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Tu B’Shvat, the new year for the trees, begins Sunday evening, January 20, 2019 and is celebrated through sundown on Monday, January 21, 2019. The resources below, including the newly updated 2019 Hazon Tu B’Shvat Haggadah, offer thoughts and ideas to help you celebrate Tu B’Shvat in your home or community. The texts, questions, activities, and suggestions below can serve as guides for viewing Tu B’Shvat through fresh eyes and recontextualizing the tradition.
Updated: Jan. 16, 2019
It sounds like a Jewish mother’s nightmare: a preschool class held outdoors in the desert. But parents in this remote Israeli town drop off their children at Gan Keshet every weekday during the school year, setting them free to cook on a campfire, whittle sticks with switchblades and search for scorpions. Class goes on rain (rare) or shine (intense). Gan Keshet, which means “rainbow kindergarten” in Hebrew, is the country’s first “forest kindergarten” – and it’s public. Thanks to local media coverage and word of mouth, parents have lined up to enroll their children and educators across Israel have sought to emulate the model.
Updated: Jun. 19, 2017
Leshomra is a two-year-old Israeli organization that helps plant gardens at nursery schools, kindergartens, schools, and community centers in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in an attempt to connect children in a tactile way to nature and how things grow. It aims to build environmental awareness and green practices from the bottom, through a real understanding of Haredi culture and how best to relate to people in that community.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2017
The holiday of Tu Bishvat begins this year on Friday evening, February 10th. As the Jewish holiday most closely connected to the environment and the natural world, Tu Bishvat provides a great opportunity for teachers to include earth and environmental science in their curriculum. This year, we were inspired by Jewish texts about the natural world. For each text, we’ve taken out a particular topic you can focus on in your classroom and provided educational technology resources that can help your students reach their learning goals. Our hope is that after using these tools and developing a stronger understanding of Earth, your students will have a more meaningful Tu Bishvat.
Updated: Jan. 12, 2017
On Sunday, November 20, 2016, Jews around the globe will unite “under the same sky.” The Aleph Society invites your community to register (it’s free!) and join us. We will examine Jewish texts to explore nature and nurturing, ecology and the environment, cycles and seasons. Over 500 communities have joined past Global Day activities worldwide, drawing participants from every point on the religious, communal and ethnic spectrum. Under the aegis of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, over 35 national and international groups are co-sponsors of the Global Day, together with the Aleph Society.
Updated: Jun. 01, 2016
Technology and nature combine in a fun way to transmit the values of shmita (the sabbatical year) in the Year of the Land Park, inaugurated in December, 2014 at Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens. Participants first view a five minute film (with English subtitles) to introduce the concept of shmita. The visitors are then invited to participate in an interactive game throughout the park.
Updated: Apr. 19, 2015
Through the Topsy Turvy Bus Tour, this mobile educational spectacle is showing communities that we have the power to change the course of history and flip the environmental damage we see around us on its head. Through hands-on programming with activities both on and off the bus, over 2,500 participants of all ages have experienced this unique Jewish environmental education learning space.
Updated: Jul. 22, 2014
The Teva Seminar is the premier annual professional development opportunity in the field of JOFEE: Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education. Now in its 20th year, this multi-day, hands-on training program is designed for educators, camp counselors, community leaders, and anyone who is seeking training in the emerging JOFEE field. Participation in the Teva Seminar will enhance the work of your community. Each workshop is accessible to people with all levels of experience in gardening, wilderness skills, culinary arts, and/or experiential Jewish education. The Seminar takes place over five days at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. on June 9 – 13, 2014.
Updated: May. 26, 2014
From Me to We: Between Tribal and Global is a three day gathering which will bring together 70 Jewish social justice and environmental activists from the Siach network and around the world to engage and explore their shared identity, mission and commitment to Jewish values and to each other and to the wider world. The gathering will start on Monday morning, June 9th and will end Wednesday early evening, June 11th in Budapest, Hungary.
Updated: Apr. 23, 2014
Adamah is now accepting applications for the 2014 spring, summer and fall Adamah Fellowships. Now in its tenth successful year, Adamah: The Jewish Environmental Fellowship is a three-month leadership training program for Jewish adults ages 20-32 that integrates organic agriculture, farm-to-table living, Jewish learning, community building, and spiritual practice.
Updated: Apr. 23, 2014