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Tu B'Shvat

Eating Jewish: Recipes for a meaningful Tu B'Shvat

It may seem a little contradictory to celebrate the New Year for trees in North America during the winter, and yet it offers a reminder of the renewal that will soon come with spring (although it may seem far away!).

Eating Jewish: Recipes for a tasty Tu B’Shevat table

Although there are no specific dishes that have traditionally been prepared for Tu B’Shevat, the custom of serving dishes that contain fruits and nuts has emerged.

Celebrate Jewish women environmentalists on Tu B'Shevat

Tonight is Tu B'Shevat, the "Jewish birthday for trees" that has become synonymous with Jewish environmentalism. In order to identify and honor Jewish women working in environmental activism, we are inviting you to put an environmentalist "On the Map." You can read more about that project here or watch this quick tutorial to get started.

Put a Jewish woman in environmental activism "On the Map!"

Next week is Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish birthday for trees. The meaning of the holiday has undergone some major evolution over the years; it started as a tax deadline, was co-opted by Kabbalists and then the Zionists, and is now considered a holiday celebrating the environment and environmental activism in a broad sense. At the Jewish Women's Archive, our Tu B'Shevat tradition is to seek out and celebrate Jewish women who have dedicated their lives to environmental activism.

Submit your environmental activist before Tu B'Shevat!

Saturday is Tu B'Shevat, known as the "Jewish New Year for trees," the "Jewish Arbor Day," or the "Jewish birthday for trees." The holiday has an interesting history that, believe it or not, began with taxes.  Lenore Skenazy explains in The Forward:

Back about 2,000 years ago, Tu B’Shevat — literally the 15th day of the month of Shvat — was a tax deadline, of sorts. Any trees planted before Tu B’Shvat were considered to have been “born” the previous year. Those planted after Tu B’Shvat (or, perhaps those that started blooming after Tu B’Shvat) were part of the next year’s crop. As the amount of fruit you were required to tithe from each tree was determined by its age, this date was significant. And since the easiest way to remember a tree’s birthday was to plant it on that day, that’s what some folks did: planted.

Add an environmental activist to our list!

Beginning with the commandment for Adam and Eve to protect the Garden of Eden, Jewish tradition teaches that sustaining the health of the earth and all of its living things is a moral imperative.

Leah Bergstein

Leah Bergstein was the first of the choreographers in Palestine who at the beginning of the 1930s created festival dances at [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:342]kibbutzim[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], attempting to depict life in pre-state Israel in general and on agricultural settlements in particular. The unique creation of festival pageants contributed greatly to the development of a genre of rural Israeli festival and holiday celebrations and the creation of the first [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:309]Erez Israel[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] dances.

Celebrating the Earth and the Jewish Women who Keep it Healthy!

A few weeks ago – in anticipation of Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees – the Jewish Women's Archive introduced a new web-feature, Jewish Women in Environmental Activism.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Tu B'Shvat." (Viewed on October 26, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/tu-bshvat>.

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