Posted on August 2, 2013
Many throughout the world know Marvin and Evelyn Marshall as prolific writers. The two, who have been married for 57 years, are also generous members of Temple Beth David and their lives tell a wonderful story.
Evelyn, a first generation American, was raised in the Reform movement by parents of Russian ancestry. To them Judaism was an ethnicity rather than a religion. Marv was born in Detroit, Michigan to parents of primarily Polish ancestry. A rabbi once referred to his father as “the most religious non-religious Jew you’d ever meet.” Marv’s mother, on the other hand, was religious and observed all the traditions. Marv went to Hebrew school, was Bar Mitzvahed, and remained active in Jewish youth groups after his family moved to Hollywood, California when he was 15.
During her childhood, Evelyn took piano for seven years to fulfill her childhood dream of being a world renowned concert pianist. In college, she instead began to pursue theatre yet soon realized the lifestyle was not for her and left UCLA. Though not clear about what career to pursue, her personal life began to take shape. A blind date with a man named Marv Marshall led to a marriage proposal six weeks after meeting. Evelyn’s mom, Rose, asked him, “What took you so long?” The couple raised a beautiful daughter, Hillary, who was Bat Mitzvahed and confirmed at Temple Beth David. She resides in Long Beach with her husband and is a licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist and director of an agency which combines medicine, mental health, and therapy.
Evelyn eventually went back to college, earned an English degree, and taught. Yet it was at age 51 when she discovered her true calling – to be a writer. She confesses it all started when she learned Lynne Horn, a fellow Temple Beth David congregant, had just written a book of her own. Such a feat struck a chord deeply with Evelyn who immediately enrolled in a writing course and began her successful journey. Her first book published, The Providers, earned a distinguished literary award. This past August, The Way They See came out to wonderful reviews and another book is set to release in 2014. She’s already busy writing her sixth novel.
Marv attended and served in the student government at both Los Angeles City College (LACC) and Cal State L.A. where he earned degrees in Language Arts and Business Administration. With a Doctorate from University of Southern California (USC) in Education, Marv went on to teach, counsel, and administrate for all grade levels.
Seven years before retirement, he yearned to be back in the classroom inspiring students. To his dismay, he saw many teachers doing so many things wrong. After retiring, he made a new career out of teaching the teacher…with the core message being: Teachers are in the motivation and relationship business. The books he’s authored and his programs are utilized locally and throughout the world – even as far away as Nepal and Bagdad. He made a name for himself with his first of seven books, Fostering Social Responsibility. Discipline Without Stress and Parenting Without Stress are two of his other masterful works. Education is so dear to his heart that years ago he volunteered for our temple as VP of Education.
What some may not know about Marv (aside from that he plays bagpipes) is that he also stuttered as a child. Thanks to the help of speech classes and student activities, he overcame it long ago and grew to love public speaking. Did he ever! Marv has presented in 20 countries on five continents and 44 of the United States. This March he will present in Switzerland. Next he will finish creating an online course for a division of Chapman University and write another book. He also has a nonfiction publishing house.
Amid hectic schedules filled with work-related travel, the voracious readers also find time to enjoy synagogue life. (Marv admits he also enjoys being the beneficiary of Evelyn’s wonderful culinary talents!)
Before joining Temple Beth David in 1976, the Marshalls were active in several Los Angeles based synagogues and became founding members of Steven S. Weiss Temple. They love how friendly our members are and are thrilled to have recently joined a newly formed Chavurah. They also appreciate how personal the Rabbi is and find listening to the Cantor and choir very satisfying.
At many of Marv’s seminars, he concludes by sharing the message: “Extend yourself.” It’s a mantra both he and Evelyn role model daily within their careers and at Temple Beth David.