Member since 2010

Evonne Marzouk

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Teach this to Your Children

It’s the end of another Tu b’Shevat season, a busy time for many of us in the Jewish environmental community. Despite all my activity this year, it actually felt relatively tame in comparison to some prior years, where I often led 2-3 seders per year. This year I only led one seder – with my husband and son at my house on Friday night. Leading a Tu b’Shevat Seder for an almost 8-year old and my husband was rather different ...


On the Merits of Interns (and how to care for them)

Canfei Nesharim is seeking a spring intern. You can see the posting here: http://jewcology.jobthread.com/job/intern-silver-spring-md-canfei-nesharim-bb3ee9fa9a/. While the process of acquiring, training and utilizing an intern can be a challenge, I'm a huge fan of interns. Perhaps that's because of the number of successful intern and fellowship experiences I had in my early career. As an unpaid intern I had the opportunity to edit ...


Being Proud: A Reflection at the End of 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to update my personal CV, something I hadn’t done in quite a few years. There really was no excuse for not having done this. Everyone says you are supposed to do it regularly, and in fact there have been several times in the last couple of years when people have asked for my CV just as a way to learn about me. But with my relatively steady and hectic pace of life, I hadn’t made time for it. And it’s ...


Coming to the End of My Generational Box

Dear Jewcology community, So, tomorrow is my birthday. I'm turning 36! I've been having a lot of trepidation about this. A lot of my identity has been tied up in being a "young Jewish leader." Several years ago I was chosen as one of the New York Jewish Week's "36 under 36." So, it's a little scary for me to be "not under 36" anymore. I'm coming to the end of my generational box. In honor of ...


What I Learned from “An Open Letter”

In the midst of Superstorm Sandy, I wrote a blog post entitled "An Open Letter to My Friends Who Are Climate Skeptics." After conversations with several of my friends, I have come to realize that this blog post was not a helpful contribution to the dialogue, and actually may have done more harm than good. I’d like to explain to you why, and what I’ve learned from this experience. In my open letter, I was trying to express ...


Report from the GA: Jewish Environmental Session

On November 13, I had the honor of participating in a Jewish environmental session at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly (JFNA-GA) in Baltimore. The breakout session was called “How to Transform Your Community through Jewish Environmentalism.” It was sponsored by the Green Hevra, the new collaborative network of Jewish environmental organizations in the United States. The Green Hevra had begun conversations about having “a ...


An Open Letter to My Friends Who Are Climate Skeptics

Note: it turns out this blog posting was misguided, and did not achieve what I intended. Here's what I learned from this experience.


Being Enough: Reflections on a Leadership Training

On Thursday, June 14, I had the privilege of leading the Jewcology Public Narrative Training at the Teva Seminar on Jewish Environmental Education. With my amazing team of co-facilitators, we organized a full-day training which taught 12 Jewish environmental leaders to tell their leadership story. Videos from the different parts of the training – including model stories – can be found on Jewcology’s website at http://www.jew...


Kayamut Sustainability Circle June 18, 2012

On June 18, I had the privilege of leading an evening with our Silver Spring Sustainability Circle, focusing on recycling. We were pleased to have a special speaker from the Montgomery County Recycling Program to share with us about their process and about what is recyclable in our neighborhood. I had a new video camera so I took some videos (10 minutes each) of different parts of the evening. I'm learning a lot of lessons about how to use ...


This Blog Post was Inspired by the Internet Asifa

Last Friday, I listened to the Internet Asifa, a rally which – you may have heard – was organized by the Haredi Orthodox community in CitiField on May 20. I first heard about this event, of course, via facebook. There was a particular negative vibe to the posts about this on facebook. I personally saw posts ranging from that this was a “chillul Hashem” (a desecration of G-d’s name) to saying that it was a giant waste of ...


Join the Battle of the Buildings

I worked for ENERGYSTAR for Congregations as an intern more than 10 years ago. Check out this great new opportunity for congregations looking to save money, save energy and be recognized for your efforts! Does your congregation have an efficient building? Or do you have a long way to go? You can find out how you measure up, reduce your energy use, and save a lot of money in the process! - in the ENERGY STAR® National Building ...


Raisins (or, How I Discovered My Inner Foodie)

I don’t usually think of myself as much of a foodie. In order to address some health conditions, I’m on a pretty rigorous diet, which has taken a lot of previously loved foods – tomatoes, bread, ice cream, chocolate – out of the mainstay in my diet. For a long time I thought that I didn’t like food at all: I wished I could simply take a pill and move on with my day. As you can imagine, this has kept me on the ...


Count the Omer with me!

During the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot, we count the Omer, an opportunity to elevate ourselves spiritually and acknowledge the agricultural realities of the land of Israel. The mitzvah is to count each day on its day. An Omer Counter can support you in remembering which days you've counted so far. If you're like me, it goes like this: Every year I plan to count the Omer with an actual ...


Sustainability Includes Being Who We Truly Are

Last week I met an old college friend. We majored in writing together at Johns Hopkins, and hadn’t seen each other in perhaps ten years. She had heard a lot of my Jewish environmental work through the grapevine. What had she been doing? Working in a publishing company, she told me. And my heart gave a little leap of hope and sorrow. Now her publishing company is not the one we both dreamed of, the one where ...


Raising a Jewish Environmentalist?

This past weekend, I attended the Kayam Beit Midrash, an annual event at the Pearlstone Retreat Center in Baltimore. I was proud to attend for the second year with my family – my husband and my beautiful 7-year-old son. We spent the weekend learning about Shemittah, the amazing Jewish mitzvah to let the land rest every seven years. I really appreciate the Kayam Beit Midrash. Through their passions for Jewish learning, farming and agricu...


Mysticism and Making a Difference: Tu b’Shevat in Silver Spring

My local community group, the Kayamut Silver Spring Sustainability Circle, held our Tu b'Shevat Seder on February 7. It was the first time in a long time that I hosted a Tu b'Shevat Seder that was actually on Tu b'Shevat. So I wanted to make it special. Instead of being a mock seder or a model seder, it was a real seder and an opportunity to experience Tu b'Shevat for itself. I know that Tu b'Shevat has mystical meaning in ...


Enjoy the Ride

The other day I took my almost 7 year old son to the dentist. He’s a good sport about dentist visits – it’s amazing what a plastic toy at the end will do for a kid – so we were relaxed and chatting in the car on the way home. Like all kids, he asks a million questions, and like all moms, my job is to respond patiently in a way that helps him understand a little more about the world – while still recognizing the number ...


What was Wrong with the Tarsands Fight

On January 18, after a months-long political battle, President Obama rejected a Canadian firm’s application to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have carried tarsands oil from Canada to Texas. Since the summer, Bill McKibben had organized a tremendous environmental battle against the pipeline. Why this fight? McKibben quoted James Hansen, the government’s premier climate scientist, as saying that this ...


Community is the Missing Piece

In July 2010, I began a local “Sustainability Circle” in my Jewish community in Silver Spring, MD. Unlike any other local initiative I’ve organized, the purpose of this circle was to gather Jews who already care about the environment and give them tools for personal and communal environmental actions. Most of my previous activities were about community education for Jews who weren’t yet convinced about the environment, but after years of this ...


What I Learned from Going Unplugged

From December 25-28, I took four days off work and also, I disconnected myself from facebook, twitter and email. I felt that it wouldn't be a real vacation from work if I was still connected to facebook, twitter or email at all. This might not be the case for everyone, but for me, the virtual world always pulls me back into the stress of work life. Whether it's day or night, vacation or work time, I feel obligated to act on whatever I ...