Archive for the 'Neat Projects' Category

Support The Creation of a Community Olive Oil Press in Berkeley

California is  ideal for olive growing, though the potential for making olive oil is not being reached by the community due to the cost and labor involved.  Andy Dale has decided to take matters into his own hands by using to raise the money needed to create a community olive oil press.  With olive trees already growing, the idea is that people will be able to put the fruit to use in creating natural, local, fresh olive oil.  Dale has calculated that with the oil press charging either a fee or a percentage of olive oil, it will be able to sustain itself and even grow, eventually becoming a fixture in the Bay Area community.

Hands That Feed – A Film About Haiti’s Agricultural Crisis

A new film is being produced on Haiti’s crisis, its roots and its future.  Hands That Feed has made a short intro video about their project in order to try to raise the necessary funding for the film’s production.  The film will explore questions about what the real problems facing Haiti are, and from the video it’s clear that the recent earthquake was simply an exacerbation of pre-existing problems.

ROI Gives Jewish Environmentalists Tools to Make Mark

Originally published by The Jerusalem Post, written by Ehud Zion Waldoks

Israeli agricultural technology is among the best in the world, and Manuela Zoninsein, 28, would like to help introduce it to China.

Zoninsein was in Ramat Gan last week to attend the fifth annual conference of ROI, which encourages young Jewish entrepreneurs from around the world. She sat down with The Jerusalem Post to explain her idea.

Hazon CSA Site Spotlight! Father/Daughter photo exhibit

In 2008 Maya and Zach Kassutto embarked on a father-daughter photo-documentary project of their Hazon Community Supported Agriculure project at Kol Ami in Elkins Park, PA.

As Zach says, it was Mayas bat mitzvah year, and she wanted to engage in a mitzvah project that was meaningful to her. Her bat mitzvah coincided with the harvest holiday of Succoth. Photographing the CSA seemed like the perfect project, especially since she also has a passion for vegetarianism, the environment and photography.

Progress in Cleveland at Gan haOr

Ellen Botnick shared the following photos with us from the Cleveland garden. Things are looking beautiful since last we posted. Check out that old story here and click below the jump for some more lovely photos.

Students on the rise: “lets get CoFed”

Yoni Landau inspired by the Hazon Food Conference and as a result is putting together a training in Northern California for students to take their campus food movements to the next level and then implement a sustainable, student-run business model to act as a hub. The organization is called the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFed). Thanks, Yoni, for sharing your work and your thoughts with the Hazon family!

Think of the last time you saw something that pissed you off enough to do something amazing about it. Maybe it was a long grocery line or a bumper sticker for the Tea Party, or maybe it takes a humanitarian crisis like Haiti to really get your adrenaline going.

For me, it was orange chicken.

A garden grows in Cleveland


Check out this Cleveland Jewish News article about the new community garden just starting out at Beth El Congregation in Akron. Ellen Botnick and her friends were, in part, inspired by their connection to Hazon on the Israel Food Tour that we cosponsored with Heschel last Novemeber.  As Ellen says “Food connects us to the earth, to each other, and to something much larger than ourselves. We are building community through this garden.”

Mazal tov to the Joshua Venture Fellows!

The recent Joshua Venture Dual Investment Program Applications for 2010 were a wonderful example of Hazon’s impact in the Jewish community. Two of the newly appointed Fellows are directors of the two organizations in which Hazon is a fiscal sponsor:  Nati Passow of the Jewish Farm School and Zelig Golden of Wilderness Torah. A third Fellow is our friend, Eli Winkelman, the founder of Challah for Hunger, which Hazon helped grow when it was part of our food program in 2008-2009.

Ethical Kosher meat on Marketplace


Many of you may have missed this story on Marketplace about KOL Foods during your Passover celebrations. You can learn more about ethical kosher meat in general here on JCarrot, and more about our friend Devora Kimelman-Block’s unique partnership with a halal meat producer. Thanks to Ari Daniel Shapiro, an alumnus of Hazon’s New York Ride and an independent radio producer, for sharing this story with us. Check out more of Ari’s stories here.

To hear the Marketplace story “Unlikely duo teams up for kosher, halal” click here.

A Locavore’s Tool

The foodHub Image

Zachary Agopian is a chef in Portland, OR and an intern working with an exciting project called Food-Hub: This project promotes the use of local foods by directly connecting local farmers and ranchers with local buyers. Thanks, Zachary, for sharing this project with us!

If you’re like me you’re always on the prowl for the freshest ingredients to nourish your body. Now, this may involve an assortment of ridiculous activities; from a full inspection of your milk aisle for the freshest carton, or the heated family “discussion” over your highly guarded mushroom foraging stash. My personal favorite, over-dosing on peaches until you can’t stand the sight of one until next summer, as to not give-in to the temptation, in the long winter months, of a well traveled piece of fruit.

Volunteering is as easy as pie

philly 1

Thanks to Danielle Selber for sharing her thoughts about her experiences volunteering with Birthright Israel NEXT’s Harvest to Harvest campaign!

I love to cook. If you’re looking for me, you can usually find me in the kitchen, stirring away at homemade tomato sauce or a big pot of soup, adding ingredients that don’t quite match just for the thrill of it. I often serve Shabbat dinner for twenty, and I really like chopping all those onions. I bake cookies for my Hebrew school students regularly (to the chagrin of their parents), and my boss has nicknamed me “Kugels Lebowski” for my uncanny ability to make a festive kugel for any random occasion. For my last birthday, I received six cookbooks.

ten plagues

Thanks to Rabbi Eliav Bock, Director of Ramah Outdoor Adventure (Ramah Outdoors) for sharing these thoughts related to Passover, his community in Colorado and the work of the Jewish Food Movement. Read on for his Ten Plagues Facing Our Modern Way of Eating and Relating to Food and the complimentary Dayenu that you can adapt for your own seders…

It is the month of Nissan and spring is in the air. If I was living on a farm here in Colorado, I would be plowing the fields, spreading manure, and getting ready to plant our first spring vegetables. Sadly I do not live in such close proximity with the land. Instead, I live in a house in Metro Denver and would not be able to fit a tractor through the door that leads to my back yard.

No, this time of year is a time when many of us living urban lives do not even stop and appreciate the effort that farmers throughout the country and throughout the northern hemisphere are making to ensure that we in America have delicious food to eat. (In a future post, I will write about the farmer with whom we are contracting to bring fresh local food to camp. She did spend last week preparing her fields. But more on that in a week or two. . . .)

Resources and Action on school lunches

A couple of times when I was a kid I was able to convince my parents to buy me a school lunch. I still remember the feeling of independence I had when I got those bills from my Mom and Dad, and the amazing taste of that beef taco. That’s right – a public school beef and cheese taco. With iceberg lettuce. A trayf-er thing I cannot remember eating…

How does our garden grow?

Pizza Bed smaller

Thanks to Bobbi Rubinstein for sharing this update about the garden at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, CA. Bobbi is a publicist, journalist and green activist. She’s chair of the Valley Beth Shalom Green Team and co-founder of Netiya: The Los Angeles Jewish Coalition on Food and Environmental Justice Issues.

I am excited to share some news with the Hazon kehillah. My shul, Valley Beth Shalom, has broken ground on an urban garden called the Gan Tzedek Initiative. We’re growing food to donate to local food pantries and creating educational opportunities around Torah and environmental study. And perhaps most importantly, we’re building community across all age levels since this is a team effort among all the schools, teachers, parents, administrative staff and clergy.