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photo by Rhonda Spivak


By Rhonda Spivak, February 2, 2011

It was a very blustery, snowy cold day here when Tu’Bishvat celebrations took place in Winnipeg on January 23. Although I searched for blossoming almond trees, like I remember seeing when I lived near the hills in the Jerusalem corridor—there were none to be found. The New Year of the Trees does not quite have the same feel to it when one the natural world is in a completely frozen state.
But there was definitelysigns of life and activity at the Rady JCC’s “Once Upon A Tu-Bishvat celebrations.” The idea was for children to go from station to station, as they decorated planters, filled them with earth, seeds of grass and watered them. There were arts and crafts, games, Israeli trivia and smiling faces. Afterward there was music and dance and a snack. The Rady centre had made a large stand up JNF blue box –the largest I’ve ever seen-where people could donate to the JNF for planting of new trees.
“It was a very well organized program,” said Jeremy Feuer, who walked out of the gym with children and a planter in hand. Batya Gall said her daughter Sarah’s favourite was “the watering station.”
“.....The Rady JCC was pleased to present this family event… The Tu B'Shevat Family Event is just one of many Rady JCC programs throughout the year for parents and children to enjoy together. We are especially thrilled that there were 200 people in attendance --both newcomers and long-time Winnipegers, “said Tamar Barr, program director for the Rady JCC.
From the Rady, I went to Shaarey Zedek synagogue, where a joint program by JNF and Shaarey Zedek , chaired by Rishona and Hartley Hyman was in full bloom. There children could get little pine seedlings in pots they could decorate, that can be planted outside in the spring so they can grow into a tree. Children had made leaf mobiles, sand art designs, faux stained glass trees (using tissue paper), tree plaques with art teacher Amy Karlinsky –and a giant mural was spread out on the floor for children to draw on. It was a smorgasbord of arts and crafts
The room was crowded with children and their families, including babas and zaidas, many of whom stayed for an Israeli themed Tu’ Bishvat dinner—a falafel bar with hummus, baba ghannnouj, Tabbouleh salad, dips, and tahini.
Jaqueline Freedman, JNF Development-Co-ordinator, told the Winnipeg Jewish Review;
“We were thrilled with the response from the community to our Tu Bi'Shevat event. Over 90 people came out to participate in arts and crafts, and the dinner was sold out, with over 100 people enjoying the Israeli menu. Everyone had a great time, and at the end of the dinner the young kids were dancing to the CDs of Israeli music. It was a real family celebration; lots of fun. Special thanks to JNF Board member Rishona Hyman, who chaired the event, and to Leslie Emery at the Shaarey Zedek for all her hard work - JNF looks forward to partnering again on future events."
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.