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Congregation to celebrate 'New Year of Trees'

Published 4:39 pm, Thursday, January 17, 2013
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The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism will hold a TuB'Shvat Seder at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Ave.

The family-friendly event will provide an opportunity to contemplate stewardship of the land and how people depend on it for sustenance while acting as responsible caretakers so it can be passed on to future generations, according to a release.

Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share at the pot luck dinner. The congregation, based in Westport, will supply drinks, dessert and ceremonial food.

TuB'Shvat, known as the New Year of Trees, originated in a pagan festival honoring Asherah, goddess of farmers and fertility, the release states. The festival took place at the end of the rainy season in Israel when the sap began to rise in the fruit trees and the period of budding commenced, showing the first signs of spring.

Jewish communities around the world celebrate TuB'Shvat as a "Jewish Earth Day," a day of attention to healing and preserving the natural environment, the release states. Seders, tree-plantings, environmental restoration activities and educational events are planned as a way of expressing a Jewish commitment to protecting the earth.

For information or to RSVP, call 203-226-5451.