An Olive tree in a field
Olive tree (Photo/Flickr-Yellow.Cat CC BY 2.0)

Best events to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the ‘new year of the trees’

Tu B’Shevat, or “new year of the trees,” began as an agricultural festival in Israel, marking the start of spring. Today the focus has turned to ecological awareness. There are many ways to celebrate Jewish Arbor Day: You can get out in nature, take a hike, plant a tree or build a garden. Or if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can simply enjoy a meal or a concert. Tu B’Shevat falls on Monday, Jan. 21, with many Bay Area events taking place in the days before and after the holiday.

Saturday, January 12

Community Tu B’Shevat celebration—Performance by family juggling team Earth Capades, plus projects for kids. At Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. 4-5:30 p.m. Free.

Sunday, January 13

“Tu B’Shevat at the Park”—For families. Includes flower-planting, arts and crafts, field games, dried fruits and storytelling for kids 2-5. In Hebrew. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 11 a.m. Free.

“Tu B’Shevat Concert and Fun!” Toby Pechner, singer of Jewish children’s music, hosts concert for kids. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 3:30-5 p.m. Free.

Tu B’Shevat storytelling in Hebrew—Guest storytellers and puppets from Treehouse Learning. For young children and their families. At Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Free.

Tuesday, January 15

“Goodness Grows in Sonoma”—Make a “goodness garden” to grow at home for Tu B’Shevat. All ages. At Chabad of Sonoma, 2312 Bethards Drive, Sonoma. 4:30 p.m. Free.

Thursday, January 17

“Tu B’Shevat and Margaritas”—Make your own succulent terrarium and enjoy food and drinks. At Cadillac Bar & Grill, 44 Ninth St., S.F. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $20. Facebook event page

Saturday, January 19

Tu B’Shevat celebration—Jewish Gateways program for children ages 1-5 and their grownups. With storytelling and music. At Epworth Church Social Hall, 1953 Hopkins St., Berkeley. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $5-$12. Eventbrite page

Tu B’Shevat Farm Seder—Seven-course menu based on the Seven Sacred Species from the Bible. At Urban Adamah, 1151 Sixth St., Berkeley. 7-10 p.m. $45 and up.

Sunday, January 20

“Tu B’Shevat in the Redwoods”—Wilderness Torah ceremony among the trees, followed by song, meditation and teachings. Advance sales only. At an East Bay Regional Park in Oakland; site given with registration. 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m. $48-$72.

Monday, January 21

Tu B’Shevat citrus harvest—Pick fruit to donate to local food bank. At Kenesset Israel Torah Center, 1165 Morse Ave., Sacramento. 12:30-6 p.m. Free; RSVP required. Facebook event page

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Tu B’Shevat—Hike along the Arroyo del Valle. Bring dairy-free, gluten-free potluck dish. At Sycamore Grove Park, 1051 Wetmore Road, Livermore. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free for members and children; $10 for nonmember adult. Contact Joy Randel at (510) 898-8789.

Women’s Circle Tu B’Shevat—Enjoy soup and salad bar with fellow Jewish women. At Chabad of Contra Costa, 1671 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek. 7:30 p.m. $15 and up.

Wednesday, January 23

Tu B’Shevat service and dinner—Ritual, songs and discussion followed by light dinner. At Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. 6:30-8 p.m. $10.