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POSTPONED to 1/23: Roots in Heaven, Roots in Earth: Tu B’shvat and MLK Jr Day Celebration

Monday, January 17 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Tu B’shvat is the Jewish New Year for the trees or Rosh Hashanah La’Ilanot. MLK Jr Day honors the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and the fight for Black liberation. This year these two vital holidays fall on the same day! Come celebrate outside amongst the trees and in community for a day full of activities that center Black voices, our Jewish environmental values and, of course, the celebration of trees!

  • 11am: Arrival and Collective Fire Building and Music
  • 11.30am: Three different concurrent offerings:
    • -West African Dance and Djembe/Sabar Drum with participatory circle dance workshop led by Abdou and Clara Sarr
    • -Unity Root Soup and Tree Tea Making & Conversation with Calypso artist Choc’late Allen from Trinidad. Help to prepare soup for our potluck with fragrant Bay leaves from the tree of her native island, and other surprises from the Southern Hemisphere. Hear about Choc’late’s youth justice, reforestation and climate change work from across the Caribbean Islands.
    • -Storytelling around the fire with guest and educator Rabbi Daniel Rosen from Chabad House in Amherst. Optional Storywalk of Tu B’shvat children’s books
  • 12.30: Potluck and Lunch of Unity Root Soup
  • 1.30-2pm:  Clean up and Departure

This is an outdoor event in January, please dress for the weather! We will have a large fire and warm soup to help us stay warm. Utensils, bowls and plates will be available for the potluck but please consider bringing some from home as well.

COVID-19 protocol: This is an outdoor only event. We are monitoring the changing nature of the pandemic and will alter our protocol accordingly. For now, we ask everyone to wear masks when in close proximity to others and to be mindful of the needs of distancing and masking from your community members. Please stay home if you or anyone in your household are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have recently been exposed. If you’re not sure if you or someone in your family should come, please stay on the safe side and stay home. Our community includes babies, elderly and immuno-compromised individuals- let’s take care of one another.

Suggested payment for this event is $10 for adult TIG members; $12 for adult non members; and $5 for kids. No one will be turned away for lack of funds! Space is limited. Rideshare arrangements can be made, email Alyssa with questions.

Register below. Any questions email [email protected]

Choc’late Allen began as a child activist who arose to national awareness in Trinidad by engaging in a 5-day fast in an effort to promote the concept of “Taking Personal Responsibility” for our individual thoughts and actions in order to treat social issues plaguing Trinidad and Tobago. During her fasting process, the young CEO of Caribbean Vizion (a nonprofit youth organization), received visits from many citizens and dignitaries. Choc’late is an accomplished and energetic Calypso and Soca singer and songwriter, and we are lucky to have her here in Western Massachusetts to share her artistic life force, motivational and eye opening experiences from the Caribbean Islands.

Dancing at Sobobade. Toubab Dialaw, Senegal.

Abdou Sarr began to dance on the sand streets and beaches of Senegal. His
mother, Ami Faye, was his first teacher, in utero! From her he learned traditional
Serer dances, songs, and costume design. 18 years ago, he moved from West
Africa to Western Massachusetts, with his group Gokh-bi System, to share their
Sabar rooted hip hop. Abdou continually expands his art form, inspiring his field of
performance and arts education. A gifted educator and performer, he teaches in
schools and venues all around the US and Canada. He serves as a cultural
ambassador to his home country on trips with Arts Are Essential. His style is
joyous, connective, and celebratory.


Clara Sarr dove into Early Childhood Education and has remained in the
field for 15 years. She founded Sapling School on her childhood farm, a now
three generation farm, where she feels blessed to mother and fuse elements of
Jewish education into enriching outdoor experiences. Her love for the natural
world, the land, arts and movement shines through her teaching style. Clara’s
angle on Jewish education includes travel to Israel with the Nesiya Institute’s
Netivot, as well as a current course of study with the Kohenet Virtual Temple, and
previous work with W. Mass’ Teen Initiative. Clara’s way of nature inquiry has
been most recently informed by a year long course study on trees with Kathy
Dean of Trotting Fox. She gives homeschool support for several students,
including her second grader.

Funding for this program was provided by the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
Major Funding Provided by a Family Education grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.


Monday, January 17
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
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Jerusalem Hill Farm in Wendell
Wendell, MA United States