CEO Column

March Update

Dear Friends, More and more, we talk – and worry – about social inequality, climate change, authoritarian rule – and can we make meaningful change? Yes, in many ways, the bad ‘system is rigged.’ But can we rig a good system, too?  Yes, but it requires more than talk and worry – it requires action. …

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays! Long ago, someone said, “Do something with your life that’s beautiful and will last.” That sentiment stuck with me, and I suspect you can relate to it too. Is there anything more beautiful and lasting than helping others? Especially when “helping” means empowering families and communities – even tough ones – to be …

Happy Thanksgiving

  Dear Friend, The Dalai Lama once said, “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” That is both metaphor and real for us at Isles. Through community and school gardens, over 1,000 culturally diverse families and students grow tens of thousands of pounds of fresh food – and deep …

Isles' Paper Published in Federal Reserve

Why do we pay so much attention to child lead poisoning? For starters, thousands (up to half) the kids in Trenton and older suburbs can be affected by it. Research is increasingly clear – even at low levels, lead impacts IQ, behavior, and other health factors. With all the talk of and investment in education …

2018 Annual Report

As chaos swirls at the national level, I remain hopeful knowing there are thoughtful, hardworking people who partner with Isles to tackle tough challenges, build community, and make a difference. Your support makes this possible. This year’s Annual Report shows our work in action. Take, for example, the over 300 gardeners who make up Isles …

Why Does Isles Do this Work, this Way?

Dear Friends, People ask, “Why does Isles do this work, this way?” Well, over 37(!) years ago, we wanted to find better ways to strengthen communities and restore the environment at the local, “isles” level. Since then, we’ve searched and tested the best, affordable pathways to our mission: self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities. After …

Letter to the Editor: The challenge of lead in NJ

A recent cover article on NJBIZ highlights the challenge of lead in our water in NJ. The problem is, 80% of the lead in kids’ bloodstreams comes from lead in dust, not water. My letter to the editor in response: “Too many people think that the lead problem was solved decades ago, but a 2015 …

Book Review: Building on Bedrock

Today, my Princeton colleague Derek Lidow’s book on entrepreneurship, Building on Bedrock, was released. It’s worth the read! Here’s my review: “Finally, the truth about entrepreneurship. Derek Lidow methodically and entertainingly debunks the popular myths and magical thinking around successful entrepreneurs. If you think they need to take big risks, raise large amounts of money, …

December 2017

It’s the holidays, and we strive to maintain our gratitude and deep appreciation for the season. But in the face of this mean-spirited Tax Bill, we could use a little help in planning for the year-end and New Year. Many expect it to bring far-reaching impacts that we still don’t understand, including $20B in reduced …

2017 End of Year Update

These are crazy times. I could start by detailing the threats to our communities and the impact of proposed federal funding cuts on our work, but that’s not my message today.  Isles’ mission of fostering self-reliant families and healthy communities matters deeply, in good and challenging times. The way we achieve that mission – by …