Three For Tu B’Shevat

Three For Tu B’Shevat

Sandee is the arts and culture editor at the Jewish Week.

Tu B’Shevat in New York requires some imagination, in order to picture these snow-covered trees in their spring finery. Here are three last-minute ideas to celebrate the new year of trees, engage all of the senses, and give thanks.

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, who founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization in 1988, has updated and reissued her poetic and inspiring haggadah. “A New Year for the Trees” juxtaposes readings from the Peri Etz Hadar (the original Kabbalistic seder whose title means “Fruit of the Goodly Tree”) and biblical texts with readings related to the environment. The haggadah is available for $3.50 (the introduction and first section can be downloaded for free).

There’s still time to sign up for The New Shul’s annual Tu B’Shevat seder, “Feast of Mystics,” to be held on Wednesday 11th at the Dumbo Loft, 155 Water Street, in Brooklyn, from 6:30 to 9 pm. Rabbi Zach Fredman will lead, with four courses of delicious, artfully-presented food, four wine pairings, music, poetry and kabbalistic teachings tied to the theme of the Silk Road. Fredman’s band Epichorus will perform at 9:30 pm. Tickets for the seder are $60 for members, $75 for others; $15 for the concert only. (Contact

And listen to this whimsical song to think anew about the season and remember the gifts of the late singer and composer Debbie Friedman, “Let’s Plant a Tree for Tu B’Shevat.”

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