Tu B’Shevat, (literally the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat), the New Year for the trees begins Wednesday evening, January 27.
Why do the trees need a new year? There are many Jewish laws about agriculture and farming to help us take care of the fields, crops, and trees – and they require that we know how old our trees are! These laws mainly apply to food grown in Israel, but they offer a lot of good advice and reminders for environmental sustainability everywhere. Today, Tu B’Shevat symbolizes a sort of Jewish Earth Day or Jewish Arbor Day, giving us the opportunity to assess our environmental commitments for the year and examine our spiritual place in the natural world.
Over the past two decades, we have seen unprecedented wildfires in Colorado, largely a result of the climate crisis. This past summer, our mountain forests burned and broke new records (again) for the intensity of the wildfire season. The focus of this year’s community Tu B’Shevat seder will be Wildfires, Reforestation, and the Climate Crisis. Join us for this virtual event Wednesday evening, January 27, 2021, where we will explore the intersection of Jewish thought, trees, and climate.
We will explore the contemporary issues of Wildfires and Reforestation with Camille Stevens-Rumann, Assistant Professor in Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at CSU, and Rodrigo Moraga, local firefighter and wildland fire management consultant, as we root ourselves in Jewish thought and the wisdom of tradition. The seder will be virtual, with the opportunity to learn, sing, dialogue, and act.
In addition to the seder, We encourage you to mark Tu B’Shevat by making a commitment to reducing your carbon footprint. Here are some ideas from Hazon. Make a personal commitment for environmental change here.
- Get Growing/Buy Local. Sign up for a Farm Share, like the Tuv Ha’aretz CSA with Red Wagon Farm.
- Buy Less Stuff. In the City of Boulder, a major part of our carbon footprint is generated by our consumption and waste.
- Transition to a Plant Rich Diet. Read more about Climate Change and Agriculture from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
- Reduce Food Waste. Check out these resources from Boulder County.
- Reduce Household Waste. Read more about Zero Waste in Boulder.
Reduce Energy Use. Check out these tips from Boulder County.