participants. Offering a ride in your car will help reduce carbon emissions, cut down gas costs and make new friends! If you are looking for a ride, adding yourself to the wait list (on the right hand side of the page) is the best way to be notified when movements occur.

Kashrut Policy

One of our mashgichim (kosher supervisors) must pre-approve all food items that enter the designated dining spaces. If you plan to supplement our delicious, healthy, farm-to-feast meals, your items must be completely sealed in original packaging. Unapproved food and drinks may be enjoyed anywhere on campus besides our dining spaces.

Packing List

You may want to bring:

  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Rain gear (a jacket and/or umbrella)
  • Ritual wear
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes for yoga
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Hiking boots to enjoy our many trails
  • Gear for summer weather (sunglasses, swimsuit, hat, sunscreen, water bottle)

We provide:

  • Toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste for sale in the bookstore
  • Extra kippot and tallitot, in addition to siddurim
  • Yoga mats, blankets, and blocks
  • Heat and A/C in all guest rooms
  • Linens and towels in all guest rooms
  • Alarm clocks in all guest rooms

If there are details of your stay or arrival that you still need to share with us here at the retreat center, please email us at registrar@hazon.org

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Hazon Food Conference is about collaborating with other food professionals, getting creative in the kitchen and thinking in new, creative ways about traditional foods and the system of which they’re a part.
—Jeffrey Yoskowitz, co-owner of The Gefilteria and author of The Gefilte Manifesto