Community Connections, Holidays, Jewish Life

Holiday Celebration: Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat begins at sundown on Jan. 27 and this minor holiday, often called the “Jewish Earth Day,” has become a time to connect traditional Jewish values of taking care of the Earth with today’s environmental values.

From, Tu B’Shevat or the “birthday” of all fruit trees, is a minor festival. The name is Hebrew for the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat. In ancient times, Tu B’Shevat was merely a date on the calendar that helped Jewish farmers establish exactly when they should bring their fourth-year produce of fruit from recently planted trees to the Temple as first-fruit offerings

It is in the spirit of Tu Bishvat this year he J has joined in partnership of the The Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest. The Fest is a free, virtual and collaborate festival by and for people who want to activate Jewish values to move the needle on climate change. We believe the time has come to put climate change as a central moral issue of our community, and our current moment is a unique opportunity for collaboration and engagement that might otherwise not have been possible.

Explore the full schedule + details here >>

The SJCC is hosting an interactive event called “Grow the Impact You Make” as part of the festival. Details here >>

This holiday celebrating nature – and more specifically trees – is tailor-made for getting kids involved. has a great list of some ideas how:

  • Gather a variety of fruits and nuts and do a taste test. Arrange the fruits on a plate by size, color or texture, and compare and contrast them. Search online to see how each kind of fruit grows.
  • Use old magazines to make a collage of trees and fruits or create the shape of a tree by cutting up and reusing cardboard and other scrap paper.
  • Go outside to observe trees. Talk about the different types, what they look like in different seasons and the different things we use trees for (maple syrup anyone?).
  • Create an outdoor scavenger hunt to find natural objects. Brainstorm ways that kids can take care of the environment close to home.
  • Plant parsley, which you can observe growing through the winter and spring and then use at your Passover seder.
  • Look through picture books to find pictures of fruits and trees. Read children’s books about Tu Bishvat, which you may have received from PJ Library.

Find more ideas for celebrating with kids.

Here are more resources on the holiday: