Annuals, Perennials, Rides…

Annuals, Perennials, Rides…

Dear All,

I’m at Isabella Freedman, which is a winter wonderland right now – the lake is frozen and everything is blanketed with snow. Very beautiful. I’m here for Hazon’s first-ever Rabbis’ Retreat, and it has been a wonderful, fascinating and inspiring experience. We’ve been thinking about shmita – the sabbatical year – in the broadest sense, and it’s led to a series of rich conversations. The shmita year starts in September 2014, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that shmita is both a relatively unexplored and rich part of Jewish tradition.

Here’s one thing for you to start to think about, coming out of a tour of the Adamah Farm that Dr. Shamu Sadeh led yesterday: What’s the relationship between annuals and perennials in your diet? (Annuals are wheat, corn, tomatoes – things that have to be planted each year. Most of our grains and vegetables are annuals. Perennials include berries, nuts, and a few other things; at Adamah they’ve recently planted Jersualem artichokes, which are perennials.) The question arises because the shmita prohibition includes harvesting annual crops on a large scale. So it makes sense, in a society that is observing shmita, to eat far more perennials. The distinction is rarely made in contemporary western society, but in general the United States needs to shift away from industrial monocrops, and towards mixed farming and more perennials. So consider this a 10-month heads-up. I think that one of the things I’m going to try to do – systematically – during the shmita year, will be to eat more perennials and fewer annuals. What will that look like? How would one’s diet shift? What are your favorite recipes that are largely – or solely – made from perennials? Watch this space – and be in touch with ideas and recipes.

And – speaking of annuals and perennials – early registration is about to close for our annual Golden Gate and Israel Rides – which we hope are becoming perennial programs. Here’s the info:

Early registration closes December 31st for our 2014 Golden Gate Ride (Memorial Day weekend; May 23 – 26) and the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride (November 4 – 11). Each of them is a spectacularly beautiful route. Each is fully-supported. And each of them makes a difference in the world, both directly and indirectly.


Golden Gate Ride

If you register for the Golden Gate Ride by December 31st, the early rate is just $150, and that includes all accommodation and food. We do a retreat in Marin, and then ride through Marin – and along the Pacific coast – and cross the Golden Gate Bridge into the city. Plus, if you raise $180 before December, it will be worth $360 due to a generous matching grant. Training rides are starting in the Bay Area in January.


Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride

The week-long Israel Ride is a remarkable experience. It’s an incredible way to see Israel, both for who’ve spent a ton of time in the country and those who’ve never visited. It’s fully supported – hot and cold running food every five minutes or so. And over the course of the Ride, our participants learn much more about the work of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon. Most people sign up because they like the idea of doing a ride in Israel, and see the fundraising component as – as it were – the necessary cost of participating in the experience. By the end – overwhelmingly – our riders feel that they’ve learned, that they’ve been inspired, and that they’re going home more knowledgeable, more hopeful and more passionate than when they signed up. If you’re planning to come, now’s the time to sign up: if you register by December 31st, registration is just $275 and you’ll also receive a limited edition Israel Ride fleece jacket from LL Bean! We had 135 riders last year, we have 30 signed up already for November 2014, and we’re aiming for 150 riders. As one of our riders put it this year: “Just do it… you won’t be disappointed.”

Finally: huge thanks to those of you who’ve given year-end donations. Your support makes an enormous difference. If you’d like to support us, please click here.

Shabbat shalom,

Nigel Savage

Executive Director, Hazon

Fall 2013 Teva season comes to an end

Over the last 4 months Teva was privileged to host over 550 students from 30 Jewish Day Schools – from Philly to NY to Boston. Each week a new group of 5th- and 6th-grade students arrived at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center for a transformative experience through hands-on, dynamic Jewish environmental education. The students enjoyed eye-opening explorations in the woods, praying outdoors, discovering Judaism and science through experiential education, and learning about our impact on the world around us and how to become stewards of the earth.
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Home for Dinner NY has 2 spots left

[Image]Home for Dinner: Hazon’s Family Meals Initiative is a synagogue-based pilot program for late elementary to early middle school students and their parents.
Programming at the synagogue allows families to explore together the dynamic interplay of Jews, food, and our complex family lives. We are still looking for 2 NY-area schools to run this program beginning in January.
Contact for more details.
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Bring Hazon and Teva to Your Community

for Tu B’Shvat[Image]

Tu B’Shvat is a perfect holiday to learn about creating a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable planet. Enrich your Tu B’Shvat programming by featuring a Hazon speaker at your Tu B’Shvat seder, or bringing a Teva educator to run a youth program at your school or synagogue.

For more information and to create a unique Tu B’Shvat experience for your community, contact

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Tu B’Shvat Sustainable Seder in Philadelphia:
Making Toasts to Trees & Torah

[Image]Hazon Philadelphia is excited to co-sponsor a Tu B’Shvat seder with Kol Tzedek Synagogue and Jewish Farm School. Experience a new kind of Tu B’Shvat Seder, celebrating the first fruits of spring and trees, urban sustainability and spirituality. We will provide the ritual, haggadot and wine. In the coming spirit of shmita we ask that each participant bring a vegetarian dish to share, as well as your own plates and cutlery to eliminate waste.

$5-10 donations welcome. No one turned away.

January 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm
The Cedar Works
4919 Pentridge Street, Philadelphia, PA
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From Our Friends

CA: Urban Adamah is hiring!

Urban Adamah is hiring for the position of Farm Manager! Join the incredible UA team and you will run an urban farm and educate young adults about sustainable agriculture practices in Berkeley, California!

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CA: Arastradero Preserve Hike with EcoJews of the Bay this Sunday!

Take advantage of the (normally) mild Bay Area winter weather by going for a hike! This 3.7 mile loop hike will take us over rolling hills through oak woodlands and grasslands in Palo Alto. We welcome participants from all around the Bay Area. This is a free event.

Sunday, December 22nd at 1:30 pm
Pearson-Arastradero Preserve
1530 Arastradero Road, Peninsula – Palo Alto

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IL: ECOmmunity at Chicago Theological Seminary

Check out ECOmmunity, a new multifaith educational and social justice initiative at Chicago Theological Seminary. Jews, Christians and Muslims study together in a 2-year professionally oriented Master of Arts program, with concentrations in Interreligious Engagement or Social Transformation.
Scholarships and cash stipends available.

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