New Year for the Trees!

February 13, 2006 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Announcements, Fun | Leave a comment

Today marks the Jewish holiday Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for trees. The YDA Jewish Caucus wanted to share some information on this little known holiday and encourage everyone to celebrate by making sure they recycle and protect the environment:)

What is it?

On Tu B’Shevat we celebrate a New Year for the Trees, rejoicing in the fruit of the tree and the fruit of the vine, celebrating the gifts of the natural world. Tu B’Shevat marks the beginning of spring in Israel. Sustaining rains are at the peak of their power and the world responds, brimming with buds of fragrant life. To mark this moment, school children plant trees. In fact, in Israel today students boarded buses and were brought to Jewish National Fund tree forests to plant trees to celebrate Tu B’Shevat. When American young people visit Israel through the Taglit-Birthright program they have a similar opportunity. Often these trees have been provided by the contributions of Jewish students abroad through the offices of the Jewish National Fund. Many Jews will remember selling trees in Israel as a memorable part of their Hebrew School experience. If you would like more information on JNF or planting trees in Israel visit this website (
Israel & Trees
Israel is the only country in the world that will enter the 21st century with a net gain in numbers of trees. JNF has planted over 240 million saplings, providing belts of green covering more than 250,000 acres. JNF national forest development work balances population needs with limited forest ‘supply.’ While the forests of Israel belong to the people, JNF ensures their environmental soundness while promoting optimal use.
Tu B’Shevat Seders
For Jews outside of Israel, Tu B’Shevat is a celebration of the renewal of vision and awareness, a celebration of connections and connectedness–to our own inner-selves, to the social world of human beings, and to the natural world.
Many In America celebrate the holiday with Tu B’Shevat Seders. The idea for the Tu B’Shevat seder originated in 17th Century Safed, by Jewish Kabbalists. Modeled by the well known Passover seder, the Tu B’Shevat seder included drinking four cups of wine with varying percentages of red and white wine, representing perhaps the shifting of yearly seasons. The seder also included readings on trees and fruit from a range of Jewish literature.The new form of celebration spread from Safed to Sephardi communities in Turkey, Italy and Greece, and later in Europe, Asia and North Africa. Modern adaptations of this centuries old practice have been created by Hillels, Jewish environmental groups and others involved in Jewish renewal.
Visit, or for more information on Tu B’Shevat. If you would like to know more about the Jewish Caucus working group please visit our website

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: