January 6, 2014 | 5 Shvat 5774
Makom Hadash, NYC | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
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 Teva. A 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:
- In Israel we have both a bike ride and a sustainable food tour. (The Israel Ride is just after the food tour – theoretically you could eat your way around Israel the first week and then work it off the second week. We’re delighted that, already, more than 95 people have signed up for the 2014 Israel Ride);
- In the San Francisco Bay Area, we’re doing our 5th Golden Gate Ride over Memorial Day Weekend (May 23rd – 26th);
- At Isabella Freedman, in Falls Village, CT, our incredible roster of programs includes a new Talmud Training program taught by Arthur Kurzweil and a Purim Retreat with Roseanne Barr. (You might think that’s the first Purim spoof of the year – but no, it’s true.) In 2013, many of our retreats at Freedman sold out. If you’d like to come to one of our retreats this year, we encourage you to book early;
- There will be three cohorts in the Adamah Fellowship this year, and we accept participants on a rolling basis;
- Teva is now a fully integrated part of Hazon and our reach continues to grow, with Teva now in Atlanta and the Topsy Turvy bus scheduled for a tour this summer. Be in touch if you’d like to bring Teva to your school;
- If you run a Jewish organization and you’re interested in curricula materials or support, click here to learn more about our educational resources;
- It’s Tu B’Shvat in ten days time! Click here to download our Tu B’Shvat haggadah, which you can edit or amend to meet your own specific needs;
- It’s the shmita – sabbatical – year in 263 days time. Click here to check out our newly published shmita resources;
- If you’re a rabbi, you’re warmly invited to our second Hazon Rabbis’ Retreat. Contact Rabbi Matt Carl for access to information and materials for rabbis;
- We are based in New York City, Falls Village, CT, San Francisco, Boulder, Denver, and Philadelphia, and we’re about to hire staff in San Diego. If you run a Jewish organization or program in any of these areas and want our help or support, please be in touch!
- If you’d like to host a retreat at Isabella Freedman, or have your wedding or family reunion there, we’d love to host you – but let us know soon, as we have a few prime dates available in 2014. For more information, please contact David Weisberg;
- We’d be delighted to help you launch a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture program) in your community, or you can use the Hazon Food Guide and Audit Toolkit to help you navigate food choices in your synagogue, JCC, camp, Hillel, or other institution. Contact Liz Traison for more info on any of these programs;
- If you’re interested in working for us, current open positions include:
- Teva Director (based in NYC or Isabella Freedman)
- Associate Director of Thought-Leadership & Capacity-Building (based in NYC or Isabella Freedman)
- Associate Director in San Diego
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.
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 Savage||David Weisberg|
|President||Chief Executive Officer|
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.”