Tu B’shevat Seder: Wildfires, Reforestation, and the Climate Crisis

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.

Reduce Energy Use. Check out these tips from Boulder County.

About Shari Schnee

Shari Blake Schnee is the Shalom Family and Camp Director at the Boulder Jewish Community Center (BJCC).

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3 comments

  1. i dont have to worry about food trash
    my dog eats everthing i drop, even my rubber ear plugs; found one in his poop this morning

  2. Shari Schnee's article "Tu B’shevat Seder: Wildfires, Reforestation, and the Climate Crisis" presents a scientifically inaccurate statement: "Over the past two decades, we have seen unprecedented wildfires in Colorado, largely a result of the climate crisis." The forest fires in Colorado and across the Western USA resulted from poor forest management practices during the pst 60 years, which has greatly exacerbated the frequency and intensity of forest fires, not "climate crisis". More scientific research and not left-wing propaganda would have resulted in an accurate statement regarding forest fires. Shame on Boulder Jewish News for printing such an inaccurate and untruthful statement. Ari Levi

    • As with most on-line publications, authors are responsible for the accuracy of the statements they make in their signed articles. — Editor