15 other things to do for Tu B’shevat


Tu B’Shevat, also known as the New Year of the Trees, (also also known as “the Jewish Arbor Day,” as if anyone even knows what regular Arbor day is…) falls on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. If you live in Israel, then you have some chance of seeing trees in bloom. If you live in New England, you are knee deep in snow and praying your roof doesn’t collapse.

If you google Tu B’shevat, you’ll find lots of popular suggestions for ways to celebrate….plant trees in Israel, go to a Tu B’shevat seder, put parsley seeds in a paper cup, break your teeth on some carob……Here are 15 ideas you might not have already thought of.


1. Look at the shadow of a tree under the full moon.

2. Make and eat a “seven species” salad.

3. Create some beautiful almond-tree inspired art work.

4. Learn and sing the John Gorka song Branching Out.

5. Read A Tree Named Steve.

6. Play Meet a Tree in the snow.


7. Let your children decorate the windows.

8. Buy, or start to save for, an Xtracycle.

9. Make a recycled egg carton greenhouse, and plant herbs (not just parsley) for your Passover seder.

10. Get a good Winter Tree Finder and learn to identify trees without their leaves.

11-15. Donate $1 to the Teva Learning Center. Repeat.

Any more suggestions? Please leave them as comments below.

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posted January 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm

At the library this morning, I found a great tree book called “We Planted a Tree,” by Diane Muldrow. It’s not Tu B’Shevat related, or even Jewish in any particular way, but it’s a good read, has wonderful illustrations, and definitely relevant.

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Bible Belt Balabusta

posted January 23, 2011 at 7:56 am

Love it, love it, love it.
Thank you for the list with handy links.
We did the classic yet worthy smear-a-pinecone-with-soy-butter-and-roll-it-in-birdseed activity and were rewarded with a crowd of chaffinches, nuthatches and chickadees within 20 minutes of erecting.
Last year, along with our parsley seeds (which are frustratingly slow germinators), we planted a coffee cup with two seeds from my boy’s apple. Now, it is two feet high and he still feels like a hero. Wants to plant every seed from every fruit and veg we open.
Your suggestion to get ahold of a Winter Tree Finder is perfect. This is a great activity for bored kids at afternoon Hebrew schools. We have some magnificent trees near our shul and there are oodles of ways to connect trees with Judaism. “Let the Earth Teach You Torah” by Ellen Bernstein (Shomrei Adamah publishers, out of print) is fantastic.

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posted January 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

That’s kind of amazing about the apple tree. Those seeds are typically very hard to germinate.

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