Dear Isabella Freedman Friends and Family,
I am both excited and delighted to share with you the news of the next step in Isabella Freedman's 120-year evolution, a merger with our long-time thought partner, Hazon.
This major step forward is, in some ways, just another chapter in the century-plus history of an organization that began as the Jewish Working Girls Vacation Society and decade by decade became Camp Lehman for Girls, then Camp Isabella Freedman, and then the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, along the way morphing into a senior adult summer camp and later a year round retreat center, developing the Adamah Jewish farm fellowship program, partnering in developing the Teva Learning Alliance, merging with and preserving the ground-breaking transformational Jewish community of Elat Chayyim, and creating a growing list of innovative Jewish institutes and immersive experiences.
This merger marks a marriage of equal and complementary partners —one of many beautiful marriages that Isabella Freedman will have hosted! The organization will be known as Hazon and will have its principal home at a beautiful Falls Village, Connecticut campus that will continue to be known as Isabella Freedman. I will be honored to serve as the CEO of the merged organization, sharing executive leadership with Hazon's founder and director, Nigel Savage, who will serve as the merged organization's President.
Those things that you know and love about one or both of the current organizations—whether it be the Adamah program or Elat Chayyim experiences or Senior Summer Camp or a Hazon Food Conference or Bike Ride—are all things that the merger will allow us to provide in an even greater manner, as a new organization with tremendous combined resources and capacity.
Simply put, both Isabella Freedman and Hazon have had parallel missions of providing transformational experiences, thought leadership, and capacity building for individuals, organizations, and communities in the Jewish world and beyond; and we are excited about the potential that this marriage gives us to do all of those things in a bigger, better, and more profound way.
The formal merger is not something that will happen tomorrow and you won't suddenly see a fully merged organization in the next week. Instead, we anticipate the legal approval to occur in a matter of weeks (or maybe a few months) with the transition to a fully integrated agency taking several months more.
Most importantly, the merger will allow us to continue to honor our proud history while envisioning an even greater future. I encourage you to read our formal press release regarding the merger, which can be found on our Merger Information page.
Thank you for your support and shared enthusiasm as we build this exciting future together with Hazon.
David I. Weisberg, Executive Director
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center