This year, Jewish Climate Action Network of Georgia (JCAN GA) and Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL) are celebrating Tu B’Shvat, the “New Year of Trees,” in Atlanta with two special events: their annual dedicated tree planting, and a virtual seder. These events are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with our local Jewish community, connect with Georgians of other faiths, and care for our greatest treasure: the Earth.
JCAN GA is the local branch of the Jewish Climate Action Network. The Georgia branch was established in 2021, and “works through education, activism, and organizing to add an urgent and visionary Jewish voice to the climate crisis.” It is a program of GIPL, which is the local branch of Interfaith Power & Light (IPL), an environmental advocacy organization that unites people across religious lines to take bold and just action on climate change.
Atlanta’s Tu B’Shvat celebrations begin Sunday, February 5 at 1 pm at Wade Walker Park in Stone Mountain. JCAN GA plans to plant 73 trees to sustain Atlanta’s tree canopy. Often called the “City in a Forest,” Atlanta has one of the highest concentrations of greenery of any major city. One of JCAN GA’s partners in this event, Trees Atlanta, has sponsored annual Tu B’Shvat tree plantings for twenty years. Click here to register.
Joanna Kobylivker, Director of JCAN GA, says, “We are thrilled to celebrate our 10th year of tree plantings for Tu B’Shvat! And we, along with Trees Atlanta, are so excited to honor our phenomenal volunteer, Myrtle Lewin, who has coordinated this event for the last 10 years. It is thanks to her, and all our wonderful volunteers, that so many holiday trees have been planted in Atlanta over the last decade.”
Activities at the tree planting will be physical and involve digging holes, untangling roots, mulching, watering, and cleaning up litter. Activity such as bending, lifting, and kneeling is required. Be prepared to get your hands and clothes dirty and to break a sweat!
And on Monday, February 6, JCAN GA is hosting a Zoom seder to close out the holiday. This festive celebration will invite attendees to partake in native Israeli fruits and grains, known as the “Seven Species,” and enjoy a symbolic mixing of wines, in the spirit of blending our personal needs with those of communal sustainability. Click here to register.
All ages are invited to participate in these events, which JCAN GA says will be “a time of prayer, education and connection to shmirat ha’adamah (protecting our planet).”