Planting Together, Students Grow Cultural Awareness
With gardening spades in hand and smiles spread across their faces, students from Temple Emanuel Day School and Crescent Heights Elementary School did a bit of planting on Thursday, January 28.
The greening project, which took place at Crescent Heights Elementary School, was a celebration of Tu B’Shvat, or Jewish Arbor Day.
Throughout the afternoon, students came out to the school’s garden area and planted a variety of plants and herbs while also learning about the significance of the holiday, which marks the coming of Spring in Israel.
Other schools participating in Tu B’Shvat planting projects included Stephen S. Wise, Sinai Akiba Academy and Kittridge Elementary School.
“There is no bigger gratification than watching children from different worlds play together, learn from each other and share similarities from their cultures,” said Jacob Dayan, Consul General of Israel for the Southwest United States. “Israel is happy to create new bonds between the kids in Los Angeles that will create generations of hope, respect and understanding. We are privileged to take part in such a unique endeavor.”
The event was made possible by a partnership between the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles and LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program. The goal was to educate non-Jewish children on the holiday and let them work side-by-side with their Jewish peers. ValleyCrest Landscape Development donated winter vegetables and herbs for the children to plant during the celebrations. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) donated trees to be planted in Israel in honor of every student participating the events.
“The boards, family and staff of LA’s BEST are gratified by the Jewish day schools’ commitment to our partnership,” said Carla Sanger, CEO of LA’s BEST.
Congregation Bais Naftoli also celebrated Tu B’Shvat with a ceremony that included Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck, Los Angeles Fire Chief Millage Peaks and Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, 5th District.