The boards of Hazon and the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center have announced the anticipated merger of the two organizations. Both are rooted in the New York area; have national impact; are known for providing transformative experiences; and in particular play a leading role in the Jewish Food and Jewish Environmental Movements.
David Weisberg, currently the Executive Director of Isabella Freedman, will become CEO and Nigel Savage, the founder of Hazon, will become President of the new organization.
The merged organization is also expected to include the Teva Learning Alliance, which began in association with Isabella Freedman in the 1990s, but which until now has formally been a program of Surprise Lake Camp.
The new group will be called Hazon, will be headquartered at Falls Village, CT and New York City, and will have offices in California and Colorado. The retreat center will continue to be known as Isabella Freedman, which will be one of several “sub-brands” that are intended to grow in the future, including Adamah (the Jewish farming program), Elat Chayyim (spirituality-based retreats), the Jew & the Carrot (the Jewish Food Movement blog), the Jewish Greening Fellowship (leadership and organizational transformation), Makom Hadash (supporting second-stage non-profits), Shmita Project (a multi-organization partnership to renew awareness of the shmita cycle), Siach (strengthening ties between American, European and Israeli environmental and social justice leaders) and Teva (focusing on environmental education for children and educators).
Merger discussions between the two organizations have been in process since the beginning of the year, and the merger is now contingent only on final due diligence, formal board authorization and the receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals.
Staff from both organizations, who have worked closely together in the past, are already planning the detailed integration of the two organizations.