Topic: Nigel

3 Good Things…

by Nigel Savage Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 12 Kislev 5778 Dear All,Last week I shared Shawn Achor’s superb TED Talk.Part of his punchline is that if you journal three different good things that happen to you each day, over time that starts to cause you actually to be more positive – and more effective.My friend and colleague Josh Miller sent me – from the West Coast – an app that he’d downloaded that was germane to this: Three Good Things – A Happiness Journal.I looked at it, and downloaded it, and noted that it was created by Asher Dale. I thought: how many Asher Dales can there be in the world?And I emailed Richard Dale – Hazon’s long-time board chair – to ask if this was his 18-year old son. And indeed it was and is. :-))So if you haven’t watched the video yet, I commend it. And then download the app. Because everything we can do to help ourselves be healthier and happier seems pretty worthwhile, right now.And in that spirit, here are three things I’m grateful for today:1. Everyone who shared their #growhazon story and donated to our campaign on #GivingTuesday, with special shout-outs to Rabbi Adina Allen, Carole Caplan, Risa Alyson Cooper and Sabrina Malach, Lia Farber, Valerie Gerstein, Gil Kulick, Elsie Moche, Hallie Newman and Edward Angert, K’lila Nooning, Yoni Stokar, Lizzy […]

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A gratitude video that’s laugh-out-loud funny – and helpful, too…

  by Nigel Savage Dear All, Last week, I sent to all of our staff, what I think is the best – and more significantly the most useful – TED Talk I’ve ever seen. It’s from a few years ago, by a fellow called Shawn Achor. He’s a Harvard wellness guy. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, start to finish, but it is also spot-on. In my case, because of my mini-sabbatical, I was already following some of his advice and finding for myself how profound it has been. I won’t spoil the pleasure of your watching it by sharing its details. But it is fundamentally about gratitude – and health and wellness – and how we re-set ourselves… So I offer thanks to our staff, and board members and donors and stakeholders and partners. Also to the people who grow the avocados I love and the people who run our hospitals and the infinite number of other miracles, seen and unseen, that let me live in peace and freedom. Happy Thanksgiving, Nigel PS I encourage you to try out the practice of writing down three discrete things for which you are grateful each day. And we invite you to share them on our Facebook page. We […]

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Fear and light

by Nigel Savage Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 27 Cheshvan 5778 Dear All, It’s Rosh Chodesh Kislev this weekend. Light in the darkness. I say: Bring it on. That was my first thought. And my second was: What’s the line between cliché and language that is alive and real? I feel this at the moment. “Light in the darkness” is both incredibly clichéd, and also the most real and vital thing we need to hear right now. The present undercurrent, the theme tune to our lives, stronger each day, is fear. It manifests in all directions. Globalization and technology and jobs at stake, across the western world – thus fear of the future, fear for family finances, fears for retirement, fears for health. Climate change and the environment and all of that. Fears for and about Israel. The fear that an African American parent feels if their teenager gets pulled over by the police, and says the wrong thing. The fears of an Israeli soldier, manning a checkpoint, as a Palestinian comes towards him; and the fears of a Palestinian coming towards the Israeli soldier. The newish fear that we might have a war with or about North Korea. Fears […]

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The Ceremony of Innocence

by Nigel Savage November 2, 2017 | 13 Cheshvan 5778 Dear All, I rode into work the day before yesterday, as I do many days of the year, on a beautiful bike path on a beautiful day. Hazon worked quite hard, for several years, to increase the number of protected bike lanes in NYC. We’re proud of that work, and I sometimes say to people, “and the statistics show that protected bike lanes reduce fatalities and injuries, both for bike riders and pedestrians…” But of course those statistics didn’t allow for a day like Tuesday. A few hours after I rode in (and several of the people in our offices rode in, also) a crazy guy (but not randomly crazy; with ideological method to his murderousness) mowed down a bunch of people who happened to be on the path at that moment. As we know, eight of them never got up. I rode home, an hour later, past the police and the barricades and the camera crews. Also two little kids – wee high, three feet tall if that – in cute white Star Wars Stormtrooper outfits. May The Force Be With All Of Us, I thought. Then just a few hours after that […]

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Sabbaticals, shmita, post-sabbatical…

by Nigel Savage October 19, 2017 | 29 Tishrei 5778 Dear All, This week is the start of the rest of our lives the first week after the end of the Jewish holidays, and my first week back at work after my sabbatical. In the next few weeks, I’ll be sending out a short series of essays, reflecting on Hazon and our work in light of my sabbatical things I’ve learned, things I’ve been thinking about. I want to thank everyone staff, board members, funders, stakeholders for enabling me to take this time off. It has been important for me, and I hope in due course it will be significant, in a positive way, for Hazon and for our work. In this first email back I want to write again about time itself and sabbaticals and shmita. This is the start of year three. Year one (the first year after shmita) was 2015-’16, ie 5776. 5778, this year just begun, is year three. When we get to Rosh Hashanah in September 2021, that will be the start of 5782, year seven, the sabbatical year, shnat shmita. It is this very curious thing, that being Jewish is so inextricably wound up with the […]

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Less Fear, More Resolve

by Nigel Savage Originally posted in the Forward on August 30, 2017. “Who shall live and who shall die,” a line in the prayer Unetanneh Tokef, is the emotional highpoint of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgy. The power of it is that, despite antibiotics and micro-surgery, we really don’t know who will live and who will die; not in the coming year and not in the coming day. Those of us who were in New York City on Rosh Hashanah in 2001, five days after 9/11, remember the power of reciting this haunting, awful, and awe-filled prayer. The shul community was in full attention; people wept — some silently, others audibly. Close to 3,000 people were murdered by terrorists in the attacks on 9/11. Since then, terrorists have killed another 403 people in the United States. In that same period, deaths by handguns amounted to 406,496. Overall, roughly 33,000 people are murdered every year in the United States. Slightly more — roughly 35,000 — die in traffic fatalities. In Israel, more people have died in traffic accidents since the establishment of the State of Israel than in all the wars and incidents of terrorism combined. Even more shocking […]

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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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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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