Richmond Jewish Day School held a week of activities revolving around Tu b’Shevat. (photo from RJDS)
Richmond Jewish Day School held a weeklong event celebrating the holiday of Tu b’Shevat, which fell this year on Jan. 17. Tu b’Shevat has developed into an ecological holiday that reminds us of humanity’s connection to the earth and to our role as caretakers of the environment.
On the holiday Monday, each classroom performed a model Tu b’Shevat seder, a meal that partly mirrors the Passover seder and involves eating biblical foods native to the Holy Land and drinking four cups of wine or, in the students’ case, grape juice. Additionally, all of the students assisted in planting several fruit trees in the school garden, sponsored by the Jewish National Fund.
On the Tuesday of that week, students potted succulents from the garden to give away to seniors in the Richmond community. And, in the remainder of the week, classes planted parsley and other herbs for Passover, and assisted in a large-scale, school-wide garden clean-up.
When students are able to see the effort and care needed to grow plants, they develop a sense of ownership for these living organisms. Developing this awareness of how precious nature is can help children become better connected to their environment, learning to be strong community ambassadors and advocates in protecting the planet.
Judaism is not alone in advocating for environmental protection. From Buddhism to Christianity to Hinduism to Islam, various faiths acknowledge the need for environmental stewardship and their scriptures urge followers to be caretakers of the planet, looking after the natural earth and the organisms that live in it.
– Courtesy Richmond Jewish Day School