From Nigel Savage
Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish celebration of trees, is observed this Friday night (February 10th) and Saturday (February 11th). This holiday offers us a midwinter moment to take stock of our relationship with Jewish tradition, the natural world, and one another – a process we need this year more than ever.
When the Torah describes Jewish tradition as the “tree of life” it is saying not merely that trees in themselves are important but that they are a profound metaphor for the goodness of human civilization on this planet. Our Torah is a “tree of life” because, just as trees grow and flourish and nourish us, so too we hope that Jewish tradition and the Jewish people will grow and flourish and nourish the world.
And this is a year in which we all need to step up so that these are not merely words.
At Hazon, we’re striving to make a difference. We’re rolling out our Hazon Seal of Sustainability. We’re striving to reduce our own footprint. We’re providing resources to rabbis around the country. We’re partnering with a wide range of our fellow JOFEE organizations. And we’re working with 350.org and a wide range of our fellow JOFEE organizations to encourage the American Jewish community to celebrate, learn, go to shul, or march, on Earth Day and at the People’s Climate Mobilization.
So see below for what you can do not just in honor of Tu b’Shvat, but in support of a healthier and more sustainable world for all.
- Download our free Haggadah and host your own Tu b’Shvat seder.
- Celebrate Tu b’Shvat at one of Hazon’s events:
- Brooklyn, NY: Join Hazon and Repair the World for a Tu b’Shvat-themed Shabbat dinner with great conversation and delicious food. Sign up now!
- Encinitas, CA: Hazon San Diego is hosting a Tu b’Shvat seder. Join us!
- Detroit, MI: Join Hazon Detroit for Deeper Roots, Wider Branches: A Tu b’Shvat Celebration. Register now!
- Visit our website for Tu b’Shvat recipes, sustainability tips, and more.
- On Tu b’Shvat, commit to speaking out about environmental policy in the U.S. Spread the word at your seder about an Earth Day Shabbat on April 22 and a major People’s Climate Mobilization on April 29 in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. Sign up now to learn more about the Jewish delegation heading to the mobilization, or check out our other advocacy suggestions.
- Reach out to your own elected representatives to remind them, in the name of Jewish tradition, that we must protect the environment.
- Pick one act to live more lightly.
- Want to make your organization more sustainable, but don’t know where to start? Or looking to take your efforts to the next level? Apply to join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability to green your institution in 2017. Applications are open until February 24, 2017.
- Read Yossi Abramowitz’s timely piece: Better Energy: Tree-Sonous Value Gap.