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Hazon. the podcast

 

Welcome to the Hazon podcast! 

In this podcast series from Hazon, we explore the interdependent ecosystem of people, organizations, and conversations shaping the world of Jewish Environmentalism. Originally branded as JOFFICE Space, we’ve expanded our conversations and and opted for a more inclusive name as a result. Thanks for listening!

 

How to Listen: 

    1. Jump below to listen via the webpage plug-in.
    2. Subscribe on your preferred podcast platform! Search Hazon: The Jewish Lab for Sustainability, or click on one of the links here:

 

 

Episode 1 - GrowTorah

In episode 1 we interview the folks at GrowTorah: Yosef Gillers, Chief Soul and Soil Cultivator (AKA Founder, Executive Director) and Sara Just-Michael, Lashon HaTov (“good speech”) Propagator (AKA Communications Associate + Garden Educator). Sara JM is also a fellow in the current cohort of the JOFEE Fellowship!

We chat about:

  • How GrowTorah was originally conceived, incubated, and founded;
  • Why they’re filling a pressing need in the Orthodox Jewish community;
  • How Torah informs their work and programs;
  • The four core curricular values at the foundation of all the nature-based Jewish learning experiences they cultivate;

And much, much more.

Come dig in with us!

 

After you’ve listened, follow GrowTorah‘s award-winning* social media over on Facebook and Instagram.

Episode 2 - Shoresh

In episode two we interview legendary JOFEE educator and Shoresh Executive Director Risa Alyson Cooper, and Cohort 3 JOFEE Fellow and Shoresh Assistant Director Jared Kaminsky. What a blast! Listen in to hear about Shoresh’s commitment to community supported beekeeping, formative rendezvous-by-canoe JOFEE experiences in the pale Canadian moonlight, and how to center your heart-based work as an educator even while holding all the responsibilities of running a non-profit organization.

After you listen follow Shoresh over on Facebook and Instagram; and join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.

Episode 3 - Hazon Detroit

In episode three we spend time with Hazon Detroit Director, Wren Hack, and Manager of Sustainability and Outdoor Engagement, Brittany Feldman. Tune in to hear about the Metro Detroit commitment to authenticity in multicultural partnerships, solar energy production, and regional farming knowledge. They are a great example of a team who juggles many different projects while nurturing strong interpersonal relationships.

After you listen, follow Hazon Detroit on Facebook and Instagram; and join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.

Episode 4 - JOFFEE Team

In episode four, Yoshi and Hannah interview… each other! Listen up for great wisdom from their work as the JOFEE program team at Hazon. The delights, challenges, and fascinations with strengthening a professional web of JOFEE are shared in this episode.

Additional highlights include how JOFEE weaves together a web of individuals for broader change and impact; how Jewish camping as a movement can be seen as a useful parallel for the work we’re doing; and highlights and lessons from our own professional growth and journey both separately and as a team.

We end by discussing how we stay actively and personally connected to nature in addition to our active professional JOFEE careers. Hannah reminds us all to just “get outside” and we hope you join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.

Episode 5 - Abundance Farm

In episode five, we interview Rabbi Jacob Fine and Rebecca Leung from Abundance Farm. R Jacob is the Director and Rebecca is Farm Educator and a JOFEE Fellow. Tune in to hear more about their work! R Jacob talks about the role of Abundance Farm in a network of community organizations. Rebecca shares insights about relationships to land in production, educational, and Jewish settings.

Additional highlights include discussion of Northampton as a center for sustainable agriculture, and the overall progress of the educational garden movement.

We end by hearing their advice for communities wishing to get involved in JOFEE work.

After you listen, make sure to follow Abundance Farm on Facebook and @abundancefarm on Instagram. We also hope you join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.

Episode 6 - Urban Adamah

In episode six of JOFFICE Space, we interview Ari Eisen and Rachel Binstock from Urban Adamah. Ari is the Public Programs and Retreat Center Director, and Rachel is the Director of the Urban Adamah Fellowship.

We discuss how JOFEE spaces have become a new type of entry points to Jewish life, and the Jewish values at their cores. At Urban Adamah, the value of Peah, giving away food to those in need is centered in their programs.

Together, we look forward to grappling with concepts of place-based Judaism on Indigenous land as a community at the JOFEE Network Gathering.

After you listen, make sure to follow Urban Adamah on Facebook and @urbanadamah on Instagram.

Episode 7 - JOFFEE Archives: Closing with Nigel Savage

This special edition episode of JOFFICE Space offers a peek into the insider fellowship cohort experience. Steven Green, from the Jim Joseph Foundation, shares JOFEE torah with the fellows, as well as why JOFEE is important to the field of Jewish education.

Next, the cohort meets with Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon. Nigel speaks to the fellows about JOFEE successes, and answers a personal/professional question from each one. Fellows have the opportunity to share personal highlights with Nigel and Steven in order to process and report back about their incredible work.

If you are curious about the experience of a JOFEE fellow, this is a great episode to get yourself better acquainted with the ins and outs of the fellowship.

We hope to see you at the JOFEE Network Gathering from August 29 – September 2, at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.

Episode 8 - JOFFEE Archives: Elizabeth Andre

This special edition episode presents the Keynote from JOFEE Network Gathering 2018.

In her address, Dr. Elizabeth Andre talks about diversity in the outdoor education field, and shares findings from her work. Her teachings about privilege and diversity inform how we are hoping to expand our JOFEE work to be genuinely inclusive. We are so grateful for her support of JOFEE, and hope to build on the themes in her presentation this year at JOFEE Network Gathering. We hope you enjoy listening to Dr. Elizabeth Andre speaking at last year’s JNG.

Dr. Andre is a professor of Nature and Culture at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. Northland College has a specific focus on progressive environmentalism and sustainability, and Dr. Andre teaches courses such as Winter Travel & Living skills and Interpretation of the Apostle Lands.

Episode 1 - Rabbi Susan Silverman and Yosef Abramowitz

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on April 12, in this episode tune in to hear Rabbi Susan Silverman and her husband Yossi Abramowitz in conversation. Susan is a Rabbi, mother, activist, and author of two books, Casting Lots, and Jewish Family and Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today’s Parents and Children. Yossi is a father, activist, and President and CEO of Energiya Global Capital as well as the founder of Arava Power Company.

Episode 2 - Ruth Messinger

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on April 19th, in this episode tune in to hear Ruth Messinger in conversation with Nigel Savage. Ruth has led a life dedicated to political and humanitarian activism. Ruth served as Manhattan Borough president from 1990-1998 and ran for mayor of New York City in 1997. Ruth also served as the President and CEO of the American Jewish World Service from 1998-2016. Additionally Ruth serves as a board member here at Hazon as well as trustee emerita of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women.

Episode 3 - Alon Tal

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on April 26th, in this episode tune in to hear Alon Tal in conversation with Nigel Savage. Alon Tal is a leading Israeli environmental activist and academic. He is the founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. In 2017, Tal was appointed chair of the department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University. In 2006, Tal won the Charles Bronfman Prize for young humanitarian leadership, and used the prize money to establish the Tal Fund, which supports grassroots Israeli environmental activism.

Episode 4 - The Passows

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 3rd, in this episode tune in to hear Nati Passow, Rabbi Dani Passow and their sister Shuli Passow in conversation with Nigel Savage. Nati Passow has been a leader in the field of Jewish environmental education, was selected to the Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36,” and was a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group Fellowship for Jewish Social Entrepreneurs. Nati co-founded and ran the Jewish Farm School from 2005 to 2019. During that time he provided unsurpassed learning and inspiration to the Philadelphia and Jewish environmental community. He continues his leadership at Dayenu today supporting community organizing efforts for Jewish environmental action. Rabbi Dani Passow is a rabbi and educator at Harvard Hillel who serves as the Minyan’s Rabbinic Advisor. He lectures and writes frequently about Judaism and social justice and was awarded the 2010 Whizin Prize for Jewish ethics. Shuli Passow is a Jewish educator and communal professional who most recently served as the Director of Community Initiatives at the Jewish Funds for Justice, where she worked with synagogues across the country to support their involvement in congregation-based community organizing. She has taught widely in youth and adult education settings, and is particularly passionate about exploring issues of justice, compassion, environmentalism and economics through Jewish text. Shuli is currently pursuing rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Episode 5 - Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 10th, we tune into this episode featuring Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman in conversation with Nigel Savage. Rabbis Waskow and Berman are most well known for their political activism, writings and their support and leadership in the Jewish renewal movement. Rabbi Waskow co-founded ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and Rabbi Berman has lead retreats at Hazon’s own Isabella Freedman retreat center.

Episode 6 - Andy Stern

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 17th, we tune into this episode featuring Andy Stern; as both a labor leader and an activist, Stern is a leading voice and a prominent advocate for people who work. He is the author of A Country That Works, which outlines a practical, cooperative approach to promote economic growth in America. In early 2010, Stern was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Episode 7 - Shaul Bassi and Andi Arnovitz

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 24th, we tune into this episode featuring Shaul Bassi and Andi Arnovitz in conversation with Nigel Savage. Shaul is the director of the Venice Center for Humanities and Social Change. He has written extensively about the present environmental and social issues of Venice, as well as the city’s history. Andi is an American-Israeli printmaker and multimedia artist. Her work is in the permanent collections of the United States Library of Congress, the Israel National library, Yale University Library, The Magnes Collection and Yeshiva University Museum The Smithsonian Museum.

Episode 8 - The Jewish Youth Climate Movement

In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on June 21st, we tune into this episode featuring four members of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM) in conversation with Nigel Savage. The Jewish Youth Climate Movement was founded by Hazon in 2020. They are dedicated to mitigating climate change by empowering teens, mobilizing communities and taking action. JYCM believes in using Jewish values as a motivation to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.

Part 1

For this series, we’d like to offer some framing – Sukkot ends, each year, with a prayer for rain. Talmud tractate Ta’anit begins by asking what happens – and what we should do – if the rains don’t come.

The acute crisis of COVID-19, against the backdrop of the creeping challenge of a warming climate,  are shaking our sense of invulnerability to the natural world. And they are challenging our societies’ capacities to effectively respond. We need deeper sources of wisdom to orient ourselves to these challenges.

Jewish wisdom about coping with a climactic crisis – and plague – is distilled in tractate Ta’anit, which addresses how we should respond when a change in the weather threatens our lives and livelihoods. As different  as our reality is from the Talmud’s, both the rabbis and contemporary environmentalists converge on the view that dangerous disruption to the weather requires a response that touches our lifestyles, behavior and spiritual consciousness.

In these four consecutive lectures, Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair argues that people respond to existential danger from the weather through shifts in behavior and consciousness that reverberate across the divide separating pre-modern and post-modern awareness. Through exploring these places of mutual resonance between the Talmud’s world and our own, we will frame a new-old theology of climate change that offers hope to overcome this critical challenge.

Part 1

In October 2020, Hazon facilitated the first ever Virtual Israel Ride with our partner the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. This weeklong event brought the magical moments of the annual Israel Ride to a large community through a new medium. We would like to welcome you as we begin this featured episode:

Here we Join Nigel Savage, Hazon’s Founder & CEO, along with other Hazon educators from the National Programs Team, for an immersive workshop sampling different elements of Hazon’s programming including the Brit Hazon, Hazon Seal of Sustainability, the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, and Food Rescue Work in Detroit.

For more information about the Israel Ride, please visit Israelride.org. Registration is now open for 2021. Join us Oct. 19-26 2021 for 5 days of riding from Jerusalem to Eilat all in support of the crucial sustainability and peace-building work of Hazon and the Arava Institute.

Episode 1 - Just What is Shmita?


In this season, we will be sharing the recordings of a six part speaker series called Acting for Change, Creating Justice produced by Ekar Farms, an earth-based Jewish urban farm in Denver, CO. We will look at how to use ancient Jewish traditions, like Shmita, to catalyze conversations that inspire individual and collective actions to work towards justice. Each episode will have a new speaker to explore the interwoven themes of Judaism, connection to land, and modern social justice movements. We hope this series will inspire you to take action on some of these issues during the upcoming Shmita Year. You can learn more about this series and other programs at www.ekarfarm.org/shmita

This first episode features co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman, Adam Brock, and their guest speaker, Nati Passow, who will share about a framework for understanding the history of Jewish agriculturalism and how the practice of Shmita developed.

This series is produced in partnership with the Shmita Project. The Shmita Project is working to expand awareness about the biblical Sabbatical tradition, and to bring the values of this practice to life today to support healthier, more sustainable Jewish communities. We’ve recently launched the Shmita Prizes – a chance to create new ritual & meaning around the ancient practices of the sabbatical year. Submissions are being accepted through May 19, 2021. Learn more at www.shmitaproject.org.


Episode 2 - Creating Economic Justice


Please enjoy this second episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Greg Watson of the Schumacher Institute for a New Economics and Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. This hour long conversation will be a discussion of economic justice through the lens of Shmita, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more economically just, and equitable society.

Featured Guests:

Greg Watson, Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

His work currently focuses on community food systems and the dynamics between local and geo-economic systems. Watson has spent nearly 40 years learning to understand systems thinking as inspired by Buckminster Fuller and to apply that understanding to achieve a just and sustainable world.

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Deputy Director, T’ruah.

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster has spent nearly fourteen years at T’ruah: The Rabbinical Call for Human Rights, most recently as Deputy Director. At T’ruah, she has been the lead strategist on T’ruah’s human rights campaigns and heads the organizing and training of more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors. Rachel is the original #tomatorabbi, spearheading T’ruah’s critical partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida, and leads Jewish community in worker-led campaigns for corporate accountability.

Episode 3 - Creating Justice For Immigrants

Please enjoy this third episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Siena Mann, Campaign Manager for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, and Rosa Sabido, an activist and leader in the Sanctuary movement and founder of the organization Rosa Belongs Here. This hour-long conversation will be a discussion of immigrant rights work through the lens of Shmita and the Torah’s wisdom on treating “the stranger”, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more just society for everyone.

Featured Guests:

Siena Mann: Campaign Manager, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

Siena has been active in justice movements since graduating from Haverford College with a B.A. in Spanish Literature in 2014. Siena moved back to Colorado and became an active local organizer in Colorado Springs in the deportation resistance movement. She helped found the Colorado Springs Sanctuary Coalition and was an active member of CIRC’s member group Grupo Esperanza. Siena joined CIRC as the South Regional Organizer from 2018-2019. As one of CIRC’s Organizing and Campaign Managers, Siena’s work now focuses on making improvements to the SB251 Driver’s License for All program, coordinating the I Drive/Yo Manejo Coalition and fighting for data privacy for all.

Rosa Sabido: Founder, Rosa Belongs Here.

Rosa has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. She works as the Secretary at the Catholic Church. For the past six years, Rosa has been granted a Stay of Removal by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) until May 11,2017, when the agency declined to grant her most recent request. Facing deportation Rosa sought “sanctuary” while she works to remain in her community in the country she calls home, and to care for her U.S. citizen parents.

Episode 4 - Creating Food Justice


Please enjoy this fourth episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Paul Sherman, Outreach Manager for Mazon, and Dr. Damien Thompson, Co-founder of Frontline Farming in Colorado and Director of the Center for Food Justice and Healthy Communities. They discuss food justice and food sovereignty through the lens of Shmita, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more just society for everyone.

Damien Thompson, PhD

Co-founder, Frontline Farming in Colorado and Director, Center for Food Justice and Healthy Communities.

Damien is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Criminal Justice at Regis University where he directs the Community Food Systems program. In addition to his training in anthropology, Dr. Thompson also holds certification in Permaculture Design and a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Teaching Certification.

Paul Sherman
Outreach Manager, MAZON. Paul has more than six years of experience in community organizing with both Jewish and anti-hunger organizations. After founding the University of Denver’s chapter of Food Recovery Network, he completed a fellowship at their national office in College Park, Maryland. Paul has a B.A. in Religious Studies and International Studies from the University of Denver. Paul implements MAZON’s priorities on the East Coast by identifying and developing relationships with Jewish community-based organizations, including synagogues and anti-hunger organizations.

Episode 5 - Ensuring Indigenous Rights

Enjoy this fifth episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Renee Millard-Chacon Youth Program Development Coordinator at Spirit of the Sun, and Leora Cockrell, Organizer with Jews on Ohlone Land. They discuss Indigenous rights through the lens of Shmita, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more just society for everyone.

Renee Millard-Chacon – Youth Program Development Coordinator, Spirit of the Sun

Writer, educator, Danzante Azteca, Xicana activist, and most importantly the mother of two sons. She is an indigenous womxn of Dine/Mexica decent, fighting for future generations and committed to relating climate justice to social justice. She has worked with the International Indigenous Youth Council, 350.org, Four Winds American Indian Council of Denver, Womxn From the Mountain, and Earth Day Live 2020, in hosting, organizing, and leading marches, workshops, and educational resources for social justice and environmental justice. She welcomes any respectful correspondence to start doing the tedious but powerful work of creating better relations in spaces that deserve to be healed because of the trauma from historical inequality and environmental racism.

Leora Cockrell – Organizer with Jews on Ohlone Land.

Leora grew up on Wopumnes-Nisenan-Mewuk land in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. Leora received their bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture and minor in Gender Studies at UC Davis. Leora is now in the Masters of Social Change Program at Starr King School for the Ministry on Lisjan, Ohlone land studying and working on right relationships with the land and Indigenous people as part of the diasporic Jewish community.

Episode 6 - Creating Racial Justice

The final episode features co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Candi Cdebaca and Yoshi Silverstein. They discuss environmental justice and how to create equal access and rights to a healthy environment, including land, water, air, and food through the lens of Shmita. You will also hear what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute to and organize for a more just society for everyone.

Candi Cdebaca- Member of the Denver City Council, 9th District.

CdeBaca is a proud fifth-generation native of northeast Denver, Colorado, and a graduate of Manual High School and the University of Denver. Raised by a single mother and grandparents, Candi understands the importance of tight-knit communities and stepping up for neighbors in need. Candi is also the first LGBTQ Latina and first Democratic Socialist to serve on Denver City Council. She is a fierce advocate for justice and against the criminalization of poverty, environmental racism, and the displacement of Denver’s black and brown communities.

Yoshi Silverstein- Founder and Executive Director, Mitsui Collective.

Yoshi is a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew and an educator, coach, speaker, husband, and father. Yoshi was Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon from its launch through its first four cohorts, catalyzing the growth and leadership of over 60 emerging professionals working across the US and Canada in the realm of Jewish relationship to land, food, culture, climate, and community. He holds over two decades of experience in both Jewish and secular outdoor, food, farming, and environmental education.


Episode 1 - Gopal Patel, Director of Bhumi Global


In this podcast series, Jakir Manela, CEO of Hazon, and Nigel Savage, Founder and Former CEO of Hazon, speak with global faith leaders during their visit to COP 26. During each episode, they will debrief the day’s events with a different leader and learn how their guests are Sounding the Call for action on the climate crisis.

“The task is not yours to finish, neither are you free to set it aside.” – Ethics of Our Fathers 2:16

The COP26 summit has brought global leaders together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Hazon will be there too — advocating for bold, meaningful action. We are not alone in this fight. Join Jakir and Nigel as they talk with leaders from around the world who are also leading faith-based climate action. This series begins on Tuesday, November 2nd, and new episodes will be released regularly throughout the COP 26 conference.

Today, Jakir is getting to know his new friend Gopal Patel, Co-Founder and Director of Bhumi Global and CO-Chair of the UN Multi-Faith Advisory Council. They discuss the events of Monday November 1, 2021, the first day of COP26. This conversation is brought to you from the floor of the COP26 pavilion, please excuse some background noise from the excitement of the event!

For more information about Hazon at COP 26, visit hazon.org/cop26. For more information about Bhumi Global, visit bhumiglobal.org.

Note: These episodes are not published on the same day they are recorded, some of the conversations may not reflect breaking news at COP 26.

Episode 2 - Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light


On the second day of COP 26, Jakir met up with Reverend Susan Hendershot. Rev. Susan Hendershot has served as president of Interfaith Power & Light since 2018. She was raised in a blue-collar family outside of Cleveland, Ohio. After graduate school, she moved to Iowa, where she was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served as a pastor in local congregations, focusing on social justice. Since the year 2000, Interfaith Power & Light has partnered with thousands of congregations to address climate change by stewarding Creation.

Note: These episodes are not published on the same day they are recorded, some of the conversations may not reflect breaking news at COP 26.

Episode 3 - Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Executive Director of the Arava Institute


Nigel has met up with long time Hazon friend, Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed. They discuss their experience at COP26, Tareq’s work at the Arava Institute, and the nuances, challenges, opportunities ahead that lay ahead for the American Jewish, Israeli, and Palestinian environmental movements. Dr. Abu Hamed is from East Jerusalem and holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ankara University (Turkey). In 2008, he established the Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) at the Arava Institute. He left the Institute in 2013 to become the Israeli Ministry of Science’s Deputy Chief Scientist, and later the Acting Chief Scientist, the highest ranking Palestinian in the Israeli government. He returned to the Arava Institute in 2016 as Director of CREEC and Academic Director, and was appointed Executive Director in 2021.

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a leading environmental studies and research institute in the Middle East. With a student body comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and participants from around the world, their mission is to advance cross-border environmental cooperation in the face of political conflict.

For more information about the Arava Institute, visit arava.org.

Note: Due to the nature of live recordings and the internet connectivity in the COP26 pavilion, you may notice some variations in the audio quality of this recording

Episode 4 - Mariana Bergovoy and Noga Levtzion-Nadan


Jakir and Nigel sit down with Mariana Bergovoy and Noga Levtzion-Nadan – two Israeli climate leaders. Mariana is the Deputy Head of Department and Senior Audit Manager for the State Comptroller of Israel. She co-authored a recent special audit report about climate action taken by the Israeli government. You can find the report in English here. Noga is a Managing Partner at Value^2, a responsible lending house in Tel Aviv, and the CEO of Greeneye. They discuss the impacts of the climate crisis on Israel, how Israeli civil society and the private sector have already responded, and what further action is still needed.

Note: Due to the nature of live recordings and the internet connectivity in the COP26 pavilion, you may notice some variations in the audio quality of this recording

Episode 5 - Jakir and Nigel Reflect on COP 26

In this final live dispatch from Glasgow, Jakir and Nigel reflect on their week at COP 26. They discuss their experiences, the impact its had on them, and the hopes and challenges they see moving forward.

Episode 6 - Rebroadcast of Shmita Slowdown with Wilderness Torah

CEO Jakir Manela continues to speak with leaders from across the environmental movement at the intersection of Jewish tradition and modern life. In this episode, he spoke with Rabbi Zelig Golden, the Executive Director of Wilderness Torah on a series called Shmita Slowdown.

Rabbi Zelig received rabbinic ordination from ALEPH, Alliance for Jewish Renewal and was previously ordained Maggid by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi ztz”l. He holds a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union. He previously worked as an environmental lawyer protecting food and farms and has long guided groups into the wilderness.

This episode was first broadcast on the Shmita Slowdown Series. You can view this and future episodes of this series on Wilderness Torah YouTube channel and learn more about it on the Shmita Slowdown Series webpage.