University of San Diego students planted a palm tree on campus to commemorate Tu B’Shevat – the Jewish new year for the trees – outside the University Ministry building. For most students, this was their first time planting anything, let alone a tree.

As part of the holiday tradition, students sampled various fruits and nuts as USD Hillel campus director, Glenda Sacks Jaffe, led a discussion about the seven species of produce listed in the Torah that grow in Israel. The custom is to taste four types of fruits and nuts: those with hard shells/peels, those with seeds on the outside, those with seeds on the inside and those with no seeds. The discussion centered on the symbolism related to types of people they encounter in life.

At SDSU, the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) group hosted a pop-up event on campus for Tu B’shvat. Building on the environmental themes of the holiday, they gave out metal straws and dried fruit while explaining this unique Jewish holiday as well as showcasing sustainability initiatives in Israel.