the canopy of a tall tree, seen from below
(Photo/Wikimedia)

How to have ‘Tu’ much fun for Tu Bishvat in the Bay Area

“Tu Bishvat” literally means the 15th day of the month of Shevat but colloquially translates to the Jewish New Year for Trees or Jewish Earth Day. Coincidentally, here are 15 Tu Bishvat events around the Bay Area.

This year’s options for celebrating include a music and crafts party for kids in a Berkeley park, a Marin Headlands hike with artist Annie Albagli and a San Francisco workshop on identifying local flora.

Tu Bishvat begins at sundown Wednesday, Jan. 24, and ends at sundown the next day.


Sunday, Jan. 21

“Hiking the Israel National Trail” — Author Michal Strutin discusses her spring 2023 trip to Israel, in which she and two dozen others toured the country by hiking the 637-mile National Israel Trail. With slideshow presentation. At Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Free.

Becoming Shomrei Adamah — Tu Bishvat celebration with “treats from the trees,” blessings, seed planting, nature art, scavenger hunt and children’s hike around Jewel Lake. Presented by Congregation Beth El and Jewish Baby Network. At Tilden Little Farm, 1500 Central Park Drive, Berkeley. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free.

Tu Bishvat Nature Walk — PJ Library presents nature walk and BYO picnic lunch. With nature scavenger hunt. Bikes, scooters and wagons are welcome. At Canyon Trail Park, 6757 Gatto Ave., El Cerrito. 12-2 p.m. Free.

“Birthday of the Trees” — Bilingual musician Ben Gundersheimer, aka Mister G, performs a concert for children ages 4-8 and their families on environmentalism through a Jewish lens. With music, singing, dancing, reading and book-signing. At OFJCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 4:30 p.m. $7-$25.

Walk in the Headlands — Artist Annie Albagli leads a 3.5 -mile hike with discussion, observations, brief readings and shofar blowing. In conjunction with Albagli’s CJM exhibit “We Become [Vessels],” a video-based installation that combines imagery and field recordings of the Marin Headlands with Jewish ritual objects to offer new ways to move through space, time and familiar and unfamiliar places. At Headlands Center for the Arts, 944 Simmonds Road, Sausalito. 12-3 p.m. Free.

“Did You Know I Was Once a Tree?” — Hands-on creative workshop using natural materials to make art. Led by artist and educator Amy Kassiola. At Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $18.

Tu Bishvat Family Celebration — JCC East Bay and PJ Library present holiday event for kids ages 3-8 and their families. With nature-based crafts, tree and seed planting, recycling projects, fruit sampling, a birthday party and optional multilingual (English/Spanish/Hebrew) nature walk to Live Oak Park. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 2-4 p.m. $18.


Wednesday, Jan. 24

A Jewish Appreciation of Trees — Educator David Gardella leads a workshop on trees, including botany, identification, cultivating local varieties, beneficial uses and metaphorical connections to Jewish wisdom. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 1-2 p.m. Free.

“Outside In” — In the JCCSF lobby with live trees. Plus hands-on crafts, Jewish wisdom, holiday rituals, snacks of fruits and nuts and a treehouse-themed nook filled with books that celebrate trees. Presented by JCC Association of North America and Israel’s Ministry for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 3-5 p.m. Free.

Tu Bishvat Seder — The Jewish learning farm presents its annual seder with farm-crafted liquor and a seven-course menu made with local seasonal ingredients. Presented by Urban Adamah, Jewtina y Co. and Olamim. At Urban Adamah, 1151 Sixth St., Berkeley. 6-9 p.m. $36-$118, sliding scale.

Psychedelic Tu Bishvat: Plants as Allies for Inner Transformation — Rabbi Zac Kamenetz explores the connection between the plant world and humans through a psychedelic lens in a multisensory experience. With guided meditation and light plant-based foods. Bring a special item for the altar. For 18 and over. At Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free, donations encouraged.


Thursday, Jan. 25

“Nourish Your Roots” — Reception for exhibition of over 40 works, including ceramics, collage, photography, oil painting, print, collage and sculpture, by 14 Bay Area artists who explore the profound connections between humankind and the natural world. With artist meet-and-greet, hands-on projects and Tu Bishvat-themed refreshments. Presented by JCCSF and ArtSpan. Through May 31. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 6-8 p.m. Free, RSVP required.


Sunday, Jan. 28

“Jewbilee: Longing for the Fruits of the Land” — Addison-Penzak JCC event focuses on the mystical and physical dimensions of Tu Bishvat and how to bring this awareness into our bodies through our five senses. With workshops, teen and kid sessions, keynote from Rabbi Ariel Evan Mayse and refreshments. At APJCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $18-$36, registration required.

Funday Sunday Tu Bishvat — PJ Library and Contra Costa Jewish Day School present Tu Bishvat celebration with crafts, story time and snacks. At Lafayette Reservoir Playground, 3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. 10-11:30 a.m. Free.

“Birthday of the Trees” — The Kitchen and Jewish Baby Network present a Tu Bishvat celebration. Bring a blanket. At Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Drive, S.F. 10-11:30 a.m. Free.