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Tu B'Shvat 5777

The Jewish holiday Tu BiShvat – “New Year of the Trees” – has been marked by the ceremonial planting of a tree on the Englefield Estate near Reading.
Members of the Reading Liberal Jewish Community (RLJC) celebrated their tenth Tu BiShvat by adding to a wooded area they began in 2007. They were joined by supporters and the forestry team from the Englefield Estate.
Tu BiShvat is a celebration of nature and the coming of Spring which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat – this year Saturday 11th February.
The planting ceremony was hosted by Englefield Estate’s Forestry Manager Richard Edwards who supplied a Scots pine. He said: “We are proud to support the RLJC with its annual celebrations and, over the years they have planted a small woodland of trees which is an impressive sight.
“The Estate supports numerous local community initiatives and by its very nature the Tu BiShvat is ideal because it’s a true celebration of nature and the environment which is something we champion.”
Noya Noble, of the RLJC said: “We are very grateful to the Englefield Estate for its continued support and for allowing us to carry out our celebrations here each year.
“The planting, and sharing of fruits, always takes place on the designated day, regardless of weather. In the past we’ve planted in the snow and heavy frost, as well as the occasional brilliant sunshine.”
The Tu BiShvat ceremony dates back to 70 CE (CE - Common Era is an alternative to Anno Domini – AD – “in the year of the Lord”) when the Jewish people left Jerusalem following the destruction of the Second Temple. As it was no longer possible to bring tithes to the Temple, Jewish people bound themselves symbolically and spiritually to their former homeland by eating a variety of fruits and nuts harvested from the land and planting new trees.