Tu B'Shevat (Jewish Arbor Day)


This holiday has its origins not in the Bible, but rather in the Mishna, which was written in the early 3rd century CE. It is primarily an agricultural holiday, as evinced by its other name, New Year of Trees. 

This holiday is celebrated in the midst of the rainy season (late January or early February). It was originally a holiday with halakhic (Jewish legal) significance, as it was used to mark the age of a tree for the purpose of harvesting and tithing its fruit - tithes that were given to the priests who served in the Temple and did not own any land.

After the Jewish people were scattered in the Diaspora and were no longer involved primarily in agriculture, Tu B’Shvat became a holiday symbolizing the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. It is not a holy rest day and businesses are open as usual.

Please scroll to find interesting videos, craft ideas, and resources. 


Joint JCC and Area synagogues program:

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It is customary to eat fruits and grains that grow in Israel on Tu B'shevat.

Here is a great recipe that includes the Seven Species.


Craft Ideas

So Simple. So beautiful. 

These colorful pinecones were painted with acrylic paint.



These trees are made out of yarn, paper, pom-poms, and other craft materials                  




Downloadable runner

This runner is perfect to have at the table during a Tu B'Shvat dinner or on a Friday evening.  It is beautifully designed, rich in content, games and puzzles, and it will connect all those sitting around the table together for a solid and special family evening.

The runner is divided into 8 A4 (11x14) pages that are put together to produce the runner in its entirety, so adjust settings accordingly. Arrange pages 1-4 from right to left with the number on each page facing out, and arrange pages 5-8 upside down so that the number on each page is facing out as well.

Free download


Useful links & Resources:

Tu Bishvat oriented videos

Fruit Mandala

One, Two, Three, Tu B'shvat! book and activities

Jewish National Fund official website: stories, videos, forestry, and much more

Fun KKL-JNF Games on Israel and Zionism

Video: from seed to forests


For more information or if you have questions, contact Judy Ben-Ami at judyb@schenectadyjcc.org.

This program is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY, and it was made possible through the generous support of the Epstein Jewish Cultural Fund, Meyer and Mary Kurland/Gebell Fund, Jonas and Edith Fleminberg Jewish Cultural Fund.        





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