A Conversation with Evan Shweky, Future MoMENtum Trip Participant
Meet Evan Shweky, a husband, father, real estate investor, and incoming MoMENtum participant. In our conversation, Evan shares how his wife’s MOMentum experience changed his family’s life — and what he’s looking to gain from his own MoMENtum Trip this summer.
Why did you decide to apply for a MoMENtum Trip?
My wife, Jaclynn, participated in MOMentum in 2016 and it had such a profound impact on her.
She returned with a connection to Judaism that is stronger than ever and deep commitment to Israel. The bonds she made on the trip were tremendous, and she and her JWRP sisters continue to get together. Though I haven’t participated in MoMENtum yet, I’ve been living with JWRP’s impact for two years — and it’s been 100% positive. It made sense for me to go and experience it for myself and hopefully, return, as Jaclynn did, with a renewed sense of my Jewish identity.
How has your wife’s experience impacted your family’s life?
Since returning from her MOMentum Trip, Jewish values, like Shabbat, Tzedaka, and doing Mitzvot have become even more important to our family. My wife continuously encourages the people she meets to apply for MOMentum and we’ve begun raising funds for MOMentum Trips in the Cherry Hill, South Jersey-area. We also chaired the recent Israel 70 celebration at the Betty & Milton Katz JCC. The event attracted thousands of people, many of whom do not participate regularly, or at all in our Jewish community. From her JWRP trip, Jaclynn was inspired to create a Ben Yehuda Street theme with shops and street entertainment and bring a little Israel to South Jersey. There is no question that had she not experienced MOMentum, we would not have been so committed to participating in an event like this. With most trips, people stop talking about them within a few weeks or months. It’s been two years and my wife still talks about MOMentum regularly. It’s changed our lives, and I’m very proud of what she’s done for us and for our community.
What do you hope to get out of MoMENtum?
Jewish values have always been very important to me. I grew up in a Jewish home, my father (z”l) was even Israeli, but amid my busy day-to-day life, I lost track of my Jewish connection. My daughter and my wife that keep our Jewish home life strong, but I am hoping that MoMENtum will reinvigorate my connection to Judaism and to myself. There’s always room for self-improvement and I hope that MoMENtum will help jumpstart my journey.