Our Legacy Founders
Adamah is the product of a series of mergers, including Hazon, Pearlstone, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, and Teva.
Isabella Freedman (June 7, 1862 – May 25, 1927) was a philanthropist and active in nearly every branch of social welfare in New York City in the early 20th century. She joined the board of the Jewish Working Girls Vacation Society shortly after its founding in 1893. She served as its president from 1895-1897, and remained involved for years afterwards.
Upon her death in 1927, she bequeathed $25,000 to the agency, which was renamed as Camp Isabella Freedman in her honor.
She was actively involved with Temple Emanu-El in New York City, and founded the Women’s Auxiliary at the synagogue (today the Sisterhood). Upon her death, an obituary in the New York Times read:
She was a loyal and devout Jewess, endowed with genuine spirituality, with profound faith in God and ardent love for the traditions of Israel. She was bless with a hear that sympathized with the unfortunate and was bountiful her generosity and munificent in her charity. She was simple, sincere, unpretentious and just, and in consequence enjoyed the unbounded esteem of those with whom she came into association. In her modest and self-denying way she has contributed to the upholding of the ideals of Judaism in this community, and she will long be remembered for her exemplary virtues.
Nigel Savage (Hazon)
Nigel Savage founded Hazon, the Jewish lab for sustainability, in 2000, and served as its CEO for 21 years, stepping down in 2021.
Under his leadership, Hazon was recognized for its work by the Sierra Club and the EPA, and became the largest faith-based environmental organization in North America. (In 2023 Hazon merged with Pearlstone and the merged organization today is known as Adamah.)
Nigel is a popular speaker and teacher in a wide range of venues. He has given Commencement speeches at Wagner (NYU, in 2011), at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014, where he also received the Bernard Riesman Award) and at Spertus (in Chicago, in 2018). He was a founder of Limmud NY, served on the board of Romemu, and was one of the founders of Arava Power. He has twice been named a member of the Forward 50; and in recognition of his work, in 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Before founding Hazon, Nigel worked for Rothschild & Co and was co-head of UK Equities at Govett. He served on the Board of Deputies of British Jews and was one of the founders of the New Israel Fund in the UK. He has an MA in History from Georgetown and learned at Pardes and Yakar.
Today he is based in Jerusalem, where he consults for major foundations and philanthropies in North America; is helping to green Birthright Israel; serves on the board of the Fuchsberg Center; and continues to write and teach. He is proud to be Global Ambassador for Adamah.
Nigel produced the British independent movies Solitaire For 2 and Stiff Upper Lips and had an acclaimed cameo appearance in the cult Anglo-Jewish comic movie, Leon The Pig Farmer. He is believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.
Josh Fidler (Pearlstone)
Josh Fidler is Co-Chairman of Chesapeake Realty Partners, a diversified real estate development business, and Founding Partner of Boulder Ventures, a venture capital fund active in the Mid-Atlantic and Colorado. He is responsible for project acquisition, design and development, contracting, operations, leasing, finance, legal affairs and administration. He was formerly a practicing attorney with Paul, Weiss in New York, specializing in general corporate and federal securities matters. Josh presently serves on the Boards of Private Client Resources (Chair 2012-2019), BurnAlong, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Baltimore Community Foundation and The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. He has Chaired several other non-profits in the Mid-Atlantic. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law and his BA from Brown University.
Adam Berman (Adamah Farm Fellowship)
Adam Berman served as the Executive Director of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center from 2002 – 2009. During his tenure, he oversaw tremendous growth at Isabella Freedman, including expanding the sustainability efforts on the campus. In 2003, Adam founded the Adamah Farm Fellowship, a residential fellowship for young Jews that integrates organic agriculture, farm-to-table living, Jewish learning, community building, social justice, and spiritual practice. From humble beginnings gardening a patch of land on the campus, the Adamah Farm moved to a plot of land down the road and eventually to a 15-acre farm across from the retreat center. Adam also oversaw the merger of Isabella Freedman with Elat Chayyim, which expanded the year-round retreat offerings of Isabella Freedman. After leaving Isabella Freedman, Adam founded Urban Adamah and served as its first Executive Director from 2010 – 2019.