The Jewish National Fund: The Shuk Shak Tu B’Shevat Festival

The Shuk Shak Tu B’Shevat Festival sponsored by the Jewish National Fund on Wednesday night, January 31, 2018, was a major success.  Over three hundred people braved the cold weather and came out to the far West Side of Manhattan to celebrate Tu B’Shevat and Israel. A beautiful crowd it was, including Miss Israel in attendance.  For one night we were transported to an Israeli marketplace complete with Israeli food favorites such as grilled meats and vegetables, salads, baked goods, spices and our favorite beverages.

 For one night we also experienced the music and culture of Israel.  Israeli crafts were also on display as many guests were treated to jewelry that is quite fashionable in Israel.  Also, to the credit of this large crowd, the JNF representatives did a brisk business in selling trees.

There are actually four Rosh Hashanahs on the Jewish calendar.  Tonight we celebrated one of them, Tu B’shevat, which is the New Year for trees.  Let us remember that the JNF and Tu B’Shevat are intertwined.  JNF plants the trees and Israel grows.  Looking forward to next year’s event.

P.S. Several years ago I was a participant in a JNF mission to Israel.  The itinerary included many places of interest that you may not see with other tours.  If you are planning a trip to Israel I strongly recommend the JNF tour.  You will get a chance to plant your own tree and will be talking about the trip for years. 

Austin Rybstein