Archive for the 'Women' Category

Hazon’s Food Programs Featured on Civil Eats Blog

Check out this post about the Jewish Food Movement on Civil Eats. It is great to learn about the Food Movement from two of Hazon’s core characters – Judith Belasco, Hazon’s director of food programs and Sue Carson, one of Hazon’s key lay-leaders in the food movement. Sue co-chaired the 2008 Hazon Food Conference and helped start a Hazon CSA program at her synagogue in Merion Station. The article includes these reflections from Sue about her experiences at the Conference:

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.”

My White House Reflections


Sam Kass, White House assistant chef and Food Initiative Coordinator, wore a green tie – it was appropriate since the meeting was on St. Patrick’s Day. Twenty-eight community and faith-based organizations (CFBO) from around the country, including Hazon represented by yours truly, had gathered for a one-day meeting to discuss First Lady Michelle Obama’s ambitious initiative, Let’s Move, to combat childhood obesity in one generation. Kass and Jocelyn Frye, the First Lady’s Policy Director started the day by talking about the meaningful role that faith-based organizations play in their communities. The White House is seeking a comprehensive strategy to tackle the dual problem of hunger and obesity and they see faith-based organizations as uniquely positioned to do this work by allowing children to connect body, mind and spirit. Kass spoke of the need for simple ways for people to transform their lives and to then become leaders for others to make healthy changes, too.

Hazon Invited to White House for Let’s Move Initiative

White House

Hazon has been invited to join a group of Faith-based and Community organizations to support Michelle Obama’s recently launched Let’s Move campaign. The meeting in DC tomorrow will provide organizations with tools and information to help combat childhood obesity in their communities. Judith Belasco, Director of Food Programs, is headed to the Capitol to represent Hazon!

According to Judith, “Hazon is always looking to expand our support of healthier lifestyles as meaningfully as we can. Already North America’s largest faith-based supporter of CSA‘s, we provide healthy living education through our Jewish Food Education Network (JFEN) and annual Food Conference. We look forward to engaging the Jewish community and beyond in support of Let’s Move.”

According to Joshua DuBois, White House Director of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Parnerships, The Let’s Move campaign will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that builds on effective strategies, and mobilizes public and private sector resources. Let’s Move will engage every sector impacting the health of children to achieve this national goal, and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.

One NJG Farmer

Meet Rachel Tali Kaplan, a young Jewish woman who is farming organically on 2 acres in Georgia. Warm, funny and intelligent, Rachel explores the challenges of farming, her passion for feeding people, and the importance of sustainable agriculture in today’s world. Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson shared this short film with us:

You’re A What? from Anthony-Masterson on Vimeo.

Mudcakes After Earthquakes. Malnutrition in Haiti Worsens.

Mudcakes in Haiti

Cross-posted on From the Groundthe blog of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Just over a month after the earthquake, conditions for Haitians remain dire even as relief work, recovery and reconstruction efforts begin. Starvation and malnutrition persist in ways unimaginable. The situation is so bad that the country’s poorest people have been subsisting on mudcakes or gato te in Creole. Made with a little salt, margarine and dried yellow mud from the country’s central plateau, the cakes are baked in the sun and are a major income generator in Cite Soleil. How awful. Check out this article.

Combating Food Deserts in Louisville, Kentucky


Thanks to Rachael Don for this guest post! Rachael is a Registered Dietitian in training and co-editor of the Jess Schwartz Jewish Community Day School’s Hazon CSA newsletter in Scottsdale, AZ.  A former healthcare administrator, she holds an MBA and a Masters in Health Services Administration. When she’s not cooking organic vegetables, Rachael is caring for her three young sons and husband, David in Phoenix, AZ. She shares these thoughts with the readers of that newsletter and all of you!

Happy Rosh Chodesh Adar!

Thanks so much to Rachel Kriger for this terrific meditation on the month of Adar.  Rachel was raised on organic food and in Jewish dayschool. After college, in the Adamah fellowship, she was able to merge her love of small scale farming and Judaism, and she became the farm manager for the following year.  The Calendar Garden at Kayam farm at Pearlstone, is a place to cultivate plants and their connection to seasons, Jewish wisdom and body awareness. Please feel free to join this Rosh Chodesh group in the garden each month.


Brain Food: Jewish Educators at Hazon’s Food Conference

HazonFood2010_dgartner_img_7015Check out this amazing article about our first ever Jewish Food Education Network  pre-conference track from Hazon’s supporters at The Covenant Foundation.

This year The Covenant Foundation made it possible for all members of our Jewish Food Education Network, JFEN, to attend the entire Food Conference, including a special pre-conference track designed specifically for those involved and  interested in the field of Jewish Food Education.

“I feel really positive about the energy and engagement here,” said [star educator Vicky] Kelman, who presented a session on the centrality of family mealtime in Jewish culture and consciousness. “There is tremendous commitment and passion around JFEN and Jewish food education.

Solutions to Global Hunger: From Seed Banks to Market Gardening to Crop Rotation


Today’s New York Times features several letters to the editor in response toExperts Worry About Feeding the World as Its Population Grows, an article published on October 22. The letter writers call attention to several issues: the political realities that perpetuate global food insecurity; the relationship between access to contraception and reduced food demand; and a desire for integrated farming strategies that combine conventional farming practices with agro-ecological approaches. What the letters do not include, however, are examples of grassroots organizations that are implementing many of the creative solutions the authors are seeking.

Nursing Tales

When my children got their first teeth, I was literally torn. I shuddered at the thought of nursing with their pearly whites, but was reluctant to stop dispensing the benefits of breast milk. Like Little Miss Muffet’s spider, my fears frightened me away and I yielded to weaning – in hindsight perhaps a little sooner than I wished.

My children are now 4 and 18 months and my breastfeeding days are behind me, but I still long for the days when I held my children while nursing them and the satisfaction of being able to provide for them completely. For me, it felt like the most intimate form of local farming.

Who Invited Julia Child to Rosh Hashanah?

I did!

I love to host the holidays. Nothing gives me more pleasure than planning, marketing, preparing, and entertaining for these special times, and I have established a tradition of going a little over the top for the occasion.

I also loved the books Julie and Julia as well as My Life in France. Both inspired me to swipe my mom’s old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and happily start practicing. That was 2 or 3 years ago, and my appetite was rewet when I heard the film was coming out this summer. It inspired me to begin planning Le Marais, or an all Julia Child tribute to Rosh Hashanah.

Is Cooking a Jewish Issue?

Julia Child

Is it bad that home cooking is on the decline? Should we accept the advice of Harry Balzer, the food-marketing analyst Michael Pollan quotes in his disturbing piece in yesterday’s NY Times Magazine: “A hundred years ago, chicken for dinner meant going out and catching, killing, plucking and gutting a chicken. Do you know anybody who still does that? It would be considered crazy! Well, that’s exactly how cooking will seem to your grandchildren: something people used to do when they had no other choice. Get over it.” Personally, like Pollan, I don’t like that we are moving from a nation that prefers to watch cooking on television as a spectator sport than to do it ourselves.  But why do I have such a visceral reaction to being reduced to a cultural dinosaur? Maybe it’s partly because living a Jewish life in the 21st century is as much a creative and meaningful “anachronism” as cooking meals at home.

Not-So-Sweet Cookie Story

This is the final installment of a three part series. Click here to learn how to win her new book There Shall Be No Needy.


In my childhood, Shabbat never felt complete without Stella D’Oro cookies. For the uninitiated, these are dry cookies whose chief (or only) advantage is that they are parve (dairy free) and therefore can be eaten for dessert after a meat meal. I was especially partial to the Swiss Fudge flavor, which featured a dollop of chewy fudge in the middle of an otherwise-bland cookie if you nibbled away the outside first, you could enjoy a few bites of pure fudge at the end.

I have since stopped eating meat and have learned to bake, thereby eliminating the need for parve supermarket cookies, but still have a soft place in my heart for Stella D’Oro. I was therefore upset to hear recently that workers at the cookie-maker’s Bronx factory went on strike this past summer, and even more upset that this strike has attracted (as far as I can tell) virtually no notice in the Jewish community.

In 2006, Brynwood Partners bought Stella D’Oro from Kraft Foods. As soon as the contract of the existing 136 workers ran out in the summer of 2008, the new management demanded that the workers accept pay cuts of up to 26% and begin contributing to their health insurance plan. The workers scheduled to bear the brunt of this pay cut would be the women who package the cookies. (Brynwood has classified certain jobs – mostly those held by men as “skilled”
and subject to smaller paycuts) The workers walked out in August.