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Topic: New York Ride

Strategy Update

Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | 2nd Adar I, 5779 We’re in the middle of our strategic planning process. I want to give you a sense of where we are and perhaps where we’re heading. First of all: a huge thank you to the significant number of people who have participated in this process. Nine people – five lay, four staff – are on the Advisory Committee that is leading this process, ably chaired by Jessica Haller.  We’re working with Wellspring consultants, and the key staffers there now feel like old friends. 298 people filled out an online survey (thank you!). 31 people did one-on-one interviews with our consultants. There have been three significant focus groups, and two weeks ago a six-hour meeting with 28 of our staff and the Wellspring folk. I believed before we began that this was going to be necessary and important. Now, though we haven’t yet landed, we have a much clearer sense of this – including one hugely significant consequence we hadn’t previously focused on. We’re not changing our mission and vision. We’re about “healthier and more sustainable.” We strengthen Jewish life – and help create a more sustainable world for all. We’re the Jewish […]

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Significant News in Relation to the 2019 New York Ride

Hazon as a whole is in the middle of a strategic planning process. We began it in the late summer of last year and intend to land it by late spring. It relates to all of our programs. The goal is to narrow our focus, increase our impact, and strengthen our business model. As I write it’s too soon to know exactly how the process will close, but there is a general sense amongst key stakeholders that we are making good progress. In recent years we’ve been absolutely thrilled at the human impact of the New York Ride, which has continued to be a joyous and impactful event. For those who were there in ’17, for instance, I still recall the extraordinary way that people rose to the challenge of extreme and unexpected weather. It literally brought out the best in everyone. But even as the human impact of the Ride has continued to be strong, we’ve struggled somewhat in recruitment and fundraising. Given this, we have decided not to produce the New York Ride this year. Instead we’ll go into a planning process for the Ride itself, and to some extent for “the Rides” overall. What are our overarching […]

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The Overstory: A First-Ever Hazon Book Club!

by Nigel Savage Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 28 Av 5778 Dear All, On Shabbat it’s the last day of Av and the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. (And my grandma’s yahrtzeit.) Sunday morning – the second day of Rosh Chodesh, and the first day of Elul itself – is the first morning we blow shofar. (And this was also, though I didn’t realize this until he died, my father’s birthday.) So: the period of teshuva begins. With it I invite you to read The Overstory by Richard Powers. (Buy it from the Hazon Store by August 31 for 20% off with code Overstory.) I can’t say that it is the best book I’ve ever read, but I can’t think of another book that is better. It is rich, complicated, creative, intricate. Hard and tragic. Thought-provoking, and then some. It is as beautifully written as anything you’ll ever read. If you possibly can, don’t read anything about it. Don’t read a review. Don’t read the blurb on the book itself. At most you can read the table of contents, and wonder a little about that, and then turn to page 1. (After you finish the book you can – as I did – read the magisterial […]

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FUNdraising Tip #5: Say Thank You

After 5 weeks of FUNdraising tips, we hope you’ve been raking in the donations! Immediately after someone has donated to your Ride, send them a quick email or call them to thank them. Then, after the Ride, we recommend sending handwritten thank you cards. Going the extra mile will make your donors really feel appreciated and they’ll want to donate again next year!

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FUNdraising Tip #4: Show the Impact

Feel free to copy and paste some of the language below on social media and in your fundraising emails. WHERE THE MONEY GOES: Hazon Seal of Sustainability: Option 1: Through the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, Hazon works with Jewish communities and institutions across the US to help them embrace sustainability efforts that reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, increase renewable energy, and improve health. Many of these initiatives can help save thousands of energy dollars per year, and most importantly, can help significantly reduce the collective carbon footprint of the Jewish community. Option 2: Through the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, Hazon is helping to green over 60 Jewish institutions across the US, including synagogues, schools, camps, and JCCs. Many have started or significantly expanded composting programs and other efforts to raise awareness around food waste, diverting hundreds of thousands of pounds from the landfill each year. Several have installed energy efficiency upgrades that are already saving thousands of dollars per institution per year, including most recently Isabella Freedman! Most significantly, thousands of people who visit these institutions are learning about their greening efforts, and Hazon’s educational resources are permeating into communities around the country. Adamah: Adamah is a residential farming fellowship providing a crucial bridge for […]

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FUNdraising Tip #3: Spread the word

 Watch this short video from 2017 NY Ride honoree Ruth Messinger for some fundraising encouragement!   Although fundraising may seem intimidating at first, you probably know more people than you realize. To start your fundraising, you need to first make a list of who you will ask. And remember, people don’t give to support causes as much as they give to support people: your friends, family, and colleagues will donate to your ride because YOU are riding. Start by sending some emails and posting on social media and follow up in a couple of weeks.  

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FUNdraising Tip #2: Personalize it

This is an easy one and only takes 5 minutes: personalize your fundraising page with a photo and text about why you’re riding. Putting in a little bit of effort shows your donors that you’re serious about what you’re fundraising for and they will be more likely to support you. Log into your participant center here to update your page and create a custom URL. We recommend bookmarking this page.

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FUNdraising Tip #1: Set a Goal

Every Rider has a fundraising minimum, but we encourage you to aim higher. The higher your fundraising target, the more generous your supporters will be. When you are close to meeting your target, consider setting a higher one. Need some extra incentives? Take a look at what you can earn if you fundraise above your required minimum!

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A real gift / pass this on…

By Nigel Savage Thursday, May 17, 2018 | 3rd Sivan 5778 | 47th day of the omer | Hod she’b’Malchut Dear All, This email is intended to be a gift, a series of gifts. I offer you – variously – the chance to get in better shape; the chance to spend joyous time with old friends, and to make new ones; the chance to give and to learn; and the chance to do good in the world. You acquire these gifts by doing one or more of the following things: Ride in our New York Ride, this coming Labor Day weekend, or Crew in our New York Ride, and/or Send this email on to someone you know – or a whole bunch of people you know – who might like to ride with us, and/or Click here to sponsor me or any one of our riders in this year’s Ride. I want to say straightforwardly: there’s no irony or humor or jokiness intended in what I’ve just written. These are gifts, real gifts, for you and/or someone you know, and I invite you sincerely to accept them. The Ride began in 2001. This will be our 18th consecutive ride. For some, certainly for me, […]

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How the NY Ride Changed My Life

If you want to understand the impact of Hazon’s programs, how they can truly change people’s lives in profound and meaningful ways, you needn’t look further than me. I first attended the Hazon NY Bike Ride in 2008. At the time, I was serving as the Executive Director of Friends of the Arava Institute, Hazon’s partner in the annual Israel Ride, and I was invited to come to the NY Ride, bringing some Arava Institute alumni with me. I brought along my wife Jamie and our children, Mikayla and Grace, then ages 10 and 6, for the Labor Day weekend retreat, which that year was held at Camp Kinder Ring, having no idea what we were going to experience, but genuinely just hoping to have a good time. We had more than a good time; we had a life-changing transformation. What we found at the NY Ride & Retreat, almost immediately, was a community like we had never experienced before. A community that was pervasively Jewish and radically inclusive. A community that felt both open and safe for our children. A community that encouraged Jewish journeys, including our own family’s journey. A community with a ruach and a neshama that […]

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Why I Ride Crew

By Maddy Hoffman Yossi (pictured) and I got married last summer, so training for the Ride didn’t make it to our pre-wedding to-do list. But we each had family and friends participating as riders, so we didn’t want to miss out on the experience. At the last minute we signed up as crew, not really sure what it would be like. We knew and appreciated the crew members who staffed our rest stops when we rode together the year before. They made us sandwiches, pointed us to the bathroom, and told us which snacks were the good ones. They cheered for us and encouraged us and reminded us that we were riding for an important cause with their full support. But what no one really tells you is that the crew members are actually having a lot of fun doing all of those things and even more that riders don’t get to see. There are cowbells to ring and whistles to blow, big vans to drive and spray paint to mark the turns, and there are maps, walkie-talkies, reflective vests, and team colors for each crew team. The Hazon staff made sure we had all the information and support we […]

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Win a spot in the 5 Boro Bike Tour

Register for the NY Ride by Wednesday and be entered into a raffle for a free 5 Boro Bike Tour registration! 2013 New York Ride Labor Day Weekend | August 30 – September 2 Join the People of the Bike Did you miss your chance to sign up for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour? Our friends at Bike New York have offered Hazon two free spots in this sold out ride.   Register for the New York Ride by 5:00pm on Wednesday, March 13th, and we’ll enter you in a raffle to win an opportunity to ride in the 5BBT. Register now at hazon.org/nyride Raffle winners will be contacted on Wednesday evening. Winners MUST register for the 5BBT by 1:00 PM on Friday, March 15. Enjoy Shabbat at Hazon’s new home at Isabella Freedman Join us at Isabella Freedman for an exciting two-day ride from the Berkshires to New York City and a relaxing Labor Day Weekend retreat. Loop through charming New England and Hudson Valley towns Route options from 30 to 100 miles Inspirational Shabbat retreat Inclusive Jewish community Fully supported ride Adamah farm-to-table food Registration options include family plans, tenting, and housing upgrades Register today for your chance […]

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