Holiday Information

Tu B’Shevat Seder & Shabbat Dinner Experience
Friday, February 10, 2017

Celebrate the Jewish “new year” for trees with a seder of four cups of wine, four questions, specific foods, and story-telling, followed by a special brisket Shabbat dinner.
CAI Members: $25pp; guests $30pp w/RSVP before Feb. 1.
Price increase Feb. 1 – Members: $30; guests $35.
All reservations due by Feb. 3.


The semi-holiday, Chamishah Asar B’Shevat (15th day of Shevat) marks the first day of spring in Israel. It occurs six weeks after Hanukkah. The Mishnah refers to it as Rosh Hashanah L’Ilanot (New Year of the Trees). Since ancient times, the Jewish people have observed it by eating fruit grown in Israel. With the rise of the Zionist movement and the re-establishment of the land of Israel, Tu B’Shevat has gained new significance as Arbor Day, observed by the planting of trees in Israel.

Trees were regarded as special gifts from God. There are many symbolic allusions to trees in the Bible, especially the olive, which sends up new shoots to continue the life of the old tree that dies. Trees are represented as symbols of  goodness and nobility. The upright person is compared to “a tree planted near a stream, that bears fruit in due season, with leaves that never fade” (Psalm 1:3). “The righteous will flourish like the palm tree; they will grow like a cedar in Lebanon” (Psalm 92: 13-14).

Not too long ago, it was customary among many of our people to plant a tree when a child was born — a cedar for a boy and a cypress for a girl. Branches from these trees were then used for the poles of the wedding canopy (chuppah) on the day of their marriage.

In our day, many people purchase trees in Israel through the Jewish National Fund (JNF). If interested in purchasing a tree or making a donation to the JNF for reclamation of the land of Israel, please contact the JNF at 800-542-TREE (8733).