Tu BiSh’vat

On the 15th day of the month of Sh’vat the Jewish community celebrates the holiday of Tu BiSh’vat, or what is commonly known as the “New Year for the Trees”.

Although the celebration of Tu BiSh’vat has a long and varied history, the theme most commonly ascribed to the holiday today is the environment. It is considered a festival of nature, full of wonder, joy, and thankfulness for creation in anticipation of the renewal of the natural world. During this festival, we recall our sacred obligation to care for the world, and the responsibility to share the fruits of the earth with all.

Like Chanukah, Tu BiSh’vat is a post-biblical festival, instituted by the Rabbis. However, the holiday has biblical roots. Beginning with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden all the way through to Deuteronomy’s injunction against destroying fruit trees in times of war, our biblical text is replete with trees, both literal and metaphorical. 

In modern times, Tu BiSh’vat was nourished by the rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which re-emphasized the Jewish people’s connections to the land and the natural world. As a result of this emphasis on tree-planting – on Tu BiSh’vat and all year long – Israel stands as the only country in the world with an almost constant net growth of trees.

Above all, the Torah itself is seen as a “Tree of Life,” a growing and abundant source of spiritual sustenance to a great people. Perhaps this is the best indication of the reverence and respect that Judaism holds for God’s world. The tree has been a symbol of life and continues to be a source of life for Israel today. On Tu BiSh’vat, we celebrate that life in joy and gladness.

This year we are particularly excited to be joining members Leslie and Katrina Heine at their home ‘Frogmore’ on 9 February for our first ever Tu BiSh’vat Picnic and Tree Planting. Frogmore, which is located on the Hamilton Highway outside of Geelong, is the perfect venue for our Tu BiSh’vat celebration as it is not only of architectural, historical and archaeological significance to the State of Victoria, but is also the site of Charles Wyatt’s celebrated Frogmore Nursery, one of the earliest nurseries in the country.

This is a FREE EVENT, but as it is being hosted on a private property, everyone who plans to attend MUST REGISTER.

Registrations close 10am Thursday 6 February unless booked out earlier.

FAQs

Do I need to print my ticket? No, upon arrival you will sign in.

What should I bring?

  • A standard camping chair and/or picnic rug.
  • A hat and sunscreen – or a raincoat, umbrellas and gumboots. Please come prepared, whatever the weather.
  • Water bottles and snacks.
  • Food – a summer-inspired (Kosher-friendly) light picnic meal will be provided. If you have any special dietary requirements please ensure you bring appropriate food with you.
  • Supervision – please ensure that young children are actively supervised at all times. This is a country property that has a variety of natural insects, animals and terrain in addition to the Barwon River. Caution should be taken.
  • A great attitude and good vibes!

Where can I park? Parking is available on site. You will be directed where to park upon arrival.

Are there facilities for those with mobility challenges? The event precinct is grassed, with some uneven and sloped areas. There are large spaces between the activities which will require walking. If you require assistance with walking or if you’re unsure of accessibility please call the office to have a more detailed discussion: 9510 1488.

Is there transport available? A minibus will depart from and return to TBI. Places are strictly limited and must be booked when you register for the event. Please note: TBI cannot supply car seats or boosters. The bus will depart from TBI at 1pm sharp.

Schedule:
Gates open: 2pm
Welcome: 2.20pm
Picnic: 2.40pm
Book Burial: 3.10pm
Tree Planting: 3.30pm
Tour of the property: 4.10pm
Games & activities: 2 – 5pm
Gates close: 5.15pm

425-465 Hamilton Hwy Greater Geelong
Approx. 55 mins from TBI