What is Tu Bishvat?

Tu BiShvat (the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat) is the New Year for the Trees, dating back to Talmudic time. It is one of the four “new years” of the Jewish calendar, with Rosh HaShanah and Nisan (the first month) being the two most prominent.

Regardless of your interpretation of the Torah, it is from the very origins of our sacred texts that Jewish teachings connect humankind to the earth we reside in. That’s why we partnered with The Jewish National Fund (JNF) to bring your chapter the Tu Bishbox, filled with reusable swag packaged in a recycled and recyclable box.

This year, we are focused on how we can make our houses more sustainable and minimize the amount we waste by reusing, recycling, and composting everything we currently throw away. Fittingly, Tu BiShvat is a holiday to celebrate the fruits we are so blessed to have available for us, to call attention to climate change and our carbon footprint on the earth.

The Tu Bishvat Seder

Like Passover, Tu BiShvat has a Seder and Haggadah associated with it. The Seder is a festive meal that focuses on giving thanks for the fruits of the earth, such as figs, nuts and pomegranates.

A Seder is better with Brothers. If your chapter signed up for AEPi’s Jewish Programming Year, your brotherhood is eligible for a $150 grant towards a Tu BiShvat seder! After your Seder, a member of your chapter’s executive board can submit a grant followup on Open Book.

AEPi & JNF Give Back

To bring you your Tu Bishbox, AEPi partnered with the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an Israel-based non-profit that is responsible for planting more than 260 million trees in Israel. The work JNF does has helped make Israel one of the few countries to enter the 21st century with a net gain of trees.

Since 1901, Jewish National Fund-USA’s strategic vision has been, and always will be, to ensure a strong, secure and prosperous future for the land and people of Israel. Everything JNF does—every project, initiative and campaign is integral to the vision of building and connecting to the land. JNF plants trees, builds houses and parks, sources water solutions, buys fire trucks and improves the lives of people with special needs. As the largest provider of Israel education programs in the United States, JNF offers a wide range of programs for American students to learn about Israel. From kindergarten to adulthood, from B’nai Mitzvah projects to Alternative Break and Birthright Israel trips, we engage, educate and help students foster a greater commitment to and love for the land of Israel. JNF offers a variety of ways for college students to connect with Israel, either through Israel trips, JNF Campus Fellowship, the annual JNF College Summit or our Positively Israel programs and events on campuses. For more information on how to bring our Positively Israel programming to your campus email [email protected] or visit JNF.org/college.

With the help of JNF, our Brothers can all take steps bring the Jewish values of sustainability and global living back to our college campuses. We can put these ideas into action by:

•  Using the reusable products in your Tu Bishbox instead of disposable items.

•  Organizing a local park cleanup.

•  Starting or volunteering at a community garden.

•  Hosting a river clean up.

•  Restoring a hiking trail.

•  Cleaning up garbage around your college campus.

•  Recycling at your AEPi house

These activities and others can count towards your chapters community service goals as well. Wear your AEPi letters and collaborate with the chapter’s executive board to submit the community service report on Open Book.

AEPI & JNF Photo Contest

We want to see your chapter’s photos! Take pictures of Brothers doing any of the cleanup activities listed above and JNF will give away a brand new SodaStream machine to four lucky chapters that share their photos on Twitter or Instagram, tag @JNFoncampus and @AlphaEpsilonPi (Instagram) or @JNFUSA and @AEPi (Twitter), and use both hashtags: #poweredbyJNF and #proudtobeapi.

The four criteria are:

•  Most creative event.

•  Most creative social media post/picture.

•  Most attended event – total attendance.

•  Most attended event – relative to chapter size.

All posts made by March 1, 2020 will be entered to win! Good luck!

Need more help?

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your chapter’s Jewish Programming Associate. They will be happy to help!

Sebastian Feldman
[email protected]
West Coast
Lake Ontario

Brandon Harnick
[email protected]

Ethan Shemoney
[email protected]
New York Metro

Solomon Solkowitz
[email protected]
Great Lakes

Ethan White
[email protected]