Today we celebrate the holiday of Tu B’shvat, the “New Year of the Trees,” now most frequently celebrated as a holiday that brings ecological awareness, which reminds us that all living things require energy to thrive.
Living Jewishly and observing Judaism means that you are constantly balancing challenges with triumph. Though during Rosh Hashanah we celebrate creation, at Tu B’shvat we celebrate renewal with the conclusion of one agricultural year and the beginning of the next for Israel’s farmers. It signals a shift of seasons and a reminder that no season is everlasting. In the book of Ecclesiastes, we are reminded that “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets; it hurries back to where it rises...”
As we are closing in on a year into the global pandemic, we simply cannot ignore how it has dramatically impacted each and every one of us. While in the midst of figuring out the creative calculus for how we can continue to interact with one another and nurture relationships, we may quickly forget to nurture ourselves. Let us consider how to sustain and renew our fuel and our teens’ fuel during this season and the next.
This year we will celebrate the changing of seasons and renew our energy and our commitment to our mission during our Movement’s International Convention. With this year’s IC being offered digitally, we are able to reach and unite Jewish teens worldwide with inspiring leaders, powerful educators, and exciting influencers unlike any time before. We are humbled and inspired—knowing that thousands of teens around the globe will join us for moments of connectivity through Leadership Labs, J-Lab workshops, and prayer, and we can hardly wait to witness thousands of Havdalah candles across multiple screens, shining in unity and celebration.
May this new season be a strong and fruitful one for BBYO, with branches that provide continuous growth in communities around the world and roots that keep us grounded in our mission, history, and legacy.
Associate Vice President, Jewish Enrichment