the merger of Hazon and Pearlstone
In late 2021, the Pearlstone and Hazon boards of directors approved the merger of our two organizations. Since then, the staff and boards have been working to develop a new strategic framework that strengthens our transformational work in Jewish environmental education, climate action, and immersive retreats. Over the last 18 months, it became clear that, in some ways, we were building something entirely new to respond to the inflection point in American Jewish life in which we find ourselves.
In response to this moment in history, I am thrilled to share our new name: Adamah
This word, adamah (ah-dah-mah), is the Hebrew word for earth, and contains within it the word adam (ah-dahm), meaning person; a powerful expression of the unity and spirit that motivates our work.
At Adamah, we cultivate vibrant Jewish life in deep connection with the earth. Every day, we inspire and empower people to feel that connection, activate Jewish identity, build inclusive community, and work towards a more sustainable future.
At our Core Campuses at Pearlstone in Maryland and Isabella Freedman in Connecticut, at our Community Impact Hub in Detroit (and new hubs opening in SoCal and elsewhere in 2023), and in countless Jewish communities throughout North America, Adamah will continue to engage and inspire tens of thousands each year. I encourage you to visit our new website, adamah.org, to learn more.
We are so excited to welcome you to our next phase of growth.
Jakir Manela, CEO
About Our Name and Logo
Adamah is the Hebrew word for earth, planet, or ground. It also contains the Hebrew word adam, meaning human. As a name, Adamah signals that we are the Jewish connection between people and planet. Our new name also reflects an elevation of the scale and potential of our work, serving as a strong global Jewish voice with investors, leaders, and partners, including other faith partners.
The Sunflower’s cluster is a spiral fractal oriented according to the “golden ratio,” the pattern underlying what we find beautiful in art, music, and nature itself. The fractal’s radiating petals call to mind the passion for life and sustainability which drives us here at Adamah.
For two decades, both Hazon and Pearlstone have been leaders in linking environmental stewardship and sustainability to the North American Jewish community, lifting up the essential questions of how the Jewish community can and should respond to the spiritual, communal and planetary challenges of today. The merger is an amplification of the field of Jewish Outdoor Food, Farming & Environmental Education, bringing strategy, discipline and experience, and creating an organization poised to respond at the pace and scale this moment demands and deserves. The elements of what makes life vibrant and creative- and informed with a justice lens- are reflected in our immersive retreats, Jewish educational programs, and sustainability efforts.
Moments of transition create an opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture of our work. As an organization, we are focused on three pillars of work – immersive retreats, powerful nature-connected Jewish education, and climate action, all working within the framework of strategic partnerships. (It makes a great acronym- REAP- Retreats, Education, Action, and Partnerships…harvesting the best of our movement to make an impact!)
We operate two Core Impact Campuses: Pearlstone in Reisterstown, Maryland and Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut. Both campuses feature beautiful retreat centers with farm-to-table kosher food, farming experiences, holiday celebrations and educational programs. Our Adamah retreats will continue in both locations.
We have a Core Impact Hub in Detroit, and will be opening a Core Impact Hub in SoCal in 2023.
Our signature programs for young adults, including the Adamah Farm Fellowship and the Teva Educator Experience (and Teva for Jewish day schools) will continue to bring the best and brightest talent and potential to this field and beyond. Pearlstone’s programs, including Adventure Camp (day & overnight), Family Farm Camp, Farm & Forest School, and JFAM Family Camps will all continue as well.
Adamah’s new national board of directors includes equal representation and leadership from both legacy organizations. Advisory Boards have been established to oversee major program areas, including Pearlstone and Isabella Freedman.
Jakir Manela is the CEO of Adamah, having been the CEO of both legacy organizations since late 2021. Adamah staff work from across the country, with large cohorts in Balitmore, Connecticut, New York, and Detroit.
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