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Hazon


Abstract

Hazon is a muti-denominational Jewish environmental organization based in New York City. Meaning “vision” in Hebrew, Hazon is committed to developing a fresh vision of what it means to be Jewish in a period in which environmental concerns loom increasingly large. Hazon works to create a mutually beneficial relationship between Judaism and environmentalism, in which Jews become protectors of the environment and Jewish life is simultaneously renewed. Hazon’s programs are designed to bring together Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and secular Jews for activities that combine learning, spiritual practice, and ethical action in a spirit of celebration and fun. (Hazon’s activities are also open to non-Jews.) Hazon uses its proceeds to foster Jewish environmental education and advocacy in Israel and the United States. Through its Jewish Environmental Bike Rides, Hazon seeks to build community and raise environmental awareness among Jews from various backgrounds and age groups, raise money for Jewish environmental initiatives, and promote renewed engagement with Jewish tradition. With a Jerusalem-based organization called Elul, Hazon is creating a learning community in New York called the Hazon Beit Midrash to address the question of what Judaism teaches about proper human-earth relations. The Beit Midrash runs for several weeks and explores the environmental implications of various aspects of Jewish tradition, including biblical stories, brachot (blessings), kashrut (laws governing food preparation and eating practices), Jewish conceptions of land, traditional teachings about rest (Shabbat, shmitta, yovel, peah, and orlah), and contemporary literature. In addition to the Jewish Environmental Bike Rides and the Hazon Elul Beit Midrash project, Hazon is working to launch a number of other projects, such as a joint effort with the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center to create Adamah, a new fellowship program that teaches sustainability and Jewish environmental ethics to young adults.

Religion

Judaism

Geographic Location

United States of America
(New York)

Duration of Project

2000–Present

History

Hazon was founded by Nigel Savage in 2000 as an attempt to forge a new Jewish “vision” grounded in tradition yet fully engaged in the challenges of the present, particularly regarding the environment. Hazon’s first Jewish Environmental Bike Ride attracted twelve riders, who collectively raised $20,000 for Jewish environmental projects. The first New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride was held the following year, with fourty riders. In 2002, 140 riders participated in the New York ride and raised over $120,000. In cooperation with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura, Hazon organized its first Jewish Environmental Bike Ride in Israel in 2003 under the theme, “Cycling in Solidarity for Peace, Partnership and Environmental Protection.” The Hazon Elul Beit Midrash project was launched in 2001.

Mission Statement

"Hazon is committed to fostering a new Jewish vision that is multi-denominational, rooted in the Jewish tradition, focused on the future, and actively engaged in the present. Especially interested in the connections between Judaism and environmentalism, Hazon seeks to raise awareness about environmental issues within the Jewish community and to foster new understandings of the Jewish tradition."

Partner Organizations

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
The Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Elul
The Foundation for Jewish Camping
The JENE Institute
The Shalom Nature Center
The Teva Learning Center.

Hazon is supported by:
Bikkurim: An Incubator for New Jewish Ideas
The Dorot Foundation
The Jewish Outreach Institute
UJA-Federation of New York

Long-Term Goals

None Listed

Bibliography

None Listed

Additional Research Resources

None Listed

Contact Information

Hazon
111 Eighth Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, New York 10011
Ph:        212.284.6812
Fax:       212.284.6838
Email:   (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)