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 Tu B'Shvat Newsletter Leo Baeck Education Center, February 2016
Leo Baeck Community Center’s Tu B’Shvat Seder
The second floor of the Leo Baeck Education Center, usually bustling with the whir of students and staff rushing to and from classes, the library and meetings, was transformed into festive hall on Monday, January 25th, filled with joyful sounds of the annual Leo Baeck Community Center Tu B’Shvat Seder. Nearly 170 participants, including Former Soviet Union Holocaust survivors from the Shilo Society, adult members of the Sports Center, Community Center families, Israeli Scouts, youth and volunteers from the Ruth Center, and youth and staff in our Re’im special needs program, gathered together around colorful tables to enjoy an evening of celebration and tasty treats. Yoav Yagol, Community Center Director, greeted the guests. Orit Cohen, Assistant Director of the Community Center, introduced Rabbis Gabby Dagan and Na’ama Dafni-Kellen of Leo Baeck’s Ohel Avraham Synagogue who, with representatives of the students, staff, and members of the Leo Baeck community, recited holiday blessings and prayers in appreciation of the many fruits of the earth and the values of giving to others and pluralism they and this holiday represent. Various musical ensembles of staff and students entertained the guests with renditions of traditional holiday songs, some surprisingly spiced with rap and pop beats under the musical direction of Amir Avraham. Leo Baeck second grade students and children of the Ha-Lev community presented the Holocaust survivors with a special greeting and gifts, courtesy of the Tsipor Ha-Nefesh Society of artists. The team work and participation of all members of the Leo Baeck community ensured the success of this event. They represent the seeds of hope that are lovingly sown and nurtured to help develop the values of caring for others and giving to the community.

Tu B’Shvat Seder in the Ohel Avraham Synagogue
On Friday, January 22nd, following a very special Shabbat Service with visitors from Moscow and New York, Ohel Avraham sponsored its annual Tu B’Shvat Seder. The program, coordinated by Rabbi Na’ama Dafni-Kellen and Rabbi Gabby Dagan, featured a beautiful slide presentation about the preservation of nature, and quotes from Biblical sources about trees and fruit, the traditional Tu B’Shvat holiday food. Rabbi Dafni-Kellen’s father, Professor Emeritus Amotz Dafni from the University of Haifa, a distinguished ethnobotanist, participated in this special program. The over 50 congregants joined in singing Israeli songs about nature, led by Boaz Sterenberg on the guitar, and followed by a vegetarian-dairy potluck dinner.

Tu B’Shvat in the Community Garden, Ein Ha-Yam / Wadi El-J’mal
Eighty students and special needs children from the mixed Jewish-Arab Ein Ha-Yam neighborhood school, joined by the staff of the Leo Baeck and Clore Community Centers, and Community Garden activists, gathered in the Community Garden on January 25th, to celebrate Tu B’Shvat. The participants planted 44 olive trees, known for their longevity and deep roots, in the Tolerance Pavilion. Dubi Kliger and the Galil Plants Nursery graciously donated some of the trees. The children were given a tour of the Community Garden, participated in a Tu B’Shvat quiz prepared by the Community Garden activists, and were entertained with holiday music and treats.

Tu B’Shvat at Beit Ligdol Tov
Beit Ligdol Tov holiday festivities culminated on Saturday, January 30th, with 700 participants in Lotem Forest in a huge collaborative event with Israel’s Society for the Protection of Nature, Scout troupes and the Culture Division of the Haifa Municipality. On Thursday, January 21st more than 80 children and their parents participated in a Tu B’Shvat celebration at Beit Ligdol Tov that included a dramatized story hour, arts and crafts activities, plantings in the garden, and a special Kabbalat Shabbat with refreshments. Tnuva employees Avivit and Itzik offered their much-appreciated help. During the entire week, children and their parents enjoyed games, movement activities, and arts and crafts at Beit Ligdol Tov, all in the spirit of the holiday of trees.

"Peace Drums" Project
In the spirit of the Tu B’Shvat holiday, we wish to share with you an essay written by a Leo Baeck student about her participation in our “Peace Drums,” a project that exemplifies how the seeds of shared existence are lovingly planted and nurtured at the Leo Baeck Education Center and develop the values of tolerance, caring for others, and giving to the community in our students. [Read more…]
Galilean peace drums
To find out more about our projects and activities in the Leo Baeck Education Center and how you can support, please contact us on +972-4-8300571 or at dia@leobaeck.org.il
Visit our website: leobaeckhaifa.org
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