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[Newsletter February 21, 2012] – A Rose by Any Other Name…

Denver, CO
21st February 2013 / Ta’anit esther 5773

Dear All,

Today’s the minor fast day that leads us to Purim. Not for the only time in Jewish tradition, abstinence and excess are paired. I can’t help feeling that the rabbis had a keen sense of balance, quite separate from the nominal reasons given for the fasts adjacent to the feasts (cf, exhibits 2 & 3: the fast of the first born and seder night; rosh hashanah and the fast of gedaliah). I’m struck that, as elsewhere in contemporary society, we retain affection –and observance – for the feast, whilst the numbers who observe the fast are far fewer. Part of the complex challenge of unlearning some of the behaviors that in our day are both normative but also unhealthy – for us, and/or for the wider world we live in – lies in restoring balance, of different sorts. And I note this, by the way, because I struggle with this, not because I’ve figured out how to get to balance.

In the last three days I’ve been in Denver and Boulder, meeting with stakeholders in Hazon and in the wider community. Part of this is about the steady drip-drip of year-round work, which is growing strongly here, thinking about Jewish tradition and sustainability in new and profound ways. There are four Jewish CSAs here, and six communities who have used Hazon’s Food Audit to start to develop new food policies in their institutions. Both the Ekar farm and Ramah Outdoor Adventure are entering their fourth years, each doing powerful, significant and important work.

Part of this is about the lead up to Hazon’s Food Festival. Last year we successfully piloted a one-day Jewish Food Festival here, with the intention and the belief that within a decade or two, every major Jewish community should have its own Jewish Food Festival, no differently (well, differently, but similarly) to the Jewish Film Festivals and the Jewish Book Weeks. This year our Food Festival here takes place on Sunday April 28th; we’re launching San Francisco on Sunday March 17th; and we’ll be doing our first one in Philadelphia in the fall. Plus the Boston Jewish Food Conference, founded by Leora Mallach and Becca Weaver, on March 3rd, and Michael Leventhal‘s Gefiltefest in London on May 3rd. By 2014 we’ll launch also in Palo Alto and New York. The Jewish Food Festivals bring the energy and range of our multi-day Food Conferences directly into a community, bringing people together across difference, igniting a range of conversations, inspiring respect both for food and Jewish tradition, and leading ultimately – we hope and intend – to a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and one that plays a role in creating more sustainable food systems for all.

[Image]Which leads me to food labeling, and the bill announced yesterday by Jared Polis, the congressman for Boulder, and the short but strong speech that Becky O’Brien, Hazon’s director in Boulder, gave yesterday.

You can read Congressman Polis’s announcement about the Bill, and Becky’s commentsas well.

Labeling doesn’t guarantee transparency in food systems. Recent weeks have seen horsemeat sold in the UK; and today’s NY Times reminds us – again – that you may be eating a different fish than the one you were told you were eating. But labeling is a vital first step in enabling us to make prudent and moral choices in what we eat. It’s not a coincidence that the sessions we do ahead of an animal schecting are titled “lifting the cellophane veil.”

So on this minor fast day, I commend the many people, working in so many ways, to strengthen food systems in this country. As we fast – if we fast – today , and as we celebrate Purim and perhaps overindulge on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and as we start to get rid of our chometz for pesach, may we be blessed to play some role, however small, in renewing Jewish life, and creating a more sustainable world for all.

Shabbat shalom,

 

Nigel Savage


Why We Ride: Sustainable Holiday Resources

[Image]For over 2000 years, we have been adapting and evolving traditions that help us celebrate the holidays of the Jewish calendar. On Passover, we break the middle matzah, on Rosh Hashanah, we dip apples in honey, and on Shabbat, we sanctify the day with a glass of wine or grape juice. In the 21st century, how can we make our celebrations healthier and more sustainable? What ways can we incorporate new food sensibilities into the celebration of our sacred days?

Fundraising from the New York Ride supports the creation of Healthy and Sustainable Holiday Resources. These tools help individuals, families, and institutions think about sustainable issues which relate to the cycle of Jewish holidays throughout the year. These include tips on how to make your celebration healthier and more sustainable, ways to relate to the agricultural roots of our harvest holidays, and ideas, questions, and text to spark conversation around your table.

 

Prices for the New York Ride are rising on Monday! Register now and get the lowest rate of the season. Join us over Labor Day Weekend for an inspirational Shabbat retreat, and a great two-day ride through the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley. For more information visit hazon.org/nyride

 

Learn More…

 

Why We Ride: Sustainable Holiday Resources

[Image]For over 2000 years, we have been adapting and evolving traditions that help us celebrate the holidays of the Jewish calendar. On Passover, we break the middle matzah, on Rosh Hashanah, we dip apples in honey, and on Shabbat, we sanctify the day with a glass of wine or grape juice. In the 21st century, how can we make our celebrations healthier and more sustainable? What ways can we incorporate new food sensibilities into the celebration of our sacred days?

Fundraising from the Golden Gate Ride supports the creation of Healthy and Sustainable Holiday Resources. These tools help individuals, families, and institutions think about sustainable issues which relate to the cycle of Jewish holidays throughout the year. These include tips on how to make your celebration healthier and more sustainable, ways to relate to the agricultural roots of our harvest holidays, and ideas, questions, and text to spark conversation around your table.

 

Prices for the Golden Gate Ride are rising on Monday! Join us over Memorial Day Weekend for an inspirational Shabbat retreat, and a great two-day ride along the edge of Tomales Bay and Point Reyes National Seashore, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into San Francisco. For more information visithazon.org/goldengateride

 

Freedom Food: Passover Delights
for the Whole Family

[Image]Learn to prepare delicious, kid-friendly Passover treats. Parents will learn essential tips and cooking techniques that will help them learn special ways to spice up snack time while babies and toddlers play in the kids “kitchen”. Then everyone will come together for a delicious snack! Childcare will be provided during the class, while parents learn new skills in the kitchen.

Sunday, March 3 10:00-11:30 am
Congregation Beth Elohim
Garfield Place and 8th Ave., in Brooklyn

Sunday, March 10 3:00-4:30 pm
14th Street Y
14th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave., in Lower Manhattan

Learn More…


God’s Green Earth: The Jewish Environmental Movement at Home and Abroad

Learn about the values that inform the Jewish Environmental Movement from two of the most dynamic, experienced leaders in the movement: Nigel Savage, founder and director of Hazon, and Michelle Levine of the American Society for the Preservation of Nature is Israel.

Wednesday, February 20
7:00 p.m.
Congregation Har HaShem
3950 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO.

Learn More…


Riding in the 5 Boro Bike Tour?

Join the Hazon team to ride as a group, leaving from the Hazon office! Forward David Rendsburg your name, registration number, date of birth, and email address by March 1st.

 

Hazon Jewish Food Festival at the JCCSF:
Keynote Speaker, Vivien Straus

[Image]Join us for the closing keynote presentation by Vivien Straus at the Hazon Jewish Food Festival at the JCCSF on Sunday March 17 at 4:15pm. A true pioneer of the new Jewish Food Movement, Vivien Straus of the Straus organic dairy family will tell the tale of how a Jew became a farmer, of her family’s activism, and give an update on the state of dairying in the Bay Area today.

Registration for the Hazon Jewish Food Festival is $36 and includes full-day access to workshops and a lunch by 12 Tribes.

10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday March 17 2013
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Learn More…


Get Discounted Gear and Support the Hazon Ride!

[Image]In conjunction with some riders on this year’s AIDS LifeCycle, Hazon will be hosting a free Happy Hour/Discounted Shopping event at the Bryant Street Sports Basement in San Francisco. Get 10% off all your gear needs, with an additional 10% of your purchase going to support Hazon and LifeCycle! Come schmooze with other riders, get some great deals, and learn about riding for a cause!

Learn More…



From Our Friends


Passover in the Desert: Rediscovering Village

[Image]What if you could experience your own Exodus, instead of simply recounting it around the dinner table? What if you could rediscover the essence of village life as you move from your own experience of slavery into freedom, using the expansive desert as your guide?

Learn More… | Register

 

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