Open Canopy: Tu B’Shvat Seder & Learning

Jan 20, 2019 - 3:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST

JCC Harlem, New York, NY

Join us at the JCC Harlem for an afternoon of fruitful learning sessions for all ages followed by a Tu B’Shvat seder for adults. We will be using our new Tu B’Shvat haggadah to celebrate the new year of the trees and to commemorate Martin Luther King’s legacy.


3-5 pm Adult Learning & Children’s Programming  (free, RSVP required, see below for descriptions)

5-6 pm Cocktail Hour (free, RSVP required)

6-8 pm Community Seder & Dinner (tickets required: $18)

rsvp here

Learning Session Descriptions

3-4 pm

Aaron’s Regal, Ridiculous, G-d Wrestling Seder (for kids in 4th-8th grades)
Aaron Walker, Romemu
A silly, musical, move your body Tu B’Shvat seder using songs from Jewish tradition and the Rise and Sing Songbook. We will have a competition for the silliest tasting notes for your grape juice mixes, a very short discussion of the Torah’s “do not destroy” and have a “lightsaber fight” as we wrestle with tradition to make Tu B’Shvat a big priority in this climate-threatened world, and end with a big superhero finish! Bring a sense of humor and concern for our world.

Environmental Racism… It’s a Thing
Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein, Hazon
Together we will review data and statistics about environmental sustainability and the people that it most impacts and why we should care as Jews and citizens of the world.

An Ox, an Idol, and a Stolen Beam: Three Paradigms for Understanding Racism in the United States
Rabbi Avi Killip, Hadar
What does an ancient Jewish text have to teach us about racism in America today? In this session we will explore three Talmudic frameworks for understanding the role of racism in our country. First we will unpack different kinds of damage caused by racism and who is responsible. Next we will ask if it is possible to work against such a pervasive ideology and what steps we might take. Finally, we will explore the ways that racism is built into the fabric of our country and what we can do about that now.



City Sleuths and Nature Protectors (for kids 4 years old to 3rd grade & their parents/caregivers)
Tehilah Eisenstadt, SAJ
We live in the city surrounded by human-made wonders that make our lives easier and a bit closed off from the nature around us thanks to that ease (subways, buses, apartment buildings, our cell phones). How often do we get to appreciate nature even if it isn’t a beautiful field, forest, waterfall, or starry night? As city sleuths, for Tu B’Shvat we’ll ponder where our lives meet nature in our city and debate, as a family, which area we’d especially like to protect for the coming month.
Brought to you by the folks who bring you Pela & Makom at SAJ, JCC Harlem, Whole Foods on the UWS, St. Agnes Library and Book Culture on Columbus!

Searching for the Tree of Life: Reading Jewish Texts Environmentally
Adriane Leveen, Ph.D. &  Hody Nemes, Rabbinical Student, JCAN (Jewish Climate Action Network)
Join us for a lively discussion as we trace the first appearance of trees in the Garden of Eden followed by the Rabbinic cultivation and protection of the earth once we left the Garden behind.

When is the Right Time to Stand Up for What is Just?: A Look at the Leadership of Martin Luther King, Esther, and More
Sarah Brammer-Shlay, SAJ
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we will use this time to explore what it means to be a leader and how one decides when it is time to act. Throughout Jewish texts and history, we read about those who led in times of transition, despair, and miracles. In this session we will dive deeper into some of these leaders, exploring specifically how leaders make the decision to act or not to act. We’ll be looking at the works of Martin Luther King, Jr., Esther, Moses, and more.

Learning is free but RSVP is required

Cosponsored by Hazon, JCC HarlemHarlem Moishe House, SAJRomemuHadar, Repair the WorldBased in Harlem, Be’chol Lashon, and JCAN.