Tu B’Shvat: The Jewish New Year for Trees

Pacific Palisade's Chabad Jewish Community Center and Kehillet Israel will celebrate the holiday with a festive meal or Seder on Fri. Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26, respectively.

The 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat begins this year at sunset on Fri. Jan. 25 and continues through Sat. Jan. 26. Known as Tu B’Shvat, it’s the Jewish New Year for Trees – similar to Earth Day or Arbor Day.

In a world that is growing more environmentally conscious, Tu B’Shvat is the perfect day to stop and celebrate the beauty of nature and the bounty that we enjoy as protectors of the land.

Many Jews celebrate Tu B’Shvat by planting trees. It’s also customary to eat a new fruit on this day and some people celebrate by taking part in a Tu B’Shvat Seder – a celebratory meal.

The Seder usually consists of four glasses of wine – similar to the Passover Seder – and an abundance of fruits and grains that are grown in the land of Israel.

The seven traditional foods eaten usually include pomegranates, grapes, olives, dates, figs, wheat and barley, although anything that grows in Israel is accepted. Almonds are a popular choice along with other nuts, as are oranges, apples and pears.

This year, Pacific Palisade’s Chabad Jewish Community Center will host a Tu B’Shvat Seder on Friday night, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Chabad Shul at
15207 Sunset Blvd. The night is complete with Shabbat dinner, sampling delicious fruity snacks at the Seder and discovering the lessons learned from different fruits and trees and the particular significance of the species of which the land of Israel is blessed.

Kehillet Israel hosts Tu B'Shvat services Saturday, Jan. 26 at 16109 Sunset Blvd. More information can be found here.

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