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New year, new vision, new programs… new organization!

January 6, 2014  |  5 Shvat 5774
Makom Hadash, NYC  |  Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

Dear All,

It’s a new year and, legally, we’re now a new organization: this is the first email from the post-merger Hazon. After a long process, we’re excited to bring together the strengths, resources, and communities of the three organizations that, two years ago, separately comprised Hazon, Isabella Freedman, and TevaA huge thank you to the many of you who gave us year-end gifts. Your support, and that of so many of the people reading this email, enable us to do the many things that we do.

The time since we announced our merger has been focused both on strengthening our systems internally and growing our programs and resources externally. The links below go to our new website, which should give you a sense of the depth and breadth we now have to offer.

If you want to read an overview of the new organization, click here.

If you’re interested in participating in one of our multi-day events this year, you’re warmly invited:

And of course: we are doing important work, and we need to fund what is already planned and raise money, if we can, for things we’d like to do in the future. If you’re interested in becoming a stakeholder in Hazon, please speak to either of us. We’re impacting people’s lives in powerful ways, and we have much that we’d like to do in the future.

Click here if you’d like to become a monthly sustainer. There are many people who give us a monthly gift. To a considerable extent they’re the rock upon which we rest. We’re giving a Hazon T-shirt and/or a book from our bookstore to anyone who gives us a new monthly gift of $18 or more.

Finally: A new year is always a moment for reflection, for looking back and looking forwards. This is a complicated moment for the Jewish people, for the American Jewish community and for the world. Later this spring we’ll be publishing the JOFEE Report, about the emerging field of Jewish Outdoor, Food & Environmental Education. It will be an important moment for us to think, as a community, about how we best connect Jewish tradition, on the one hand, with food, the outdoors, the environment, and a broader sense of spirituality, on the other. All of Hazon’s programs and resources are intended to offer a chance to draw inwards – to learn, reflect, think, connect, celebrate; and then to go back out into our lives and into the world,  offering new ways to express Jewishness, and enabling the Jewish community to play a role in creating a healthier and more sustainable world for all. We hope and pray that Hazon will indeed be able to live up to its ambitious vision in the coming years.

If you have ideas, suggestions, or questions, please be in touch. (If you find errors or omissions in our new website – let us know also.)

We want to end by thanking all of our board members and staff members, and all of our supporters, for getting us to this point. Special thanks go to Richard Dale (outgoing chair of Hazon), Mark Russo (outgoing chair of Isabella Freedman) and Richard Shuster (the new chair of Hazon), each of whom has put in extraordinary time and effort to get us to this point – in Richard Dale’s case, stretching back to 2002, when he first became Hazon’s chair.

We are grateful to UJA-Federation of New York, Seachange Capital Partners and the Blaustein Foundation, each of whom provided support for the merger. Significant support pre- and post- the merger has been provided by Natan and Bikkurim through the advice and good counsel of Aliza Mazor, to whom we are enormously indebted.

And we very gratefully acknowledge a series of people who have worked especially hard on the merger itself, almost all of them in a pro bono capacity: Lisa Capelouto, who shepherded and supported us, especially early on; the wonderful lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, who led the process, including Jonah Abramowitz, Christina Chinloy, and Kimberly Spoerri, and introduced by Sandy Rocks; the amazing Mark Barnett and his colleagues at Foley Hoag; and Michael Lebowich and Simon Sharpe from Proskauer.

With thanks and best wishes,

Nigel Autograph david-signature
Nigel Savage David Weisberg
President Chief Executive Officer
nigel@hazon.org david.weisberg@hazon.org

PS As a post-merger thank you – and for making it to the bottom of the email – we’re happy to tell you that we’re offering a special post-merger discount of $50 off any retreat in 2014. To get this discount, register by midnight on January 31st and type in the discount code “HAZON.”