Welcome Letter to the 2010 Hazon Food Conference

Roger Studley
Co-Chair, Food Conference West
December 24, 2010

Dear Hazon-niks, friends, and fellow Jewish food activists —

Roger Studley here, co-chair — along with Rabbi Marc Soloway — of this year’s Hazon Food Conference. I’m thrilled that all of you are here to join in the work of the New Jewish Food Movement.

Unfortunately, I’m not able be here myself, but I have a very good excuse ….. a two week-old son! His name is Ezra Meir and he’s absolutely beautiful. My wife Chai and I are in awe and in love, and all three of us are getting used to the new rhythms of our life together at home in nearby Berkeley.

Having a child makes the future more real, more immediate. It reminds you forcefully of the absolute necessity of living sustainably on a healthy planet. It makes us ask…

  • Will our child inherit a world in which food policy is driven by corporate greed or by the goals of health and sustainability?
  • Will our child inherit a world in which food is a just distant commodity or one in which it is a source of nourishment and connection with which he is intimately familiar?
  • Will our child inherit a world in which the animals we raise for milk, eggs, and meat live in confinement and squalor or are treated humanely and with kavod?
  • Will our child inherit a world in which monoculture and chemical farming have depleted irreplaceable cropland or one in which farmers sustain the soil by following the rhythms and cycles of nature?
  • Will our child inherit a world in which we fend mostly for ourselves, to the detriment of all, or a world in which we live in community, nourished at the same table, reminded constantly of the gifts we’ve inherited and our sacred obligation to pass them along to future generations?

Envisioning the world we want for our children is easy, but bringing about the necessary change is hard, and I applaud you all for being here to do the work. Thank you and kol hakavod, and if Ezra Meir gives me his permission, hopefully I’ll be able to join you a little later in the weekend.

With gratitude and love  … and an enormous thank you to Marc, Judith, Renna, Jessy, Rebecca, Gita, Ilana, Rachel, and all of the volunteers who have created this amazing conference.



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