TRIANGLE, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Trees around the world welcomed in the New Year today with the celebration of Tu BiShvat.

The Jewish holiday is often referred to as the Rosh Hashanah for the trees.

The Hillel Academy of Broome County and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School visited Schaefer Gardens in Triangle today to spend the day surrounded by greenery and learning about the growing process.

The Pre-K through sixth graders were given a tour of the multiple greenhouses, and learned how plants can grow inside despite the cold temperatures outside.

Rabbi Moshe Shmaryahu says the meaning of Tu BiShvat should be widespread, not limited to the Jewish religion.

Rabbi Moshe Shmaryahu says, “The next generation, our leaders, we want them to take care of our world. We didn’t do a good job, but maybe they will continue and see what matters are important to them, to the world, they will learn from now, at this age, that the world, the trees are very important.”

Traditionally, the day is celebrated as a time for ecological awareness.
Students participated in a traditional seder meal.

Eating specific fruits and nuts and drinking grape juice, while reciting blessings is said to bring human beings and the natural world closer together.

The students planted their own seeds, took them home, and will watch over them as they grow.