Tu B’Shvat / Tu B’Shevat / New Year for Trees Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on Tu b’Shevat.


Blogs

The Urban Adamah Fellowship Now Accepting 2014 Applications

Connect to Something Bigger: Earth, Community, Social Justice, Jewish Spirituality The Urban Adamah Fellowship, based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month residential training program for young adults (ages 21–31) that combines urban organic farming, social justice training and progressive Jewish learning and living within the setting of an intentional community. Through the operation of Urban Adamah’s one-acre organic farm and internships with social justice organizations, fellows gain significant skills, training and experience in all aspects of ...

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Restoring and Transforming the Ancient New Year for Animals

Another Jewish holiday? Don't we have enough already? Not according to Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), of which I am president emeritus. We are working with a coalition of Jewish groups and individuals to restore and transform the ancient and largely forgotten Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana L'Ma'aser BeHeima (New Year's Day for Tithing Animals for sacrifices when the Jerusalem Temple stood) into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Judaism's beautiful teachings on compassion to animals. These teachings include: (1) “God's compassion is over all His ...

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Planting Abraham’s Urban Orchard

Last week we celebrated Tu B’Shvat as all of this blog’s readers know. This celebration is for the New Year of the Trees and the start of the first signs of spring. This occasion marks another time of year that is in syncopation with the agricultural rhythms of the land. During this time, the sap in the tree starts to flow upwards from the soil and roots into the trunk, branches, and leaves finally bursting forth the newest buds of spring. The Tu B’Shvat seder reminds of the natural rhythm of the seasons represented by the four cups of wine all with ...

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D’var Torah: Tu B’Shevat 5773 – Assiyah

The following is a brief D'var Torah I gave at Anshei S'fard Kehillat Torah's Tu B'Shevat Seder in Milwaukee.

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A Great Children’s Activity for Tu b’Shevat

Although Tu b’Shevat is already over for 2013, here is a great activity we thought up on the farm that you can use for 2014! This activity is adapted from The Lookstein Center’s “Tu B’Shvat Seder for Young Children.” Make a birthday cake for trees! The activity involves making a large batch of air-dry salt clay in several different colors: brown, green, red, etc. On a very large surface, make a tree shape out of the brown dough. Then, each participant can come and help to make the leaves and fruits to add to the tree, to show how ...

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What’s New In The World of Emergency Food? 3 Answers in 3 Weeks

Blog post by Karin Fleisch, Board Member for Uri l’Tzedek, master’s student at NYU’s Wagner School and speaker on behalf of American Jewish World Service. --------------------------------------------------------- After five years at the Food Bank for NYC, during which time I monitored over 400 food pantries and 200 soup kitchens, I thought I knew everything there was to know about local responses to hunger. Happily, It turns out I was wrong. So what's new in the world of emergency food? Over the next three weeks I will profile three ...

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Celebrating Tu Bishvat as if Environmental Sustainability Matters

Celebrating Tu Bishvat as if Environmental Sustainability Matters Richard H. Schwartz Since Tu Bishvat, the “New Year for Trees,” has increasingly become a “Jewish Earth Day,” why not use Tu Bishvat Seders as, among other things, a time to consider how we can effectively respond to current environmental crises that threaten all life on the planet? The world is rapidly heading toward a climate catastrophe, severe food, water, and energy scarcities, and other environmental disasters. This is a strong consensus of almost all climate scientists and ...

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Tu B’Shvat and Vegetarianism

Tu B'Shvat and Vegetarianism Richard H. Schwartz Tu B'Shvat is arguably the most vegetarian of Jewish holidays, because of its many connections to vegetarian themes and concepts: 1. The Tu B'Shvat Seder in which fruits and nuts are eaten, along with the singing of songs and the recitation of biblical verses related to trees and fruits, is the only sacred meal where only vegetarian, actually vegan, foods, are eaten. This is consistent with the diet in the Garden of Eden, as indicated by God's first, completely vegetarian, dietary law: “And God said: ‘Behold, I have ...

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Tu Bishvat: Seasonal Fruit and the New Year for Trees

The month of Sh’vat (January 11-February 10, 2013) includes the holiday of Tu Bishvat (January 25-26, 2013), which is a particularly significant day for contemporary Jews who are passionate about nature, ecology and farming. Today, this relatively minor holiday has become a key celebration of our sacred connection with fruit trees, food and the natural world. However, amidst our delight in this bounty, we would do well to reflect critically on what fruits we enjoy, when we consume them and where they come from. Tu Bishvat is not a biblical holiday. In Mishnah ...

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Honoring the Environment for Tu B’Shevat

January in the secular calendar brings the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat. Tu B’Shevat celebrates the New Year of the Trees and was thought to have originated as an agricultural festival marking the emergence of spring. Today, Jews celebrate Tu B’Shevat by expressing thankfulness for trees, harvests and the natural world. What better time to think about individual steps you can take even in the dead of winter to help the environment. Below are a few simple things you can do to help protect forests, along with ways to be more mindful of ...

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Why Is This Night Different? Thoughts on Tu Bishvat

WHY IS THIS NIGHT DIFFERENT? THOUGHTS ON TU BISHVAT Richard H. Schwartz One of the highlights of the Passover Seder is the recitation of the four questions that consider how the night of Passover differs from all the other nights of the year. Many questions are also appropriate for Tu Bishvat, which starts on Friday evening, January 25 in 2013, because of the many ways that this holiday differs from Passover and all other days of the year. While four cups of red wine (or grape juice) are drunk at the Passover Seder, the four cups drunk at the Tu Bishvat Seder vary in ...

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Join Us! Houston’s Jewish Food Summit – January 27, 2013

Join us in Houston on Sunday, January 27th for a morning of learning and hands-on workshops at the intersection of sustainability and Jewish values! At Texas' first Jewish Food Summit, we'll explore how to integrate ancient wisdom into our contemporary lives. The program will feature guest speakers, informative workshops, and a tree-planting followed by a special Tu B'Shvat seder--a special meal to celebrate the Jewish New Year for the Trees. All are welcome! What: Houston Jewish Food Summit When: January 27, 2013, 9:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Where: Congregation Brith ...

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Tree B’Earthday – Tu Bishvat Retreat at Isabella Freedman

  • December 17, 2012
  • Member since 2011

Tree b'Earthday: A Tu b'Shevat Celebration Friday, January 25 – Sunday, January 27, 2013 at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the Connecticut Berkshires Give thanks for the birthday of the trees and the Jewish Earth Day with the many branches of the Jewish environmental movement. Join activists, rabbis, leaders, and educators to contemplate and celebrate our interconnectedness with trees and the natural world. Tree-mendous highlights include: -Romemu-style (Renewal) services with Shir Yaakov -Orthodox services with Rabbi Greg ...

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Mysticism and Making a Difference: Tu b’Shevat in Silver Spring

My local community group, the Kayamut Silver Spring Sustainability Circle, held our Tu b'Shevat Seder on February 7. It was the first time in a long time that I hosted a Tu b'Shevat Seder that was actually on Tu b'Shevat. So I wanted to make it special. Instead of being a mock seder or a model seder, it was a real seder and an opportunity to experience Tu b'Shevat for itself. I know that Tu b'Shevat has mystical meaning in addition to the more modern, environmental meaning we've given to it. For this seder, I wanted to blend a little of ...

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Fruit Trees

  • February 21, 2012
  • Member since 2011

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's blog: http://blog.bjen.org/ dated February 17, 2012) I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Israel, which serendipitously coincided with the season of Tu B'shvat, the day that marks the new year of the trees. Since the times of the early rabbis, this holiday has been a sacred day on the Jewish calendar. In modern Israel, it is a day of joy, when school children go out into the fields and countryside to plant trees, put on plays and celebrate the glories of a returning spring. Friends and family visit each ...

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The Owls of Shevat

Dear Friends, Can you hear the owls of Shevat calling? They are beckoning us to find ways to bring our Jewish communities outside. I’d like to share a simple program that gets our community of different aged folks bundled up and joining a night hike filled with owl calls, wind song, star gazing, storytelling and fair-trade organic hot chocolate. Here’s what we do. We gather when the Shevat moon is waning, on a Saturday night post Tu B’Shevat. Peak owl listening time may be 4am, but we just ramble around after dinner, wide open and trusting ...

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Tu B’Shevat Saplings

Dear Friends, Our cliffhanger (see part 1 here ) left us with the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge firmly planted not within Tu B’Shevat, but within the middle of Mi Chamocha our blessing-song for redemption. Mi Chamocha is invoked in every prayer service directly after the Shema. We’ll begin by trying to make sense of this very old word, redemption, and then offer some ideas why Reb Elimelech of Grodzisk (d. 1892) might have placed his wisdom of the two trees there. Ready to wade in the water? As we get our toes wet, let’s first ...

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Jewcology Launches Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment!

This Tu b'Shevat, Jewcology will launch a major new program: a Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, in partnership with Canfei Nesharim. Between Tu b'Shevat 5772 and Tu b'Shevat 5773, we will roll out our "Core Teachings" series, 18 sets of resources exploring the connection between Jewish texts and our response to today's environmental challenges. Topics range from Trees, Food and Energy to Shabbat, Sustainable Use and Consumerism. For each topic, we will be providing a long article (2000 words), short article (800 words), ...

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Those Who Plant in Joy – Tu b’Shvat and the Social Justice Protests

A.The Israeli media has recently been occupied with the six-month anniversary of the past summer’s social justice protests, in which scores of young activists (me included) declared themselves the “New Israelis.” “We are the New Israelis,” we called from the stages and street marches, “and we have a dream – to live in this land, to build our homes here, to raise our children here, and to weave our life story out of it.” This is how we “New Israelis” feel – a new generation not locked into stereo...

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Why Tu B’shvat Matters in 2012

The economy is in crisis across much of the USA and Europe, governments are killing their citizens in Syria and Bahrain, and organized crime is dominating Mexico and Central America… This Tu B’shvat how can we worry about environmental issues, when there are so many pressing social issues face our society? Indeed, environmental concerns seem to be fairly low on the international priorities list these days. Look at the recent failure of the Durban conference, in which governments, (most notably my own Conservative Canadian government), were unwilling ...

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