Member since 2010

Evonne Marzouk

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Dream Big

On November 17-18, I had the privilege of participating – with many other young Jewish leaders and ROI community innovators – in the NextGen Charity event in New York City, organized by Ari Teman and team. It was quite an opportunity to hear from some of the most interesting and innovative leaders in the charity field, and of course to meet many people seeking to do the same! NextGen Charity seemed to be “the place to be” for young leaders ...


It’s my birthday!

Today is my 35th birthday! It feels to me like a momentous milestone. Of course, getting older is a joy and a matter of gratitude. Thank G-d we are getting older! And birthdays are a time to reflect, take stock and take the next step. Most of the last ten years of my life has been devoted to a specific project, educating the Jewish community about the importance of protecting our environment. My efforts over the last years have ranged from ...


Networks and the Jewish Environmental Movement

On November 8-10, I traveled to Boulder, CO for a unique post-GA event: the NetWORKS Gathering, organized by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation. According to the organizers, the event brought together "a group of exceptional innovators, activists and network curators pushing the boundaries of the most vibrant organizations, projects and communities comprising Jewish life today." It was an honor to participate and to represent a ...


Is the Answer Blowin’ in the Wind?

On Thursday night, November 3 I had the honor of speaking at a town hall meeting, organized by a coalition of local environmental groups including Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (GWIPL). I presented the faith perspective in a town hall meeting that included faith-based environmental activists, mainstream environmentalists, wind power energy representatives and even the United Steelworks of America! The theme of the meeting was that ...


The apples are finished.

Each year, before Rosh Hashanah, my family goes apple picking. It's a special tradition for each of us. Most of the other families are here to pick a few apples to be dipped in honey. Not us! As my husband likes to say, "we're hard core." When we get to the farm stand, we're here to pick apples. Maybe you’ve been there: You stand in between the trees that seem to go on and on forever. The apples beckon to you. After only 30 minutes, you ...


Kayamut Chickens

Evonne speaks and we get a close-up of the Kayamut chickens, brought to our Sustainability Circle by Sharon Turpie.


Recycling Alone

The environmental movement has not succeeded in protecting the environment. After all the lobbying, all the fundraising, all the laws and corporate partnerships, I would have expected to see more progress. Wouldn’t you? Instead, it seems that the environmental protection is weakening. Resources are being used more rapidly than ever. I hear more, and more heated, arguments against environmental protection than I used to. It ...


On Golden Opportunities

Lexus has a commercial out that was bothering me enough that I ranted to my husband about it. He suggested that perhaps some of that ranting might make for a good blog posting... thus these lines. The commercial talks about all of your missed opportunities - the race you never ran, the ship around the world you never took, the novel you never wrote. And then it poses the one opportunity that you shouldn't miss. The opportunity to - da-dum! - ...


The Tar Sands, Hydro-fracking, and Climate Reality

After the failure of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen 18 months ago, it seemed to me that the environmental movement was taking a long pause, trying to figure out how to engage the American population in the greatest challenge of our time. It seems to me now that this pause has ended, with a flurry of new activity that I’ve seen recently encouraging action on energy and climate change. There are three campaigns that ...


A Sense of Place

Modern American culture doesn’t have much to say about the importance of place. Of course, we have landmarks: the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, to name a few. But what is important about those places is what is there, or what once happened there. It’s not the place itself that claims us. It’s a combination of monument and memory. As Jews we are more likely to have a real sense of what ...


Where the Fruit Comes From

It's humid and in the 90s, the sun is high in the summer sky, and it's time for blueberry picking! We picked ours a couple of weeks ago, on an organic farm not too far from our house. I love picking fruits and berries in the summer, but I find blueberries most enjoyable. Maybe it's the way that the abundance of berries just falls into your hands; maybe it's that the bushes are at arms level. Or maybe it's just that ...


Wanted: Superheroes

In the middle of the night, I heard the sound of running water outside. It was 4:42 am and I was staying in a beach house on the South Jersey shore. At first, I thought it must be the sound of an air conditioner, or a toilet running, or a drainpipe filtering some rain. But the sound went on. Running water - wasting water - drives me crazy (so much waste and so many without water all around the world), so I dressed quickly and crept outside ...


Mikveh recycling!

Check out this post: An article about mikveh recycling on Ynet. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4026366,00.html Thanks to Aaron Day Nitkin for sharing this.


Try, Try Again

This Thursday, I had the absolute privilege of co-facilitating the second Jewcology leadership training, which took place at the Teva Seminar on June 2. Following the first leadership training at the Kayam Beit Midrash on March 14, we took participant feedback (both positive and negative) and went to work. Taking the basic framework (learning how to tell your story of self, story of us, and story of action now), we added Jewish environmental ...


Preparing for Leadership Training #2!

Hi everyone, and chag sameach! I hope you are having a lovely Passover, and enjoying the spring weather. We're getting prepared for the second Jewcology leadership training, which will take place at the Teva Seminar on June 2. I hope you can join us! To give you a sense of the training and to whet your appetite for an engaging opportunity, I've posted the participant guide from our first leadership training on March 14. You can find ...


A Green Omer Counter

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 Omer Counter. I will check off the boxes ...


The Joys of Event Planning

I admit it. Most of my Jewish environmental career has been rather intellectual. I like to think about what the Torah says and I like to learn about our philosophical and scientific challenges. I like to apply new concepts to old problems - or old concepts to new problems - and see what the answers yield. I don't have all that much experience as an event planner. But there is a leadership methodology that I think could help us win ...


Intertwine the Environment and Social Justice? Be Careful.

Recently there has been a lot of talk in the Jewish environmental community about the environmental interlinkage with social justice issues. You can see it in the talk about “food justice,” efforts on environmental justice, or in the Siach conference (An Environmental and Social Justice Conversation). Of course, these issues have always been intertwined for some Jewish-environmental organizations, such as the Shalom Center. But increas...


Powerless

On Wednesday night, I was sitting in my office, printing documents and chatting with my husband when the lights went out. The lights, the computer, the printer. Silence, darkness as we looked out the window into the snowy night. The documents, half-printed. The to-do list. Everything we had planned for the evening (and as it turned out, for the rest of the week) would have to wait. We began an entirely different type of conversation, which I’m sure ...


Organizing a Taste of Tu b’Shevat

This past Monday, I organized a “Taste of Tu b’Shevat” event in my local community in Silver Spring, MD. We’ve organized Tu b’Shevat seders for the last five years, but we decided to do things a little differently this year because a) we had some committee exhaustion and b) we sensed that the old model was getting a little stale. However, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to do something! So, we organi...