This year’s Tu BiShvat celebration at Sinai Synagogue Leeds was Tu BiShvat with a difference. In keeping with Shmita year, the Sinai community celebration included a sustainability marketplace.
Celebrations started at ShabbaTots, Sinai’s Friday morning parents/carers and toddlers group, with children learning about Tu BiShvat and making a beautiful tree. Religion School pupils learned more about Tu BiShvat, and on Sunday Sinai overflowed with energy and enthusiasm as rag rugging, knitting and crochet were learnt; as children upcycled craft items and beautified jam jars; as refreshments were relished in the Pay as you Feel cafe; stallholders were consulted, conversed with, learnt from.
“A very special thank you to everyone who helped to make Tu BiShvat at Sinai such a wonderfully successful event,” said Gwynneth Lewis, Sinai’s Director of Educaton. “We had such a variety of stalls, ranging from the Pay As You Feel café to the Woodland Trust, to Freegle, the Leeds Parks Department, and Chris Long from Riverford Organics. Then there were the craft demonstrations, examples of upcycling, gardening advice… and, of course, two terrificsedarim, one for families and one for adults. Thanks to Pazit Ziv and to Leo Wax for leading them. There are so many people to thank – catering, organising, security, setting up, teaching… so many volunteers to make a terrific community afternoon!”
Anna Dyson, who came with her children, said: “It was really buzzy – great fun, delicious food, and educational too! A great way to celebrate and honour Tu BiShvat.” Petra Mullen added: “loved the rag rugging – I made a lovely rag rug brooch. Everything was good!”
Co-organiser Miriam Osner reprted feedback from Ann of Leeds Freegle: “I learnt about rag rug making as well so a new skill learnt. It was a good afternoon and every one was very friendly. It was really nice meeting you and everyone else.”