Plant seeds of justice in Israel and the West Bank, to honor or remember a loved one.
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With these trees, we are cultivating not just greenery but hope.
T’ruah’s Israel fellows — North American rabbinical and cantorial students studying in Israel for a year — mark the holiday of Tu BiShvat by planting trees in two locations: in Israel and in a Palestinian community in the West Bank.
This year, students plan to visit a Palestinian village in the West Bank with Breaking the Silence, and to plant in a rooftop garden in West Jerusalem with Muslala.
In 2020 and 2021, the situation on the ground, COVID-19, and the weather conspired to thwart our plantings. Because we could not physically plant the trees ourselves in 2021, we donated funds to local groups planting trees in Haribat Al-Nabi, a threatened Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills, and in West Jerusalem at the Yad b’Yad Bilingual School. In 2020, our students visited the village of Dayr Aban with the human rights organization Zochrot and learned about the displacement of Palestinians from this village, as well as many others, in 1948.
In 2020, we also met with representatives of Muslala, a community center for local residents, artists and activists. We learned about sustainable urban agriculture and planted a fig tree and herbs in Muslala’s roof garden in West Jerusalem.
In March 2020, we brought 15 students to Susya in the South Hebron Hills. Accompanied by Breaking the Silence, we had an eye-opening conversation with the women’s collective of Susya, about normalization of the occupation, women’s role in a deep repair process, and their vision for the future.
We planned on planting trees with one of the families there, but the angry sky left the ground soaked and the family asked that we do that on another day and more suitable weather. That was right before the pandemic began.
In 2019, our fellows planted trees at the Yad B’Yad School, a Jewish-Arab school in West Jerusalem, and in a Palestinian village, A-Rakeez, in the Hebron Hills, where they replaced trees that had been uprooted by Israeli settlers.