Skip To Content
Forward 50 2014

Nigel Savage

“If you asked many of our participants and our leaders, ‘Which is more important to you, having a Jewish impact or having an impact in terms of sustainable food systems or the environment?’ people scratch their head and say, ‘Why do I have to choose?’” That’s Nigel Savage talking to the Forward in March about Hazon, the Jewish environmental organization he heads.

A study on Jewish outdoor, food and environmental education had just put numbers on a trend Savage had observed for a while: More and more people participate in such programs, and for many, it’s what keeps them connected to their Jewish heritage.

Savage, 53, who hails from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in New York City in 2000. Since its inception, the organization (now with offices in San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Diego, Denver and Boulder, Colorado) has been a driving force raising Jewish environmental awareness.

In 2014, Hazon’s merger with the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, of which Savage had been a longtime board member, went into effect. The enlarged organization now also includes the Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality, which has been a part of Freedman since 2006, and the Teva Learning Center.

For 5775, Savage, through Hazon, has brought the obscure practice of Shmita — the biblical Sabbatical year — into the 21st century, making it accessible and attractive to Jews of diverse backgrounds. Hazon brought the idea into the wider public eye, because, as its homepage suggests, “[t]he possibilities for social change are thrilling.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.