At this benefit for Hazon, founder Nigel Savage stated that Hazon is about taking Jewish tradition seriously and eating Jewishly in the 21st century. It is both about the past and the future. Hazon means vision, which is a vision the organization itself embodies.
Hazon "creates healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond." The group runs environmental bike rides in many cities (Bay Area friends: the California Ride is coming up on May 10-13). They sponsor CSAs across the country. Along with The Jewish Daily Forward, they co-sponsor the blog The Jew and the Carrot, covering food issues as they relate to the Jewish world. They have a food conference in December, complete with composting, pickling, and other sustainability and food workshops.
Back to the event...
The food: superb. My menu included smoked duck carpaccio with passion fruit, barley soup with fenugreek and mushrooms, and braised short rib of beef with pomegranate and figs.
The crowd: a diverse group of Jews of all stripes and polka dots, and even some non-Jews, too, including acclaimed Philadelphia chefs Patrick Feury, Terence Feury, Susanna Foo, Jean-Marie Lacroix and Chris Scarduzio.
The message: Create sustainable communities inspired by Judaism.
The speakers: Manageable since we were able to pick at the edible centerpiece featured below.
|Edible centerpiece at Taste of Hazon|
Chana Rothman performed "We Shall Not be Moved," which is one of Stango's favorites. Chana is also a Philadelphian and therefore I hope I will get to hear her perform another time in the near future!
Here is the title song of Chana's newest CD. Though not a Tu B'Shvat song per se, I pointed out to Chana (naturally, the rock star in me of course will seek out the musician after the show if possible) that it has a clear message for Tu B'Shvat.
Listen carefully and you will see why:
Thoughts from benefit honoree Mark Dornstreich, proprietor of Branch Creek Farm and a 1970s pioneer in Pennsylvania in organic farming included the following inspiration:
"Sweat. Art. Food. Family. Sharing. Bonding and the continuity of your life's work and the people that are part of your being.:
At the end of the evening, Savage quoted the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach:
"I bless you and me and all of us."