- Title: Tu B'Shvat 001
Tu BiShvat is a Jewish holiday occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (in 2017, Tu BiShvat begins at sunset on February 10 and ends at nightfall on February 11). It is also called "Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot" , literally "New Year of the Trees." In contemporary Israel, the day is celebrated as an ecological awareness day, and trees are planted in celebration. Its role is important to the concept of Chadash.
On Tu BiShvat 1890, Rabbi Ze'ev Yavetz, one of the founders of the Mizrachi movement, took his students to plant trees in the agricultural colony of Zichron Yaakov. This custom was adopted in 1908 by the Jewish Teachers Union and later by the Jewish National Fund (Keren HaKayemet L’Israel), established in 1901 to oversee land reclamation and afforestation of the Land of Israel. In the early 20th century, the Jewish National Fund devoted the day to planting eucalyptus trees to stop the plague of malaria in the Hula Valley; today the Fund schedules major tree-planting events in large forests every Tu BiShvat. Over a million Israelis take part in the Jewish National Fund's Tu BiShvat tree-planting activities.
Tu BiShvat is the Israeli Arbor Day, and it is often referred to by that name in international media. Ecological organizations in Israel and the diaspora have adopted the holiday to further environmental-awareness programs. On Israeli kibbutzim, Tu BiShvat is celebrated as an agricultural holiday.
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