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Food Festivals

Providing a local taste of the Jewish Food Movement

Since I participated in a Hazon Food Festival, I give more mindful consideration to eating and purchasing food from a Jewish perspective.
—Food Festival participant
 

 

Overview

In 2007, we were hosting only our second Jewish Food Conference at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Our vision for 2014 was that 2,000 people would be attending it. We failed in that goal – but in a very fascinating way. It gradually became clear that the barriers to entry in relation to the Jewish Food Conference were not inconsiderable, in time and money and location – and half-way through the cycle we decided also to launch a series of local Jewish Food Festivals.

In 2012, Hazon launched the first Food Festival in Boulder, CO as a local twist on our successful national, multi-day Food Conference. Hazon Food Festivals bring the content and energy of our multi-day, annual Food Conference to communities across the country. Our unique mix of workshops, do-it-yourself (DIY) experiences, text study, formal and informal education for diverse populations, and inspiration at all levels can engage the full spectrum of Jews in connecting sustainability to Jewish life.

Since then, Jewish Food Festivals have been held at JCCs, synagogues, local universities, and day schools around the country. Today we’re going into our 11th Jewish Food Conference; and there are also now versions of Jewish Food Festivals in Boston, Denver, London, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, and San Diego. Each one is a unique, one-day taste of the local Jewish Food Movement to engage local Jewish communities. It is a day for area foodies, rabbis, restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, educators, entrepreneurs, vegans, and omnivores to come together to explore the interplay of food, sustainability, Jewish traditions, and contemporary life. Hazon Food Festivals develop and deepen diverse Jewish community connections and relationships while participants learn more about Jewish tradition, food, and sustainability.

Moving forward, we hope the replicable, customizable model of Food Festivals will continue enabling Jewish communities nation-wide to connect more deeply to the earth that sustains them, especially through the work of our JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor Food and Environmental Education) Fellows. In our wildest dreams, every major city would host a Jewish Food Festival like they now host a Jewish Film Festival. To get started planning your own Food Festival, email foodfestivals@hazon.org to request free access to our Food Festival Manual.

Events

Michigan Jewish Food Festival
Aug 27, 2017 - 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Eastern Market Corporation, Detroit, MI

Metro Detroit is at the forefront of the Jewish Food Movement, which connects food and sustainability with Jewish tradition. 5,000 people came to the food festival last year, and this year’s event will bring together over 60 Jewish organizations and more than 60 food entrepreneurs and food justice organizations to share traditions and to build relationships.

Hazon Colorado: Seed to Table Food Festival
Apr 15, 2018 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Boulder JCC, Boulder, CO

Save the date! Join us on Sunday, April 15th at the Boulder JCC.

If there is no local Jewish Food Festival near you, learn how you can start your own!

Background

In 2012, Hazon launched the first Food Festival in Boulder, CO as a local twist on our successful national, multi-day Food Conference. Today it is a unique, one-day taste of the local Jewish Food Movement to engage local Jewish communities.

Since then, Hazon Food Festivals have been held at JCCs, synagogues, local universities, and day schools around the country. It is a day for area foodies, rabbis, restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, educators, entrepreneurs, vegans, and omnivores to come together to explore the interplay of food, sustainability, Jewish traditions, and contemporary life. Hazon Food Festivals develop and deepen diverse Jewish community connections and relationships while participants learn more about Jewish tradition, food, and sustainability.

Festivals usually include:

  • Inspiring lectures and discussions
  • Expert cooking demonstrations and DIY projects
  • Fun kids and family activities
  • Lively shuk (market place) with sustainable business vendors and local non-profits
  • Delicious, kosher, sustainable lunch
  • Opportunities for community-building, conversation, and networking

Testimonials

As a result of attending the Hazon Food Festival, participants have been transformed and inspired to change behavior and take new actions. From implementing new skills learned at the event, to connecting to individuals and organizations in the Jewish community, this is what it looks like to create healthier and more sustainable communities and to renew Jewish life.

Because of the Hazon Food Festival I want to…
…revisit my Jewish learning, take classes somewhere. I want to find out more about Hazon and see if I can make it to more events.
…think about the application of some Jewish principles around economic justice to my own business and how to explain this to clients and my community.
…contact my representative about passing the Farm Bill.
…make my own challah.
…plant wildflowers for bees and start worm composting.
…plant mint and make a meal plan.
…make local food accessible to low-income communities.
…be even more connected to my food.
…become recommitted to learning to garden.
…call my congressional representative, read Fair Food, and plan a book group.
…learn more about eco-kashrut and share with people where I live.
 

Planning a Food Festival

If there isn’t yet a Jewish Food Festival near you, learn how we can help you start your own using our Food Festival Manual.