December 13th 2012 / 5th day of Chanukah 5773
Since our beginning in 2000, Hazon has worked to use a range of new modalities – the outdoors, food, the environment – to renew Jewish life and to create a better world for all. Mini-grants from our Rides help to raise money and awareness — we’ve given away over $2 million since 2000. Our annual Hazon Food Conference (seephotos from our most recent conference) helps us do this by networking and supporting people who are doing great work all over the country. And our merger with the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center — which we announced last week to very positive reviews from across the Jewish community – will enable us to grow our impact and reach.
And we’re now thrilled to announce that we’re working with the Jim Joseph Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, and Rose Community Foundation of Denver, to conduct research exploring how participation in immersive Jewish food, environmental, and outdoor education programs influences individuals’ Jewish growth and leads to increased Jewish involvement.
This project is the first of its kind in our field, and is exciting in that it gives us the opportunity to identify and document, in a real way, a/ what is going on in the movement and b/ the impact that Jewish food, outdoor and environmental education is having on individuals and communities. The widest goal is to provide actionable recommendations to the Jewish philanthropic community about how to use this work to strengthen Jewish life in America over the next ten years and beyond – and to help the Jewish community play a serious role in creating a more sustainable world for all.
We encourage you to learn more about the research project, and also in due course to be in touch; over the next few months we’ll be reaching out in different ways to gather information. We’ll particularly be interested in learning about what events or experiences have changed your life; how you first heard about those experiences; what consequences they have had in your life; and what you, or your institution, need for you to grow and flourish in the future. If you have thoughts or ideas, please be in touch. (We’re opening up a new mailbox – firstname.lastname@example.org – and if you have ideas, suggestions, experiences or questions that you want to share, please feel free to start to send them there. But let me add: we’re in the final stages of selecting an external research house to work with; we’ll follow-up in 2013 with more information on what’s happening.)
Finally: thank you to the many of you – individuals, foundations and federations – who have given us donations or new grants in the last few weeks. It’s the end of the year; we are doing good and important work; if you feel inclined to support us, it would be a great mitzvah. Click here to make a donation…
Wishing you a happy Hanukkah, a merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy, peaceful and sustainable new year,
Executive Director, Hazon