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Tu B’Shvat Birthday Cake

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Make a Tu B’Shvat Tree Birthday Cake!
Using your favorite cake or cookie dough recipe, spread the batter onto a 11 X 14 cookie sheet (one without sides so that the cookie can be slipped off onto a board).
After baking, while the dough is still slightly warm…
Cut the basic shape of a tree out of the [...]

Bal Tashchit: The Three Rs

Friday, January 1st, 2016

To till and to tend: one of the first mitzvot given to us by God in the Torah. Truly, we are the caretakers of this earth and of all the living things. (Including each other! but that’s for another day…) Bal Tashchit is the mitzvah that says, Do Not Destroy/Waste. It [...]

Tu B’Shvat Recipes

Friday, January 1st, 2016

From, “Taste of Tradition”  by Ruth Sirkis
Ruth, considered to be ‘the Julia Child of Israel” tells us, Tu B’Shvat is all about “going on a nature kick.” In Israel, “meadows, orchards and vineyards begin to blossom.” So, “foods of the holiday are related to nature and trees as well. It is traditional to [...]

A Tree’s New Year Resolution

Friday, January 1st, 2016

by Shlomo Yaffe
used with permission
Tu B’Shvat –the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat — is known as the “New Year for Trees.” Naturally this would be a time for trees to engage in soul-searching the way people do on Rosh Hashanah. Here is a tree’s New Year Checklist:

Did I shelter the seedlings [...]

Resources on the Environment and for Tu B’Shvat

Friday, January 1st, 2016

 www.Rockinoutgreen.com  has several resource pages for both children and adults!
Check out COEJL’s page on Tu B’Shvat packed with learning about the environment and it’s connection to Judaism. You’ll also find a beautiful Tu B’Shvat Seder here.

Read Tu B’Shvat articles at the Shalom Center by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a master teacher, author, and [...]

The Torah compared to a Fig Tree

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Why is the Torah compared to a fig tree? The fruit of most trees – the olive tree, the vine, and the palm tree – is collected all at once, while that of the fig tree is collected a bit at a time. So, too, regarding the Torah. Today a person learns [...]

What does the TU in Tu B’Shvat stand for?

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Using Gematria, the Hebrew T U is made up of a Tet, which has the numerical value of 9 and Vav which has the value of 6. Together the two letters equal 15. Tu B’Shvat occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month, Shvat. Shvat is the 11th month of [...]

How can I #BeTheShamash ?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

The Chanukah menorah has eight branches of light plus one additional branch, called the Shamash שמש.  The Shamash candle sits apart from the others and has one very important job.

It’s job is to light the other candles.  It is the helper candle or the starter.  Without it, we would have no light in the dark [...]

The Very First Night Light

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Once upon a time at the very, very beginning, when the seasons changed for the very, very first time,  everything in creation paid very close attention.
It was just round this time of year when Bear noticed that the Sun’s strong beam went down earlier than usual.  ”It’s a little colder today,” said Bear to Elephant.
“Yes [...]

This Little Light of Mine: 8 Art Projects Exploring Light and Dark for Chanukah

Friday, November 20th, 2015

In preparation for Chanukah, my students and I explore light and dark.  Below, some art projects based on these themes.
Teacher Preparation:
Vocabulary words:
“Or” light
“Choshech” dark
“Ner” Candle
“Nerot” Candles
“Ner Tamid” eternal flame/light
“Shamash” – helper
In the story of Chanukah, the Macabbees dedicate the Temple by lighting the Ner Tamid, a light that stays lit always.  That means it’s still lit today. [...]