History of Hazon RidesHazon was created by Nigel Savage, after he discovered the outdoors as an adult. Through hikes and other outdoor experiences in Israel and North America, Nigel saw that there was a connection between Judaism and the natural world. He realized that his Jewish education as a child, which stressed the book and indoor learning, had failed to highlight the connection between Jewish festivals and the agricultural cycle, our obligation to care for the planet, and the strong link between Jewish tradition and the Earth's natural cycles. After a sea-to-sea hike in Israel, Nigel was so moved by the experience of traveling between two points on his own two feet that he was inspired to create a similar experience in the United States, with the first Hazon Cross-USA bike ride. In 2000, Nigel and 11 other hardy souls crossed the county on bikes from Seattle to Washington, DC. Their journey across the country took 11 weeks and changed their lives. The feeling of moving across the county on bikes was empowering. The group felt like they could do anything after that experience, as some had previously never ridden further than 10 miles on a bike. The group was religiously diverse and had to work through many issues to form a committee that worked. The process of raising money was challenging, but giving it away to the burgeoning Jewish environmental movement made everyone feel like they could make a difference in the world. From this experience Nigel built Hazon and our bike ride program.
All of Hazon's bike rides are geared to:
- Get people outside to experience the beauty and wonder of the natural world
- Get people to think differently about transportation and cycling, nationally and in Israel.
- Explore the connection between Jewish tradition and the natural world
- Have people experience moving through the world on their own power
- Create a Jewish community that we all want to be a part of: one that is religiously diverse, multi-generational, and environmentally responsible
- Build a community that welcomes and affirms GLBT Jews
- Build a community that welcomes non-Jews and interfaith families
- Help people recognize that they are more powerful than they thought
- Raise money for cutting-edge Jewish environmental projects in the United States and Israel
- Support Hazon's community building projects and year-round programming