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Tu BiSh’vat, also known as Chamishah Asar BiSh'vat (the fifteenth day of the month of Sh'vat) is commonly known as the New Year for trees and falls this year on February 3. Historically, it was the date on which trees in Israel were determined to be mature enough for their fruit to be harvested. Tu BiSh’vat was the date designated because by then, the early winter rains had largely subsided and the period of “budding” was just commencing, making the holiday a celebration of renewal.
Welcome to the Jewish month of Shevat and (if you’re on the East Coast) to Storm Juno. While you’re inside waiting out the snow, take this time as an opportunity to take the Green Sh’vat Challenge and make your life a little greener. Unfortunately, massive snowstorms don’t counteract the fact that climate change is real, human-caused and happening quickly. The Green Shevat Challenge is one small, easy way to reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes to our daily routines.
Growing up, I was taught that we fast on Yom Kippur in order to set aside our physical needs and focus fully on our souls. It was a day for personal reflection—to critically assess your actions from the last year, repent for the missteps, and commit to being better in the upcoming year. I heard stories of people making amends with estranged family members and apologizing to a friend for a thoughtless joke. It was a solemn day of contemplation and prayer that would strengthen your connection with God.
During Tu BiShvat, we focus our attention towards the environment and environmental issues.
The relationship between the environment and the health of living organisms is inseparable.
Natural resources are defined as: “naturally occurring substances that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified (natural) form” (Wikipedia).
A new and successful program to educate congregants about diverse disaster relief initiatives and to raise funds to support people in need throughout the world.
During the High Holy Days and following month, congregation collects packages of underwear to distribute to local homeless community.
Social Action calendar was created to allow congregants to choose activities that fit in their schedule.
The Temple opened its High Holiday services to people with hearing difficulties.