The Hazon Food Justice Conference
Hazon means ‘vision’ in Hebrew. It sums up the organization which I will highlight in a food justice week planned for next month. It also sums up my friend, Nigel Savage, who had the vision to create such an organization before the topic was on many people’s radar.
Hazon is hosting a Food Conference here on the West Coast. It will be a unique gathering of hopefully 200 professionals, lay leaders, and foodies (their term, but I love it!) to connect, collaborate, and continue to build the New Jewish Food Movement.
It is surprising how much the food justice movement has captivated the activist mind. I think it is because this is work that can be done at home in your own neighborhood and in Africa. It is a movement which is at once local and global, and you can see results quickly.
The conference will be December 23-26, 2010 at Walker Creek Ranch in Sonoma. I am taking a group of students there in the spring for a hands-on green experience for the second time. It is an excellent venue, the staff are simply wonderful, and the food is both healthy and delicious.
Programming at the Hazon conference will include (I’m quoting from the website):
- Exploring the rich tradition of Jewish thought on food, agriculture, and consumption
- Examining the Jewish community’s role to create a socially and economically-just and environmentally-sound food system
- Networking and regional gatherings for farmers, educators, activists, chefs, entrepreneurs, and other groups of people to collaborate and establish action plans
- Celebrating a joyous Shabbat
What else would a Jew want to do over Christmas – other than eating at a local, organic, MSG-free, Chinese restaurant?
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com