TuB’shvat is a popular Jewish holiday at Yemin Orde Youth Village where our youth participate in fun interactive outdoor activities that celebrate nature and the environment. The holiday is observed as a new year for trees, similar to Arbor Day in the U.S.
This year, the Village’s youth planted nectarine, fig and loquat trees around the Eco-Farm. Each young tree had a wooden sign attached to it with a blessing for a new tree. The signs said: “Be strong and grow tall”, “We believe in you”, “Good luck” and more.
Youth also constructed large wooden flower boxes, planted flowers in the Eco-Farm’s organic gardens and baked homemade pita bread in outdoor ovens called taboons.
A Jewish holiday that celebrates nature and its bounty
Tu B’shvat is an opportunity to raise awareness about and to care for the environment through the teaching of Jewish sources celebrating nature. It is also a day to focus on the environmental sensitivity of the Jewish tradition by planting trees wherever Jews may live. Other traditions connected to the holiday include eating fruits and produce typically associated with growing in the Land of Israel, such as grapes, figs, olives, pomegranates, nuts, dates and others.
At Yemin Orde Youth Village, Jewish learning is woven into the fabric of daily life through community-wide activities such as TuB’shvat celebrations, that convey a positive understanding of Judaism and the Jewish people. In this way, our youth develop strong cultural and religious identity which, in turn, connects them to their roots as well as their new homeland in the Land of Israel.