Topic: Colorado

Unique Boulder Collaboration Leads to Big Food Rescue Wins

The juxtaposition of the Jewish community’s commitment to addressing hunger issues and the reality of literal tons of prepared foods being wasted after events was too much for Hazon’s Boulder Director, Becky O’Brien, to handle. She observed that the Jewish community was generous with donating to food drives but it was stumped with how to handle the abundance of delicious perishable foods leftover from events like Shabbat luncheons or bar mitzvah parties. On the donor side of the equation, the Boulder Jewish Community Center (JCC) was eager to be a guinea pig. The JCC’s Event and Rentals Manager Sara Guttman was seeing firsthand how much untouched prepared food was being wasted or composted after major events, everything from crudite trays, to boxed lunches, to expensive cheese platters. While the desire to donate was there, the JCC didn’t have the knowledge or time to research appropriate ways to donate. Sara reflected, “Sustainability is an important priority for the Boulder JCC. We represent this in our new LEED-certified facility, by having a Farm and Sustainability Director, as well as by hosting food drives, and composting. One of the challenges we faced when we moved into our new larger facility in September of 2016 […]

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The Beauty of Yom Kippur | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Zach Goldberg, Ramah in the Rockies & Congregation Bonai Shalom, Boulder, CO Yom Kippur and Parashat Vayelech Editor’s Note: Welcome to D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you’ll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they’ve planned and implemented, gleanings from the field, and connections to the weekly Torah portion and what they’ve learned from their experiences with place in their host communities for the year. Views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily represent Hazon. Be sure to check back weekly!  P.S. Interested in being or hosting a JOFEE Fellow? Applications for cohort two are now open for both prospective fellows and prospective host institutions!  — The high holiday season is full of JOFEE experiences! Elul is mamash the harvest season, and Sukkot is the third and final harvest festival after all! I witnessed this a few weeks ago on the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, the 18th of Elul. The celebration was kicked off with a call of the shofar. Morah Yahudis Fishman explained during a noon time shiur at Congregation Bonai Shalom that this call, blowing air through a horn of an animal, awakens the deepest parts of […]

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White House Honors Faith Leaders for Climate “Champions of Change”

Congratulations to Rabbi Marc Soloway, chair of Hazon’s Rabbinic Advisory Board, for being honored by the White House’s Champions of Change program! THE WHITE HOUSE Office of Communications FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, July 20th, the White House will recognize twelve people of faith as “Champions of Change” for their efforts in protecting our environment and communities from the effects of climate change. These Champions have demonstrated clear leadership across the United States and around the world through their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change. The program will feature remarks by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese. The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.   Huda Alkaff, West Bend, Wisconsin Huda Alkaff is the Founder and Director of the Islamic Environmental Group of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Green Muslims), formed in […]

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Hazon Mini-Grants: Making Major Change

Every year I have the distinct privilege of waking up one morning, mid-summer, and the first thought that goes through my mind is, “Today we get to allocate $20,000 to help make my community healthy and more sustainable.” Rarely do I need coffee on such an exciting morning. Hazon Mini-Grants, funded by bike rides and other grantee sources, are small grants that help up-and coming JOFEE, Jewish Outdoor Food Environmental Education, programs and projects across the country.  The initiatives funded by mini-grants are able to do a great deal of good with a relatively small amount of money. In Colorado, where I live, thanks to generous funding provided by the Rose Community Foundation, 18 Pomegranates, and the Oreg Foundation, the Hazon Colorado Advisory Board and local Hazon staff allocate 20k in mini-grants annually. Cumulatively, we have now funded $80k towards just over 40 projects and initiatives. Three weeks ago we went through this year’s allocations process. I was once again struck at the impact a small group of people inspired by philanthropy and a desire to make their community stronger can have. As a group we discussed areas where we collectively could try to transform the community. We gave funding for […]

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I Grew Up On A Factory Farm

By Yadidya Greenberg I spent the first eight and a half years of my life living on one of Israel’s much-idealized kibbutzim (communal living villages). My mom worked in the kibbutz dairy, and for a time my dad worked with the broiler chickens. I loved milking the cows, and my favorite thing in the world was to let the calves put my entire hand in their mouths. Through these experiences I developed a great fascination and love for animals that has never left me. (more…)

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Challah Memories: Hazon Food Festival Rocky Mountains

My first memory of challah is the smell of it toasting, and then toasting some more, until my grandpa had burned it enough that he would then stand by the kitchen sink and perform his ritual scraping off of the blackened edges. Grandpa ate challah with breakfast every day, and he burned it every day. He may not have known that burning at least some challah hearkens back to the time of the Temple. The word “challah” refers to a bit of baked dough that Jews gave to the priests as a weekly Sabbath offering. To commemorate the ancient law of setting aside “challah,” some Jews to this day separate a small portion of prebaked dough, which they bless and burn. “Challah” means “offering,” and the sweet bread itself is now also known by that name. Funny enough, I learned that history from a book that spells the bread’s name differently: “The Hallah Book,” by Freda Reider. It’s a book I’ve had since 1988, when I got it at a Hadassah book fair, captivated by its many intriguing, artistic suggestions on the shaping of the bread. Lately I’ve been having fun trying out challah recipes and designs, as I prepare […]

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Enter the Jewish Food Festival

Have you ever wondered why Jewish summer camp and visits to Israel are so impactful in one’s life? One theory is that at camp and in Israel your “life” and your “Jewish life” become one.  It is so interesting to me that people, including myself, make this distinction.  I designate something as happening in my “Jewish life” vs. in my life in general. Enter the Jewish Food Festival – part Jewish communal experience; part foray into local, organic food; part intellectual discourse on our relationship with food and the environment.  It is one place where my life and my Jewish life become one — outside of my years at camp and my times in Israel.  The environmentalist me hangs out with the foodie meand the spiritual me.  Ahh…integration.  Why did I decide to co-chair Hazon’s Jewish Food Festival even with a 16 month old daughter and a job?  Because I feel that creating a forum for people to integrate their lives around Judaism, food and the environment is crucial to continuing the existence of life on this planet.  Sounds extreme.  It is. Having been a climate educator, I could bore you with statistics of species destruction at the most alarming rate since the dinosaurs, […]

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Hazon Helps Announce New Federal GMO Labeling Bill

While environmental, health and consumer advocate voices are common in the chorus supporting the labeling of foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), other voices are less prevalent. In a move to directly counteract that, Congressman Jared Polis (Colorado’s second district) invited representatives from the faith and business communities to share their perspective on why labeling of GMOs is so important.   Hazon’s own Becky O’Brien, Boulder director, spoke at a press conference in Boulder where Polis announced that he is a lead co-sponsor of a federal GMO labeling bill. The room was filled to capacity with press and concerned citizens to hear about this exciting new development.   The GMO labeling bill, which will require that accurate information be disclosed to consumers when food contains a genetically engineered material or is produced with such material.  Following state GMO labeling efforts in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Missouri and Washington State, this federal bill will grant consumers the right to know what they are eating.  “I am proud to help lead the GMO Labeling Bill, which is all about consumer choice and information,” said Congressman Jared Polis.  “It’s important to empower people with the information they need to make their own healthy choices.  People have the right to make […]

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GMO panel at Alfalfas 001

Hazon on GMO Awareness panel in Boulder

Hazon’s Boulder director, Becky O’Brien, joined a panel of local food activists last week for a panel on GMO Awareness at Alfalfa’s Market in Boulder. Moderated by Joel Dyer, editor of Boulder Weekly, the panel also included Shanan Olson of Abbondanza Organic Seeds and Produce, Mary Mulry of FoodWise, and Michael O’Keefe and Mary Von Breck of GMO Free Boulder. Dyer took on the role of Monsanta incarnate and spurred a lively discussion around the concerns of GMOs, the science and history behind them, prospects for the future, current legislative factors, and what individuals can do to empower themselves to eat healthily and safely and get involved with the movement.

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tefilah retreat

Tefillah Retreat — A weekend of Jewish spiritual practice in the Rockies

A weekend for young Jewish adults in the Colorado mountains filled with Fun * Depth * Prayer * Yoga * Hiking * Singing * Drumming * Eating * JOY November 9-11, 2012 Visit for sample schedule, presenter bios, registration, and more! Space is limited. Registration is $90 with scholarships available. Contact the organizers at This is an entirely volunteer-run project, subsidized with generous support from a Limmud learning-inspired grant, an initiative of Rose Community Foundation.

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In a sukkah

Sukkah Bike Hop “the Coolest!”

“This was the coolest!” enthused Jillene Moore of Loveland, when asked about her experience cycling the Sukkah Bike Hop. Marv Goldman of Denver summed up his biking experience, “The ride immeasurably added value to the holiday: being outdoors, exercising, chatting, and eating with not only fellow cyclists and Jews, but also having the hospitality of families along the way.” Eighteen riders came together at the Chabad of NW Metro Denver in Westminster as the starting and ending spot for the three routes. Riders of all ages came from Boulder and across the Front Range, and from different Jewish backgrounds and cycling experiences. Read more at Boulder Jewish News. Click here for more pictures from the 2012 Sukkah Bike Hop.

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Interfaith Food Sustainability Coalition hosts gathering with Congressman Jared Polis

On a recent, beautiful Sunday afternoon, an interfaith gathering of gardeners and Community Supported Agriculture volunteers gathered to meet one another and share the successes and challenges they face. Congressman Jared Polis was on hand to hear the stories from members of Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Unitarian congregations, as well as graduate students studying faith communities and food sustainability.     Hazon is a founding member of the Interfaith Coalition for Food Sustainability, which hosted the event. Read more about the gathering in the Boulder Daily Camera. The Interfaith Coalition for Food Sustainability enjoys a delicious potluck with ingredients from congregation gardens.

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