Topic: Newsletters

Hazon sends out weekly newsletters to keep you in the loop on events, updates, great stories, and happenings from our friends! Not receiving our newsletters? Join our mailing list.

Make an investment in happiness

by Judith Belasco   July 13th, 2017 | 19 Tamuz 5777 Dear All, On Tuesday, we began what is known on the Jewish calendar as “the Three Weeks.” This is a time of decreasing happiness which culminates in Tisha B’av, a commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem, its Temple, and the expulsion of Jews from ancient Judea. It is accordingly a particularly poignant time to think about the sources of happiness and meaning in our lives. It is well-researched that we derive longer lasting happiness from our experiences than we do from our things. It turns out that we build up our store of happiness not only during an experience, but even in our anticipation of its arrival beforehand and in our reflections upon it long afterwards. Even a bad experience fills our buckets: we might laugh for years recalling that night the rain poured into our new tent. And yet the tent itself – that we were once so excited to buy – quickly grows old. My father knew this long before the psychology studies came out. When my siblings and I turned our allowance money into concert and show tickets, Dad approved. As we were growing up, he taught us that […]

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Sign | Seal | Deliver

from Judith Belasco June 29th, 2017 | 5th of Tamuz, 5777 Dear all, Last year, from the bimah at Greenburgh Hebrew Center, a shul outside NYC, there was a reminder to attend the annual meeting and vote to approve the budget. I overheard the whispers of two men discussing the budget: “We are saving money on our electric bill…” “Really?” “We actually have solar panels on our roof…” I couldn’t help but smile. In 2013, with help from Hazon, Rabbi Barry Kenter led Greenburgh Hebrew Center to install 200 solar panels on its roof. The panels meet more than half of GHC’s annual electricity demand, reducing the congregation’s electricity bill by more than $7,000 per year. Fast forward four years, and the 62 organizations Hazon has partnered with on greening in the NY area are now estimated to save at least $8.3 million over the next 10 years. Leading these reductions are solar energy projects like GHC’s, or the 103 kW solar PV installation at the JCC of Staten Island, which saves an amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to planting 63 acres of trees. The Hazon Seal of Sustainability is a national effort to connect environmentalism and Jewish values and to put sustainability at the forefront […]

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A few first words from me, as Hazon’s acting CEO…

From Judith Belasco June 13th, 2017 | 19th Sivan 5777 Dear All, I joined Hazon in July 2007 as the Associate Director of Food Programs. I was a vegan and my first day on the job, Nigel mentioned that I needed to organize our first-ever shechita (ritual slaughter) at the Hazon Food Conference. It was clear from day one that working at Hazon would be filled with growth and opportunities – both personally and professionally. Since then, my title has changed as our programs have grown. I launched our work on the west coast with a Food Conference at Asilomar, developed curricula, started regional offices in the Bay Area, Denver-Boulder, Philly, San Diego, and Detroit, launched Siach – an international social and environmental justice conversation, stewarded Seeds of Opportunity: The JOFEE Report, and now as Chief Program Officer, I lead an incredible staff of people who are creating powerful, transformative experiences that directly reach over 25,000 people a year. And, as of Monday, I’m Hazon’s Acting CEO, while Nigel’s on sabbatical. Over the next four months I’m not planning to write all of these emails myself. As Nigel does occasionally, I want to give voice and a platform to some of our other […]

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The Paris Accords – Now What?

From Nigel Savage June 2nd, 2017 | 8th Sivan 5777 Dear All, Jewish tradition isn’t just for kids and it isn’t just for synagogues and it isn’t just about bagels or dressing up on Purim. This last week, across the Jewish world, we celebrated Shavuot, “the giving of the Torah.” It’s called the time of the giving of the Torah, and not the receiving of the Torah, because Jewish tradition, fundamentally, is about choice, and responsibility. We choose whether to receive this gift, and in what ways we receive it. It’s an act of responsibility and of obligation to take on the injunctions of Jewish tradition and to use them not merely to be good Jews or good people, but to create, day by day, a better world. In every country of the world in which Jewish people live, their government has endorsed the Paris Climate Agreement. Every religious faith community spoke up for it. I went to Paris in 2015 to represent the Jewish community in the lead-up to the negotiation of those Accords; alongside senior religious and governmental leaders – Ségolène Royal, then-President Hollande, Cardinal Turkson, Vandana Shiva, Mary Robinson, and so on – to say that the Jewish people […]

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I hope to see you this Sunday at the Celebrate Israel Parade…

From Nigel Savage June 2nd, 2017 | 8th Sivan 5777 Dear All, It’s the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration this year. When Lord Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild, on behalf of the British government, neither of them knew that, thirty years later, the United Nations would vote to establish a third Jewish commonwealth. (Nor that, in the intervening years, the Jews of Europe would be hunted down and massacred, country by country, family by family, for six years.) Though my grandparents were alive that day, the world seems unimaginably changed since then. This is not the Israel of Ben Gurion or Jabotinsky, it is not the Israel of Golda Meir or Yitzhak Rabin. This is the Israel of Barbie, by Static and Ben El Tavori, which I find strangely irresistible. Also of the new food scene, the growth of the haredi population, the burgeoning of an Israeli non-orthodox Judaism. The new/old train stations. The Mizrachi revival. Racisms, old and new. The dilemmas of the Israeli Palestinians, the flourishing of Be’er Sheva, the new airport in the Negev, Israeli TV shows on Hulu and Amazon, Etgar Keret, Leah Shakdiel, Moshe Halbertal, Ilit Azoulai and Sigalit Landau, veganism, food co-ops, urban […]

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“Time Is So Precious…”

From Nigel Savage May 25th, 2017 | 29th Iyar 5777 | Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan | 44th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’tiferet “Time Is So Precious…” Dear All, That’s a lot of dates on the dateline above. And we’re also: three days after the terrorist murders in Manchester; the day after yom yerushalayim; and four days away from the start of Shavuot. And it’s raining here in New York. So we live our lives by different calendars and different rhythms. Some of these are national, some communal/religious, some organizational, some familial, some personal. The rhythm of these has changed radically over human history. The invention of the clock was a significant change; so too the telegraph. 150 years ago different parts of a country kept time to their own rhythm, within each day. Jess Berlin – one of the first cohort of JOFEE Fellows, and a Hazon staffer – was talking to a group of us recently about the experience of living at Isabella Freedman for a year. She pointed out that animals and trees and other living things change their rhythms in response to the seasons – and in ancient days, probably human beings did too. Now […]

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Old Stones, New Ripples – Reflections on the Close of JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 1 | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Yoshi Silverstein – JOFEE Fellowship Director May 18th, 2017 | 22nd Iyar 5777 | 37th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’yesod 16 Organizations. 17 Fellows. Over 500 programs. An estimated 37,000 participants in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education (JOFEE) programs across the country. These are some of the incredible numbers emerging as we look back at our first JOFEE Fellowship cohort, who completed their closing seminar and siyum last week at our sister JOFEE organization, the Pearlstone Center outside Baltimore, MD. Behind those numbers are thousands of people encountering – many for the first time – the incredible power of a Jewish tradition steeped in deep cultural and spiritual connection with the earth, with place, with human communities and our surrounding ecosystems, with our food, and with each other.  A Jewish tradition that recognizes both the limits and abundance of the resources our home planet provides for us. A tradition that says this world is amazing – there is so much magnificence – and yet we have work to do – not to complete by ourselves, but neither to desist from doing our part. And wow did our JOFEE Fellows do their part! Here are a […]

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Changing the world, one (JOFEE) Fellow at a time…

From Nigel Savage May 18th, 2017 | 22nd Iyar 5777 | 37th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’yesod Changing the world, one (JOFEE) Fellow at a time… Dear All, 16 partner organizations. 17 JOFEE Fellows. Over 500 discrete programs. And an estimated 37,000 participants in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education (JOFEE) programs across the country. These are some of the numbers emerging as we look back at our first JOFEE Fellowship cohort. Their closing seminar and siyum was held last week at the Pearlstone Center outside Baltimore, MD. The JOFEE Fellowship grew from Seeds of Opportunity, the research that substantiated the extraordinary growth of this field over the last 15 years. One of the things that became clear is that we needed to create pathways into professional leadership in this world. The JOFEE Fellowship program, backed by the Jim Joseph Foundation, was one of the outcomes of the research. Behind the program data from our first year are many thousands of people encountering – some of them for the first time – the incredible power of Jewish tradition, when you connect it with the earth, with human communities and our surrounding ecosystems, with our food, and with […]

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Halachah and Aggadah

From Nigel Savage May 4th, 2017 | 23rd day of the omer; gevurah she’b’netzach | 8th Iyyar 5777 Halachah and Aggadah Dear All, Let me start at the end. Shavuot this year falls midweek. It is one of the most glorious times of the year at Isabella Freedman. The sun, we hope, will shine; the goats will parade; much Torah will be learned; and much cheesecake consumed. We have a truly remarkable group of teachers and leaders for this year’s Shavuot Retreat, including Shir Yaakov Feit, Rabbi Dr. Jill Hammer, Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen, Rabbi David Ingber, Shoshana Jedwab, Yael Kornfeld-Mlotek, Rabbi David Evan Markus, Rabbi Avram Mlotek, Rabbi Mike Moscowitz, and Arna Poupko-Fisher. I was thinking about when JFK hosted a group of Nobel laureates for dinner and began with the famous line – “this is the most extraordinary collection of talent that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone…”  I say that because we will miss Reb Zalman, z”l, who for so many years led the Shavuot retreat, and his spirit and his memory and his teachings will be with us. And/but this really is a quite […]

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47 years… and the next ten days

From Nigel Savage April 20th, 2017 | 24th Nisan 5777 | 9th day of the omer; gevurah she’b’gevurah   Dear All, Nearly half a century ago, on April 22, 1970, twenty million people took to the streets for the first Earth Day – which happened to fall during Pesach, the holiday of mass protest against injustice. Within months, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts passed Congress, and the Environmental Protection Agency was born. America showed the world that industrial might could be paired with respect for the health of people and the planet. Hazon seeks to build a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. We share many of the aims of those who brought about a transformation in our country’s approach to the environment 47 years ago. In our retreats and our immersive programs we touch people’s lives very directly, one by one, sometimes in profound ways. Our riders have raised several million dollars to support our work, to support the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, and in mini-grants that have gone to a wide range of organizations. Our curricula resources have underpinned educational work across the Jewish world, especially […]

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