Starting in December 2015, Hazon no longer has staff on the ground in Philadelphia. We look forward to evolving to our next phase of work and connection in the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey area.
Our Philadelphia presence is led by our Philadelphia Chairs, Val Yasner and Joy Finkel.
We held three Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festivals in 2013, 2014, and 2015, hosted in collaboration synagogues around the Philadelphia area, which were collectively attended by over 650 participants. Our next food festival will be in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia in November 2018.
To learn more about Hazon’s Food Festivals across the country, please visit our website.
Ride the Pines
We held two Ride the Pines environmental bike tours in 2014 and 2015 in the Southern New Jersey area, which were collectively attended by over 390 participants. Our most recent Ride was Sunday, May 31, 2015, hosted at JCC Camps at Medford in Medford, NJ.
To learn more about Hazon’s Bike Rides across the country, please visit our website.
Hazon began a synagogue-based Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network in the region, some of which remain active.
Partnership with Jewish Farm School
In 2013, we forged a strategic partnership with Jewish Farm School, jointly running a dozen “Shtetl Skills” Urban Sustainability Workshops on topics including seed saving, home canning, and sustainable construction.
With support from the Jewish Community Fund of Southern New Jersey, we ran three Food Audits to help Jewish institutions green their food practices, feeding into Hazon’s new Seal of Sustainability program.
As liaisons to Hazon’s broader work, our Philadelphia staff provided access to our national programs, educational resources, retreats at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, and the growing Jewish Outdoor Food and Environmental Education (JOFEE) community. Moving forward, we look forward to a continued Hazon presence in Philadelphia through use of our educational materials and attendees at national events.
Joy Finkel, Co-Chair
Val Yasner, Co-Chair
Recently dubbed the “Queen of Quinoa,” by writer Sally Friedman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sally Eisenberg is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of Nourish Ur Life – a nutrition/healthy lifestyle practice located in Center City Philadelphia. As a multi-media artist, Sally has always been passionate about food and healthy living and integrating nutritional counseling with her artistic vision.
In addition to working with private clients, Sally offers cooking classes out of her home, empowering her attendees to cook healthfully in their OWN kitchens. Her classes bring out the FUN and DELICIOUSNESS in “healthy” while creating community among her participants.
Sally’s involvement with Hazon is a perfect blend of combining her love of Judaism with her passion for sustainable living.
Marty has been Co-Coordinator for the Hazon CSA of Southern New Jersey since 2008. He conceived the Sukkot Harvest Supper and was on the event planning committee. He also co-chaired the Hazon Lag B’Omer BBQ, and “A Taste of Hazon; A Culinary Celebration of Tu B’Shvat”. Marty’s most recent involvement with Hazon Philadelphia was as an active member of the planning committee for 1st Annual Hazon Philadelphia Food Festival. Marty has been a real estate developer and builder in Cherry Hill, NJ since 1984.
I am a self employed real estate and estate planning attorney practicing in Bucks County Pa for the past 29 years. I am also licensed to practice in New Jersey. I have been married to Marc Finkel for 27 years and have two children, Benjamin age 24 and Molly age 20. I am an active member of Congregation Beth El of Yardley Pa having served as Vice President of the congregation and currently serve on the Board of Directors and the religious activities committee. I am the founder and coordinator of the Min Haaretz Hazon CSA at Beth El which serves over 85 families from the synagogue and the general community. I love travel, reading and organizing.
Lisa’s first introduction to Hazon was the Sukkoth Harvest Supper 4 years ago, where she realized that Hazon, with its commitment to food issues and a unique perspective on Jewish identity, was a unique community she could call her own. Since then, she has participated in numerous Hazon activities and events – co-founding the Center City CSA in partnership with Laurel Klein and Sara Levy, attending the NY Food Conference twice, participating in the Israel Food Tour, and even volunteering on crew for the New York Ride. She loves the learning that prevails at every event, as well as the camaraderie that occurs, among this diverse group of Jews across every denomination and age group.
Professionally, Lisa works for a Digital Strategy Consultancy. In her spare time, when she isn’t involved in Hazon, she loves cooking, traveling, hiking, yoga, movies, and reading.
Mark is a pathologist by profession, a sailor, outdoor enthusiast, foodie and chef by avocation. Mark first connected with Hazon on Israel Ride 05 and since then is an avid cyclist. He was inspired by Hazon to found the first Philly area Tuv Ha Aretz Hazon CSA at Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park in 07, currently in its seventh year. Mark has been instrumental in the CSA s success, leading an annual community Tu B Shvat Seder, Sukkot trips to the farm, and producing many successful educational programs relating to Judaism, food and sustainability for the area community. As a member of Philly Hazon Advisory Board since its inception, Mark served on the planning committee for the 11 Sukkot Harvest Supper and 13 inaugural Philly Hazon Food Festival. He is co-chair of the 14 Philly Hazon Environmental Bike Ride. His is married to Karin Chernoff Kaplan and has two daughters, Molly and Ellie.
A 2011 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic,” Chef Michael Solomonov is the executive chef at Zahav (237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800), Philadelphia’s renowned modern Israeli restaurant. Known for his extraordinary skill at transforming simple foods into artful culinary masterpieces, he is widely regarded as one of the city’s top young chefs and entrepreneurs. In addition to his duties at Zahav, of which is he co-owner, Chef Solomonov is a partner in Percy Street Barbecue (900 South Street, 215-625-8510), a Southern inspired barbecue restaurant and bar on South Street that has quickly become known as the best place in Philadelphia for smoked meats, and Federal Donuts (two locations: 1219 South 2nd Street and 1632 Sansom Street) a mostly take-out, donuts-and-fried-chicken shop serving exceptional coffee, cake donuts and fried chicken.
In 2012, Food & Wine magazine named Chef Solomonov among the country’s top “Empire Builders,” admiring his devotion “to reinventing overlooked cuisines.” Chef Solomonov was also the subject of a New York Times feature in 2011 that explored the genesis and continued success of Zahav, which praised his “simple food with layers of flavor.” That same year, Zahav was elevated to a coveted “Four Bells: Superior” rating from the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of only four restaurants citywide to attain that elite status. Both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure named Zahav among the top restaurants in the nation in their May 2009 issues, and Esquire named Zahav among their “Best New Restaurants, 2008.” Zahav has also been featured in Bon Appetit, which selected the restaurant as one of their “Hot 10 Summer Blockbusters.” Philadelphia magazine named Zahav “Best New Restaurant, 2008” in their annual “Best of Philly” issue.
Before opening Zahav, which means “gold” in Hebrew, in 2008, Chef Solomonov was the executive chef at West Philadelphia’s Marigold Kitchen, which he and restaurateur Steven Cook co-owned until 2009. There, he was named “Rising Star Chef, 2007” by Restaurant Hospitality magazine, as well as “Best Chef, 2006” by Philadelphia magazine. Prior to joining Cook at Marigold Kitchen, Chef Solomonov worked under such top chefs as Marc Vetri at Vetri and Terence Feury at Striped Bass. He is a graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, FL. Born in Israel, he grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and now calls Philadelphia home. He frequently travels back to Israel, including an epic 2008 trip with the entire opening team from Zahav to introduce them to the cuisine they would be preparing and serving.
For more information about Chef Michael Solomonov or any of the restaurants that he co-owns with Steven Cook, please visit www.cooknsolo.com and follow them on Twitter (@cooknsolo).
Michael Yasner enjoys participating in all things Hazon. Mike is currently co-chair of the upcoming Philly Hazon bike ride, a Philly Hazon Board member, and a core member of the Hazon CSA of Southern New Jersey. In between Hazon bike rides, food conferences and other events Mike is a Periodontist in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Val Yasner practiced Endodontics and taught at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine for 15 years. After severe carpal tunnel Val retired from Endodontics and rediscovered her love of food.
Val’s involvement with Hazon began when she helped bring Hazon CSA of Southern New Jersey to her Cherry Hill community. Over the years Val has participated and taken leadership positions in the full range of Hazon activities including riding and crewing the NY Labor Day Ride, cycling in the California Ride and a portion of the Israel Ride. She has attended multiple Hazon Food Conferences on both coasts as well. Under her leadership Philly Hazon is continuing to expand its role in the community.
Val brings her health care perspective to the world of food and nutrition. She has a passion for cooking, eating, and talking about food while tying all of this to our Jewish heritage and tradition.Cherry Hill, NJ