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JNF’s Tu B’Shevat Across America

Jewish National Fund Offers Speakers to Enrich Your Tu B’Shevat Experience

Contact: Sarit Schonbrun • JNF Communications Manager • 212-879-9305 ext. 222 •

January 16, 2006-- New York, NY-- For the last three years, Jewish National Fund has enhanced the observance of Tu B’Shevat for congregations around the U.S. with its annual Tu B’Shevat Across America.  Through the program, congregations can connect to JNF's mission as caretaker of the land of Israel- and what better time than during the Tu B'Shevat season!  Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, is a celebration of spring’s rebirth and renewal, and an appreciation of the interconnectedness of nature and humanity.  It will be observed on Sunday night, February 12 and Monday, February 13, 2006.  

As part of its goal to engage, educate, and energize the Jewish community of the United States for a deeper commitment to the land and people of Israel, JNF provides congregations with resources for celebrating Tu B’Shevat and promotes environmental awareness and support for Israel.  This year, three hundred congregations are expected to participate.     

Tu B'Shevat embodies the abiding dedication to ecology, environmentalism and conservation that JNF has always championed.  Since it was founded in 1901, JNF and its supporters have planted over 240 million trees in Israel, built over 180 reservoirs and dams, developed over 250,000 acres of land, established more than 450 parks, and educated students around the world about Israel and the environment.   Over the years, Tu B’Shevat has taken on the theme of planting trees in Israel, giving it a special connection to JNF.  

“Bringing the message of Tu B’Shevat to congregations enables fellow Jews to connect to the land of Israel and provides an opportunity to build Israel tree by tree, community by community,” said Rabbi Eric M. Lankin, D. Min., JNF Chief, Institutional Advancement and Education. 

Congregations can book distinguished speakers and utilize a collection of Tu B’Shevat sermons written by rabbis from around the world called The Book of Sermons.  They may request complimentary tree planting forms and JNF Blue Boxes™, as well as order Tu B’Shevat Haggadot for $2 each that can be used to conduct a Tu B’Shevat Seder.  This tradition dates back to the 17th century, when the Kabbalists developed a Seder for the holiday that was modeled after the Passover ritual.  The custom includes drinking four cups of wine and eating foods that are symbolic of four levels of physical and spiritual life.

Congregations may also participate in JNF’s Essence of Life campaign, an initiative supported by the congregations of America to develop cutting-edge water conservation technology and a recreational park on the Ramon Airforce Base in Mitzpeh Ramon.   

For more information about JNF’s Tu B’Shevat Across America program or the Essence of Life campaign, please contact Ilana Bernstein at (212) 879-9305 ext. 297 or at

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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