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The Authentic Tour of Ein Hod with the artist Dan Ben-Arye

JCRC Summer 2011 Environmental Study Tour 2.8.2011
Organized by Da'at Travel

JCRC Summer 2011 Environmental Study Tour
As requested by the honorable delegation:

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Dear Friends
Please inform the JNF to direct their tremendous and generous efforts with planting trees in Israel.
Please select trees which are nature to this region and Not to plant Pine trees.
The Pine tree is loaded with burning substance and has a destructive impact on forest fires.
The Pine tree will be the first one to recover naturally in grand numbers after the fire.

Pine . . pine

Visual of the December 2010 Carmel fire disaster.
The fire reached Ein Hod Artists' Village, burning 17 stone houses and studios. 
Spring followed with nature showing signs of its revival.

Participant Biographies

Abigail Anthony

Dr. Anthony holds the position of Rhode Island Office Director at Environment Northeast. Abigail’s work as a policy analyst focuses on solutions to climate change and sustainable energy in Rhode Island and throughout New England. Currently, she is working with policymakers, utilities, and other key stakeholders to design and implement policies focused on increase investments in energy efficiency, promote the development and deployment of low carbon transportation fuels, and integrate renewable resources into the grid in a cost-effective manner. Based in Providence, RI, Abigail received her PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island, where her research focused on policies that use “smart grid” technologies to reduce peak demand for electricity, avoiding expensive investments in power plants and grid infrastructure and greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation.

Abigail received her MA and BA in economics from the University of Montana.


Jack Clarke

Jack Clarke is Director of Public Policy & Government Relations for Mass Audubon. Mass Audubon is the oldest and largest non-profit state conservation organization in the Northeast United States. He recently received the President’s Award for his work there. Mr. Clarke earned his Bachelor and Masters degrees with honors from Boston College in American History and American Studies. He worked for the US National Park Service at Cape Cod for ten years and received their outstanding achievement award. He later worked as a liaison between the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office and what is now the Cape Cod Commission where he established and managed Barnstable County’s first Historic Preservation Program.Following that, he served thirteen years with the Governor's Environmental Affairs Office, the last five of which he served as Assistant Director for Coastal Zone Management. In that capacity, he helped draft legislation to establish the Cape Cod Commission, oversaw the state’s National Estuary Programs, supervised the Massachusetts Harbor Management Program, and held a gubernatorial appointment to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. He also negotiated the state and nation’s first comprehensive Guidelines for Barrier Beach Management.
He has also helped draft and pass the Massachusetts’ Rivers Protection Act, Community Preservation Act, and a first-in-the-nation comprehensive ocean management law. With an office on Boston’s Beacon Hill, Mr. Clarke continues to hold a variety of appointments to state committees, commissions, boards and task forces. Most recently, the Massachusetts Governor appointed him as the environmental representative to the 17-member Massachusetts Ocean Advisory Commission. Mr. Clarke is also the founding board Chairman of the US Offshore Wind Collaborative. He lives in the City of Gloucester with his wife Fara and his daughter Courtney.

Jane Matlaw

Jane Matlaw, MSW, LICSW is the director of Community Relations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  She has been a part of Beth Israel Deaconess for over 30 years, having spent the first 14 of them as Chief social worker for Discharge Planning where she helped to create and chair the first elder abuse and neglect team in the country.
In 1998 Jane initiated BIDMC’s environmental sustainability program “Healthy Work/Healthy Home”. Since that time BIDMC has created a robust and action- oriented  Environmental Sustainability Committee which oversees their ambitious strategic plan. In 2008 BIDMC hired its first Environmental Sustainability coordinator.
Jane is a member of many boards and community groups, including the Jewish Community Relations Council where she served as vice-president of the Board and chair of the Haifa Social Justice and Civil Society Committee.  She is currently the chairperson for the Jewish Women’s Coalition on Breast Cancer and is a member of the Board of Directors for JVS. In addition, Jane is on the executive committee of the Multicultural Coalition on Aging, and the Mission Hill Main Streets elderly friendly business district advisory board.
Jane was the 2009 recipient of the Melzer award, an award given for Leading Constructive, Lasting and all Embracing Leadership at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She was also a Community Award recipient for ABCD in 2009.
Jane is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work where she graduated with a concentration in Gerontology. She has two wonderful sons, Ben and Nate who are trying to change the world, or a little piece of it in San Francisco and Washington, DC.


eremy McDiarmid

Jeremy is ENE’s Massachusetts Office Director and leads ENE’s climate and energy advocacy in Massachusetts.  He also serves as a staff attorney.  Jeremy has extensive experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy policy development and serves as the environmental appointee on the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council.  In addition, he leads ENE’s analysis and advocacy on the development of a low carbon fuels program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.  He has been appointed to serve on a special commission to study the use of construction and demolition debris as a source of electricity generation, and he represents ENE in regulatory proceedings before the public utilities commission.  He serves on the policy committee of the New England Clean Energy Council.  Prior to joining ENE, Jeremy was an attorney with a civil litigation practice at Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi in Boston.  He also served as a Public Information Officer at the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources and a Special Assistant to the Director of the State Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Jeremy received an A.B. with honors from Syracuse University and holds a JD with honors from Boston College Law School.


Nahma Nadich

Nahma Nadich is the Director of Social Justice Programs for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.  Her responsibilities include the oversight of an array of programs, including the Greater Boston Synagogue Organizing Project, TELEM, The Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy and Reach Out!, a young adult program. She also serves on the board of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.  Prior to joining the JCRC in 1999, Ms. Nadich worked as a clinical social worker for over two decades in the Boston area and served as chairperson of the Newton Human Rights Commission. She holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and an MSW from Boston University School of Social Work. She is married to David Belcourt, a social worker at Dorchester High School and is the mother of two young adult daughters, Rosina and Aliza.

Montira Pongsiri

Montira Pongsiri is an Environmental Health Scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  She manages EPA’s Biodiversity and Human Health research initiative which takes a transdisciplinary approach to studying the links between anthropogenic stressors, biodiversity, and infectious diseases.  This knowledge is being used to develop new, sustainable, environmentally-based tools and technologies to reduce and prevent risks to human health and the environment. Within this portfolio, she oversees a handful of projects covering Massachusetts and the New England region. She works with Boston-based scientists and stakeholders through a Community of Practice to share scientific progress and to plan for the implementation of scientific tools to improve and integrate decision-making on public health and ecosystem management.  Most recently, she has also been working with land use planners and architects to incorporate human health risks as part of smart growth and green infrastructure activities. She completed her doctoral study at Yale which was focused on the institutional capacity to assess and manage tradeoffs of the use of DDT for malaria control. 

am Silverman

Sam Silverman has worked at the federal Environmental Protection Agency in Boston since 1977 in several different positions, most in the enforcement program.  His current position is Deputy Director of EPA New England’s Office of Environmental Stewardship (OES).  OES is a 145-person office that houses EPA New England’s Legal and Technical Enforcement Offices and its Assistance & Pollution Prevention Office.  OES is responsible for enforcement under all the federal environmental statutes that EPA administers in New England.  During Sam’s tenure at EPA, his office has been the federal agency with lead responsibility for the clean-up of Boston Harbor and many Superfund hazardous waste sites, including the W.R. Grace site in Woburn, MA, the subject of the book and film “A Civil Action.” Sam received his B.A. from Cornell University in history, his J.D. from New York University School of Law, and an LL.M. in environmental law from George Washington University.
After 31 years of living in Newton, MA, Sam realized a life-long dream of living on the ocean with a move this past winter to Gloucester, MA. He is an active member of both Temple Emanuel in Newton and Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester.  Because of his commitment to social justice, he attends lots of meetings of both Jewish and interfaith organizations. Sam’s greatest passion in life, however, is his kids, Robbie (age 30) and wife Karen, Liza (28) and fiancé Josh, and Rebecca (24).   

Mary Skelton Roberts

Mary Skelton Roberts is a Senior Program Officer for the Environment at the Barr Foundation, located in Boston, Massachusetts.  Mary manages grantmaking and other activities intended to reduce carbon emissions from transportation in Metro Boston and across Massachusetts – in particular by creating more connected, complete communities, and improving transportation options.  
Prior to joining the Barr Foundation in April of 2009, Ms. Skelton Roberts was a consultant specializing in organizational development, problem solving and dispute resolution of complex environmental, public policy and corporate issues.  She has worked extensively with nonprofit, government, and private sector clients including the United States Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Defense; the House of Representatives, International City/County Management Association, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Hewlett Packard, InterSystems, the National Association for Attorneys General and the National Health Service in the U.K.
Mary has a Master’s in City Planning with concentrations in consensus building and environmental policy and planning from MIT.  Ms. Roberts also holds mediation and facilitation accreditations from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and from the Center for Dispute Resolution in London, England, where she served as lead faculty for the organization.    
Ms. Skelton Roberts is a native Spanish-speaker who is bilingual and bicultural.

Hilary Stiss

Hilary Stiss works as a Program Assistant to the Government Affairs and Israel and International Partnerships Departments at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

Pamela Talbot

Pamela Talbot is the Deputy General Counsel for Enforcement for the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and has directed the MassDEP Environmental Strike Force (ESF) for the last six (6) years.  (ESF is an inter-agency team comprised of attorneys, police, scientists and engineers who work together to investigate and enforce against the most serious environmental offenders.)  Prior to assuming ESF oversight, Ms. Talbot was Senior Counsel for the MassDEP’s Bureau of Resource Protection (Northeast Region) where she conducted administrative trials and worked on enforcement and compliance matters involving coastal and inland wetlands, waterways, drinking water supplies, and water management.  For more than 14  years before joining the Department, Ms. Talbot was a Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General who worked almost exclusively in the area of environmental enforcement.  She has argued and tried cases in both civil and criminal courts.
Ms. Talbot was an adjunct professor at Bentley University for over 12 years and has also lectured on environmental law at the New England School of Law and Boston College Law School.  She is on the Board of Directors of the Northeast Environmental Enforcement Project (NEEP), a multi state consortium dedicated to providing training to environmental investigators and prosecutors. She served as a Conservation Commissioner for the Town of Concord for 5 years. Recently, she was co-chair of the Environmental Litigation Section of the Boston Bar Association. Pamela is a native Bostonian and a proud graduate of the University of Massachusetts (summa cum laude) and the Northeastern University School of Law.

Leigh Walls

Leigh Walls recently retired from a teaching career that spanned 38 years. She received her BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from Duke University in 1973, then taught 6th grade Social Studies in Ft. Myers, FL, for one year. From 1974-1980, she taught at the Maret School, a private school in Washington, DC. At Maret, she taught 4th grade for one year, designed a new kindergarten curriculum and implemented it for five years, and worked as a teaching librarian for grades K-4 for 4 ½ years. She earned her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education: Reading, from the University of Maryland in 1982. After moving to New Hampshire, Leigh joined the Board of Directors of The Children’s Place, a non-profit childcare and parent education center for parents with children from birth to age six. She taught kindergarten and first grade at Dame Primary School, a public school in Concord, NH, for more than 23 years. In 1994, she helped begin the Concord Heights Neighborhood Family Center, a non-profit organization that supports families by providing preschool, a family center, monthly literacy events and educational field trips, parent education, before- and after-school care and education, and a support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren, among other services. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Family Center.

Michael Walls

Michael Walls was the Assistant Commissioner of the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services from 2003 to 2011, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations the air, water and waste management divisions of a state environmental agency. He served as an Assistant Attorney General in the New Hampshire Department of Justice from 1985 to 2003.  From 1996 to 2001, he was chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau at the Attorney General’s Office, where he managed a team of attorneys responsible for the enforcement of New Hampshire’s environmental laws and for providing general legal assistance to the Department of Environmental Services and the Fish and Game Department.  He is a graduate of Duke University (B.S. Zoology, 1973) and American University Law School (J.D., 1977).