Topic: Nigel

Trusting the tradition? / Remembering Naomi Rabkin, z”l

Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 21 Adar 5778   Naomi Rabkin funeral and shiva: The funeral will be on Thursday, March 8 at 1:00 PM at El Camino Memorial Park chapel followed by burial at El Camino (5600 Carroll Canyon Rd, San Diego, CA 92121). All are welcome. Shiva will be on Thursday at 6:30 at the Leichtag Foundation (441 Saxony Rd., Encinitas) and again on Saturday and Sunday. With tremendous gratitude to Naomi’s Leichtag Foundation family for providing us space to mourn. Naomi’s memory will be a blessing. She asked that donations be made in her honor to a charity you feel represents her values. She was particularly grateful to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Support over the past several months. Any foundation that supports research into Triple Negative and/or Inflammatory breast cancer, which are poorly understood and particularly devastating types of breast cancer, could use more support. For example: Baruch Dayan haEmet.   By Nigel Savage Dear All, A little after I wrote this email – partly on the subject of death and mourning in Jewish tradition –  I learned that Naomi Rabkin had died. Her funeral takes place in just a few hours’ time. Naomi was […]

Continue Reading

A sharp pepper and a basket of pumpkins…

by Nigel Savage Thursday, February 22, 2018 | 7 Adar 5778 Dear All, First up: space is filling up quickly for Pesach at Freedman. We still have some slots for the middle days and second days. It’s a beautiful time of the year. Do come. Similarly: we have a remarkable line-up for Shavuot led by (in alphabetical order, lest I diss anyone) Shir Yaakov Feit, Art Green, Jill Hammer, Eve Ilsen, David Ingber, Shoshana Jedwab, Avram Mlotek, Yael Kornfeld Mlotek, and Eden Pearlstein. This is for certain going to sell out, and if you know that you want to come, book sooner rather than later. Finally, (and feel free to forward this email to someone who’s the perfect fit for this) we’re recruiting now for spring, summer, and fall cohorts of Adamah; to be a Hazon intern in the summer; for the New York Ride & Retreat at the end of the summer; and to become a Teva educator in the fall. If you want to learn, grow, push yourself, and meet amazing people – sign up for one of those programs. More info below. (And – oh yes – if you want extra incentive; or you’re a parent or grandparent forwarding this email to a college student or 20-something) check […]

Continue Reading
Jewish Community Farming gathering_square

Hakhel, Heathlands, Jewish Community Farming…and the evolution of “community” in the 21st century

by Nigel Savage Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 9 Shevat 5778 Dear All, I and we struggle to explain what Hazon is and why we do the things we do. Partly this is our fault, and we must try to fix that; we’re working on it at the moment. But partly this is not our fault. The boxes we all use for different categories of contemporary life are faulty, in my view. When people think of “environmental sustainability” they think fairly immediately about any or all of – eg – recycling; composting; solar power; clean tech; climate change; and so on. These are important things, and as an organization, directly or indirectly, we work on them. This month we welcomed another 10 organizations into Hazon’s Seal of Sustainability, taking us now to 60. In Michigan this week 20 clergy, executive directors and layleaders from 12 of our 13 Seal sites came together to share progress and best practice – a phenomenal day. Nearly all have taken major steps towards robust recycling, energy and food projects, plus a number of outdoor environmental projects. Deeply gratifying.  Our medium-term goal is to have at least 360 organizations in the Hazon Seal, by the end of […]

Continue Reading

American Distinctiveness…

by Nigel Savage Thursday, January 11, 2018 | 24 Tevet 5778 Dear All,I begin with condolences and congratulations.Condolences: We join with many others in mourning the tragic loss of Hannah Weiss, z”l, and her family. Hannah’s memorial service took place this week. Although I had never met her, several of our staff worked with her over the last year and they were shocked and devastated by her loss. She was an amazing young woman and a passionate young Jewish environmental leader. She inspired others and took action on her deeply held beliefs. She led the Green Team at Columbia Hillel and started a composting initiative at List College. She felt strongly and intuitively the interconnection between her Jewishness and her commitment that we need to live more lightly on this planet. Hannah was at our JOFEE Network Gathering last fall and was the leader in seeking to have Columbia Hillel join Hazon’s Seal of Sustainability. May her memory inspire all of us to work for a better world. Hazon staff Rachel Aronson and Hannah Henza and I – and everyone at Hazon – send enormous condolences to her family and to everyone who knew her.Congratulations: to Judith Belasco, our recently announced EVP, on being accepted into the […]

Continue Reading

Reb Zalman z”l and the Tree of Life

by Nigel Savage Wednesday, July 9, 2014 | 11 Tammuz 5774 Dear All, As the week goes on, and despite events in Israel and so many other things, I remain profoundly aware of the death of Reb Zalman, may his memory be for a blessing. A sense of him and the memory of him is never far away. He had such a beautiful voice, his beautiful accent, and those twinkly eyes. He was irrepressible, joyous, and a font of ideas and connections. It was a pleasure and a challenge to try to keep up with him and his richly associative mind. His presence continues to echo. I will miss him very much. He was intimately involved with Hazon and our programs over many years. The staff at Isabella Freedman loved him; he made it a habit always to meet with the behind-the-scenes staff, not just front-of-house folk. He taught at Shavuot, was a central figure at Elat Chayyim since its earliest days, was a very special presence at our benefit last year, and came to England with us for a climate change conference a few years back. He was deeply interested in, and supportive of, our work on shmita. And he and […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading