[Newsletters] November 17 – Talking turkey

Talking turkey


By Nigel Savage, Executive Director, Hazon

New York

November 17th / 20th Cheshvan

Dear All,

This is the period of giving thanks.

Thank you: to all the people who commented on (and re-circulated) the piece I wrote last week on Federations. There are various comments on our website, and also on Facebook and elsewhere. We welcome your further feedback.

Thank you: to the 17 participants in our second Israel Sustainable Food Tour, and to our partners on that tour at The Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership. We’re really psyched to be playing a role not only in developing more sustainable food systems in the US, but also in directly and indirectly both learning from and supporting some of the amazing work that’s starting to happen in Israel. You can see photos here. (And if you’re looking for an interesting Thanksgiving or Chanukah gift for someone – check out Negev Nectars.)

Thank you: to the 81 participants who successfully and safely completed our 11th Israel Ride, and to our partners at the Arava Institute for Environmental StudiesPhotos are posted here. A special shout-out to Terry Steen, who did the ride for his 70th birthday: nach hundert-zwanzig…

Thank you: to our good friend, chef Michael Solomonov. 13 months ago he donated his services to cater an incredible farm-to-table feast at the Dornstreichs’ farm, in Bucks County, PA. In the year since then, he contributed to the White House seder; was featured in the New York Times; won a James Beard award; and most recently was named to the Forward 50. On February 7th, he’s going to be the chef at our Tu B’Shvat Seder at the National Museum of American Jewish History honoring Marc Aronchick and Mark & Judy Dornstreich. Save the date!

Photo: And thank you to my dear friend, Rabbi Marc Soloway, who wrote a trenchant piece on Thanskgiving and turkeys, and gave us permission to republish it. Marc’s an alum of our rides, the co-chair of our last two Food Conferences, and he’s written a fascinating piece: it starts gently, and then packs a considerable punch. We’ve put it up on our website, and I warmly encourage you to read it. Here it is. Enjoy.

Finally: this is the week of parshat hayei sarah. It is such an amazing parsha. It reminds me of hiking with Bedouin guides in southern Sinai, and seeing what a biblical landscape – no electricity, no light pollution, no roads – really feels like; raw and spare and beautiful. It’s the parsha of “lasuach ba’sadeh” (Genesis 25:63), two words that partly launched the Jewish meditation movement. And it’s the week of Ketura: Avraham’s third wife (though a midrash says that it was Hagar, returned in a new name). Last Sunday our riders rode from Mitzpeh Ramon to the eponymous Kibbutz Ketura; this Shabbat morning, by kibbutz tradition, all of the services in shul will be led by members who were born on the kibbutz. An ancient name is reborn, in a place that’s now home not only to the kibbutz members but also to Israel’s largest solar power company (Arava Power) and to the Israeli Jews, Israeli Palestinians, Palestinians and Jordanians who together live and learn at AIES.

Shabbat shalom: may this be a week and season of health and gratitude.


P.S. If you want to read a really beautiful reflection on the parsha, check out Rabbi Mishael Zion’s phenomenal new blog.

Nigel Savage, originally from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in 2000 by riding his recumbent bike across the US. He worked previously in the English equivalent of Wall Street, and was a founder of the New Israel Fund in the UK. He studied at Pardes, Yakar and Hebrew University. In 2008, he was listed in the Forward 50, the Forward’s annual list of America’s 50 most influential Jews.

Turkey Talk

By Rabbi Marc Soloway

[IMG Photo Alt]I was not brought up with Thanksgiving. Guy Fawkes night on November 5th, with bonfires and fireworks, yes, but Thanksgiving, no. In fact my first exposure to this very American holiday was when I was in Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where a group of American students enjoyed the opportunity to invite a Hungarian, South African and an Englishman (that would be me) to their festive gathering. There was a politically correct and insightful reenactment of the story with puppets, rituals of gratitude and, of course, great food! As a vegetarian who occasionally indulged in chicken or turkey, but strictly no red meat, I really relished this almost religiously required ritual of ripping into a turkey. It was so delicious. In Hebrew, there is even a pun to increase the force of the obligation: hodu means both ‘give thanks’ and turkey! That joyful gathering in Jerusalem was not my last turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.

Continue Reading…

Blogged: Arava Institute and Hazon

Israel Ride

Day to Day with Yoram Rubin

[IMG Photo Alt]Yoram Rubin has been kind enough to share some of his day to day challenges and experiences with us as well as photos from his ride. Let him take you from packing, to breaking his personal cycling records, to Shabbat, and all the sights along the way.

Continue Reading…

A View from the Seat

[IMG Photo Alt]Elahn Zetlin has put together a few great videos of highlights from his ride from Jerusalem to Eilat on the Arava Institute and Hazon Israel Ride. Seeing the ride from his perspective makes these videos really unique. Elahn’s camera is most often attached to his helmet and handlebars, giving you a real view from the road.

Continue Reading…

California Ride & Retreat

3 Days, 2 Wheels, 1 Community

May 10-13, 2012

Sonoma County to San Francisco

“Riding my bike from Sonoma County, home to my apartment in SF was incredible. And being able to share the experience with my friends and family in such a well supported community was even better!”

2011 California Ride Participant

*** Prices increase December 15th. Register today! ***

More Information

Hazon Cross-USA Ride

[IMG Photo Alt]Registration for 1, 2, and

3-Week Segments Now Open

June 7, 2012 – August 16, 2012

Seattle, WA to Washington, DC

Registration for segments of the Cross-USA Ride is now open! We’re offering options for traveling for one, two, and three weeks of the trip. The full Ride is scheduled for June 7 through August 16, 2012.

Grab Life by the Handlebars!

  • 72 days, 3600 miles, 70 miles per day
  • Transportation of gear and luggage
  • Meals are included
  • Teaching, learning, and service opportunities

Segments Registration | More Information


Greening Seminar: Bringing Fresh and Local Food to Your Community

For professionals or lay leaders who are involved in agency or synagogue gardening, CSA’s or greenmarkets or who would like to begin programs of this nature.

Monday, November 21, 2011, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

UJA-Federation of New York, Room 706-808

130 East 59th Street (between Park and Lexington avenues)

New York, NY

Free, Light breakfast served from 9:00 to 9:30 AM

Your organization or synagogue can begin to prepare for next summer NOW. Come learn from experts about how to create a number of different kinds of food programs that address climate change, build community and local economy, and help people eat more healthfully.

Presenters include:

  • Judith Belasco, Director of Food Programs, Hazon
  • Marti Michael, Executive Director, Riverdale YM-YWHA
  • Nati Passow, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Jewish Farm School
  • Eric Shulmiller, Cantor, Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore
  • Tom Strumolo, Director of Planning and Policy, Greenmarket, GrowNYC

Seating is limited, so register early.

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Shine: Wilderness Torah’s First Annual Celebration of Light & Giving

A program of Hazon’s friends

Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 6:30-10:00 PM

The David Brower Center Gallery

2150 Allston Way (between Shattuck Ave. and Oxford St.)

Berkeley, CA

Join Wilderness Torah for Shine: Wilderness Torah’s First Annual Celebration of Light and Giving on Tuesday, December 13th at the David Brower Center in Downtown Berkeley. Enjoy live music with Eliyahu Sills and friends, a delicious, local, organic dinner, latke bar, olive oil tastings paired with Hagafen wine, and of course, chocolate gelt. Connect with friends, new and old, and help support our work to reconnect Judaism to the cycles of nature and the cycles of our lives!

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Urban Adamah Now Accepting 2012 Applications

Three Months that Will Change The Rest Your Life!

[IMG Photo Alt]A program of Hazon’s friends

Join other passionate young adults in their 20s for a 3 month residential, leadership-training program in Berkeley, CA that integrates

  • Urban Organic Farming
  • Social Justice Work
  • Progressive Jewish Living & Learning

We are now accepting applications for the upcomig 2012 Spring and Summer Fellowships!

What’s Growing this Summer? YOU ARE!

More Information

Urban Adamah is also currently hiring a Farm Manager.

Festival of Lights
at the Osher Marin JCC

co-sponsored by Hazon

[IMG Photo Alt]Sunday, December 11, 2011

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

200 N. San Pedro Rd.

San Rafael, CA

Join as we celebrate Hanukkah at the Festival of Lights at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center on Sunday, December 11 from 12-3 PM with over a dozen other Jewish organizations! The event is free and open to the public. Enjoy live music, arts & crafts, family events, delicious catered holiday treats, a local artisan marketplace, and much more!

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