Member since 2010

Evonne Marzouk

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Growing Torah for Adults and Children in the Orthodox Community: Two Orthodox Environmental Organizations Merge to Maximize Impact

GrowTorah and Canfei Nesharim, two Torah-based environmental non-profit organizations, have merged into one entity, effective Dec. 10, to strengthen their combined efforts and maximize their impact within the Orthodox Jewish community.


Your One Vote Can Make Israel Greener

Recently, I've been more focused on teaching my baby to crawl than the state of the environment in Israel.   But even for us moms living inside the family bubble, there's a world out there that sometimes needs our attention. That's why I am proud to be part of the Green Israel slate for elections of the World Zionist Congress.  If you care about the environment in Israel and have not yet voted in the election, your vote can make a difference in a ...


The Tu b’Shevat After

When you are a Jewish environmentalist taking a break from the Jewish environmental world, you sometimes feel like you're in your own personal exile.  It's self-imposed, of course.  I suspect that I'd be welcomed if I tried to engage myself.  But I also know that I need this time.  (And when I forget, I keep getting reminders.) So I keep reminding myself - and being reminded - to step back.  Step away.  Wait until the time is right. And then ...


Adventures in Being “So Kind”

Register. There it was on my list of pre-baby things to do. I had the feeling that people would want to buy things for us, and I knew they’d be asking if we had a registry. Setting one up seemed like the proper thing to do. It would help everyone know what we needed. But the truth was, we didn’t need all that much. We had saved bags of clothing, toys and other baby gear from our older son. And we live in a generous community ...


Know When to Go

In March 2014, Canfei Nesharim announced that I would conclude my current relationship with the organization. This posting attempts to explain how I came to this momentous decision, and what I’m hoping for in the future. It began in trickles, in private thoughts that I thought I could never share. It began with wondering: where do I want to be in ten years? If I continue the way I’m going, will I end up there? It began with ...


Speaking Out Faithfully: A Green Sheep Webinar from Interfaith Power and Light

On Thursday night, April 24, I had the privilege of participating in the Green Sheep Webinar for the Interfaith Power & Light chapter in my region (DC, MD, NoVA). The theme of the webinar was “Speaking Out, Faithfully,” and -- consistent with our Year of Jewish Policy Engagement on the Environment -- the focus was on raising our voices together as people of faith to make a difference in environmental advocacy. One of the lovely ...


And on Day Eight of Creation, We Advocated for Change…

This year, my attention is on the power of advocacy and the opportunity for us to make a difference, as a Jewish community, in environmental policy. After spending a year with Jewcology and Canfei Nesharim focusing my attention on Jewish learning on the environment, and a second year focusing on action, I’ve come to understand that real change also requires a third piece: joining with others as citizens to make a difference. That is why, this year, ...


Proud to be part of the 6th Annual Pearlstone Beit Midrash!

I am proud to be a presenter and to serve on the Advisory Committee for this conference! I hope to see you there. 6th Annual Beit Midrash Retreat Mar 7-9, 2014 – Pearlstone Center Breishit: A Journey through Creation Join us for an inspirational Shabbaton weekend filled with Jewish learning, communal prayer and groundbreaking thought. Be a part of an intergenerational, pluralistic community of Jewish farmers, rabbis, educators ...


Chanukah and its Wrappings

When I was a kid, my parents gave me Chanukah presents each night. I know that many people don't do it that way. They consider it the height of consumerism to give out eight gifts, one every night. But it's how I grew up and it's precious to me. I'm an only child, and the nights of Chanukah were a special and intimate time with both of my parents. My father would like the Chanukah candles, proud to say the blessing. We would ...


Honoring the Vera Lieber Memorial Garden

My local Orthodox Jewish day school, the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, has been on a green roll. It’s especially inspiring because it doesn’t seem like just one person has been pushing it. It’s more like a group of people slowly came to the same conclusion, that there should be more environmental awareness, and they have all be acting on their own to bring green consciousness to the school and the students. For all of these ...


In Memory of Jonah Meadows Adels

Observing my own year of mourning has made me more attuned to others’ sadness. More attuned to the requests for prayers, to the losses of my friends and neighbors. I’ve been sending more condolence notes and attending more shivas. Noticing the other mourners saying Kaddish. I don’t think it’s really that there is more loss around me; I just think that my antenna is up. It’s also made me more aware ...


Life is like a Silverware Box? A Wish for the New Year

In the month after my mother died, I suddenly looked around at my house and saw certain things that were just unacceptable to me. Things that I felt my mother was being polite about. She rarely judged things in my house; she had come to the conclusion that I had to learn to live my own life. But after she was gone, I found I could no longer live with certain things. I suddenly found my silverware box unbearable. It was the blue ...


How much difference is enough?

Back in the spring, I wrote a blog post saying that I wasn’t trying to save the world right now. As I’ve been pondering how to get back into the work of saving the world, I’ve bumped up against a big problem. If I’m going to try to save the world, I don’t think I can be satisfied until the whole wide world is fixed. I’ve always thought that was virtuous, but now I’m realizing it might simply be a ...


Diary of a (Not Quite So) Young Leader at ROI

From June 9 to June 13, I had the great privilege of participating for the third time in the annual ROI Summit, a gathering of 150 young Jewish innovators from around the world. The ROI Summit is the entry point into the ROI community, an ongoing resource for young Jewish innovators through regular gatherings, professional development opportunities and microgrants. The ROI Community includes nearly 1,000 members in 56 countries, and has already ...


Join the 2013 Battle of the Buildings with ENERGY STAR!

Did you know? According to ENERGY STAR (www.energystar.gov/congregations), most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30% by investing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades and maintenance. It's the perfect program for your congregation to join as part of the Year of Action. With free information and technical support from ENERGY STAR, your synagogue can improve stewardship of your energy and save money which can be ...


Learning to Plant

On Sunday, I planted my first garden. We planted it in a little corner of our back yard, where we hope the sun will be strong enough and the fence will keep out the deer. It's a garden built on hope. I’m not a gardener. When I was a kid, my mother (a teacher) would keep plants on her windowsill all year long, and when they were wilting would give them to a co-worker to nurse them back to health over the summer. She would say things ...


Counting the Omer and Refining Ourselves

During the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot we count the Omer. With its connection to the land, this is also a great time to increase our connection with and commitment to the planet. Here's how it works. Several years ago, Canfei Nesharim created materials to help us make the connection to the environment during the period of counting the Omer. These resources are still fully appropriate for learning today! I encourage you to take a ...


Success on Wind Power in Maryland!

Last year, I got involved in a state level legislative campaign promoting wind power in Maryland. Working with our local Interfaith Power and Light, I had the opportunity to speak in support of this bill at a town hall meeting on November 3, 2011. (See the text of what I said here.) My local Silver Spring Sustainability Circle (Kayamut) also got involved, including sending a Tu b’Shevat card to our representative. Our efforts were successful ...


I’m not trying to save the world right now.

I’m not trying to save the world right now. People who know me well might understand what a dramatic statement that is. I’ve been trying to save the world with my every action for at least the last fifteen years, and perhaps for most of my life. For as long as I can remember I’ve been trying to make a difference. I’ve felt the pressure of making the world a better place. And thank G-d, I’ve been able to offer some things that I do feel have ...


Green Purim Sameach!

The Jewish holiday of Purim (this year celebrated on February 24) is a great time to add an eco-twist to your Jewish practice. The holiday includes sending gifts of food to friends (called "mishloach manot"), creating costumes, giving charity to the poor, and preparing the festive Purim meal. In all of these celebrations, there are many opportunities to conserve precious resources and share environmental education messages with your friends ...