Tu B’Shevat reminds us to plant. Photo courtesy of  Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash.

SCHENECTADY– The Schenectady Center (SJCC) will celebrate the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, New Year For Trees with a community seder and other holiday-related activities on Sunday, Jan. 28, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The community is welcome to attend.

Those attending participants will have an opportunity to take part in a Tu B’Shevat seder, at which they will get to eat various  fruits and foods to note the important role trees play in life. This year’s celebration will focus particularly on the almond tree, which is the first tree to bloom in Israel. Other activities will include planting seeds, making almond-flavored treats and crafts.

This year, the SJCC is also hosting a tree-themed art creation opportunity to celebrate Tu B’Shevat. Those who wish to be involved are encouraged to create and submit a tree sculpture or picture to be featured at the event and exhibited through February. Submissions started Jan. 15 and are ongoing.

Registration for the event is required and may be obtained before and during the  holiday on  Thursday, Jan. 25, at https://www.schenectadyjcc.org/arts/celebration-series/ or by calling the Center.

Admission for the program is $5 for Center members, $10 for guests and free for children 13 and under. Judy Ben-Ami at [email protected] can provide details.

According to organizers, Tu B’Shevat was originally to mark the age of a tree for the purpose of harvesting and tithing its fruit. The tithes were then given to the priests who served in the Temple and did not own any land. After the Jewish people were scattered in the diaspora and were no longer primarily involved in agriculture, Tu B’Shevat became a holiday symbolizing the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.