Tu BiShvat (Hebrew for the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) is the new year of the trees.
Tu BiShvat, called the "New Year of the Trees," falls at a seemingly incongruous time of year.
Tu BiShvat is a minor festival whose provenance dates only to the time of the Second Temple. However, the kabbalists who clustered around the great fifteenth-century mystic Isaac Luria of Safed placed great weight on the holiday, creating new festivities, gatherings at which hymns were sung, fruit (particularly carob) was eaten, and four cups of wine were taken (as in the Passover seder).
Today, we mourn the death of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, an iconic leader whose love for Israel and the Jewish people infused his entire illustrious career. He was a visionary, larger than life, with the courage to constantly assess his stated positions, always with an eye toward pragmatism and concern for his beloved Israel.
Brooklyn, NY, January 14, 2014 – In 1983, when Rabbi Rick Jacobs was the rabbi at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (BHS), he had a vision to start a shelter to address the growing problem of homelessness in New York City.
Continuing the success of the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Campaign for Youth Engagement, the URJ announces the Youth Professional Training Fellowship for early career youth professionals in congregations. This new fellowship, funded by a $141,000 three-year Signature grant from the Covenant Foundation, builds on existing URJ professional development programming for adults who work with youth. Covenant Foundation grantees are Jewish organizations and initiatives with novel and imaginative approaches to Jewish learning and wide geographic reach.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) announces the establishment of a second URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, with support from a generous grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Jim Joseph and AVI CHAI Foundations. This exciting new camp will be the URJ’s 18th camp across North America offering young people immersive Jewish experiences within premier camping environments.