Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods

January 20, 2019

Join us in celebrating the New Year of the Trees in the East Bay Redwoods



As the days begin to lengthen, we pause during Tu B’Shvat to celebrate the unseen awakening of spring. Deep within the trees, the sap begins to flow as the trees start their cycle anew.

In the tradition of the Kabbalists (16th century mystics of Tsfat, Israel), we gather in the morning in the forest to create an experiential Tu B’Shvat seder (ceremony) that connects us to the trees and the elements and takes us on a journey from the physical world to the spiritual world. We will delight in p’ri ha-etz (the fruit of the trees) and celebrate the season together through the five senses, song, meditation, and Tu B’Shvat teachings.

In the afternoon, join us for a variety of fun, informative, and inspired Tu B’Shvat offerings.

Date: Sunday, January 20, 2019; 10:00 am – 3:45 pm
Location: East Bay Regional Park, Oakland, CA (exact site shared upon registration)
Registration: Adult tickets are available on a sliding scale from $48–$72

Registration is Now Closed.


Registration is Now Closed

Registration Fees

  • $48–$72 for adults (A $36 ticket option is also available for those in financial need)
  • $25 for teens ages 11-17
  • $20 for youth ages 4–10
  • $0 for tots ages 0–3
  • HELP SOMEONE ATTEND: Choose a $94 Adult ticket, which includes a $48 tax-deductible donation.

Your registration is not complete until you have paid, ensuring you a spot at the event. Unpaid registrations will be canceled after 48 hours.

Financial Need
We offer a $36 adult ticket for those with financial need. Please submit this form to request the discount. We also offer Avodah (work-trade).

Families Enrolled in Wilderness Torah Youth Programs:
We offer 25% off for families enrolled in B’hootz, B’naiture, or Shomrim 2018-2019. Please submit this form to request the discount.

Registration is non-refundable. Please see our cancellation policy for more information.

Please read below for information about our Avodah Program and submit an application.

Avodah (work exchange) Program

Please read below for information about our Avodah Program and fill out an application.

We are now accepting Avodah applications on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Avodah fills quickly. Read the position descriptions below and apply early for greatest choice of positions.

Avodah is intended for those who want to serve and have financial need. If you have financial need and are unable to do Avodah, (due to physical limitation or childcare, etc.) please contact us for special arrangements.

Avodah is an opportunity for folks to help create the village, and is a great way to save money, meet new friends, and play an important role of service at the festival.
Each Avodah role is integral to the health of the whole system. Please read through our Avodah Terms & Conditions before applying for Avodah.

IMPORTANT: The hours you contribute with Avodah serve as payment for the event. If you are absent or late for your shifts, or you do not arrive by the agreed-upon time, your absence affects many others. Therefore, if you do not fulfill your agreed hours, we will ask you to pay the difference after the festival at the rate of $20 per hour.

CANCELLATION: If you register for your Avodah position and then cancel after (one week before event preparations begin), you will be required to pay the lowest adult registration fee and will not be allowed to participate in Avodah at future events. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for emergency situations.

HALF Avodah: 1.5 hours of service for a $20 ticket
FULL Avodah: 3 hours of service for a free ticket
* Combine two HALF positions to create a FULL Avodah ticket

All roles take place on Sunday, January 20, 2019 unless otherwise noted.

Loading & Unloading (FULL)
Loading: Friday, January 18, 2–4 pm; Unloading: Sunday, January 20, 5:15–6 pm

Help us pack the truck at our storage shed in North Oakland with everything we will need for the festival and unload it at storage at the end of the day.

Setup (HALF) | 8:15–9:45 am

Help us setup the grove for our Tu B’Shvat seder. This crew will set out fruit platters, open wine bottles, and make the grove cozy for sitting. A few people from the crew will usher participants as they arrive.

Welcoming (HALF) | 8:45 –10:45 am

Be the first to greet festival participants with a friendly smile! A few folks are needed to guide people to the parking lot and help check people in as they arrive. Note: This position will miss the first 30 minutes of the morning seder.

Ushering, Serving & Lunch Transition (FULL) | 9:15 am – 12:45 pm

Before and during the seder you will help usher people to their seats, making sure everyone has a spot. During the seder there will be a few times when you will serve wine/juice and fruit to participants. At the end of the seder you will help clean up the grove and transition to the picnic area. * Note there is a mandatory orientation beginning promptly at 9:15 am for this position

Breakdown (HALF) | 3:45–5:15 pm
Help us finish the day by cleaning up the seder, packing, and loading up the truck to return to storage.


9:00–10:00 am Arrive at East Bay Regional Park Area
10 am – 12:15 pm Experiential Adult Tu B’Shvat Seder
Kid Seders + Programming for Tots, Children & Teens (ages 0–14)
12:15–1:15 pm Picnic Lunch (bring your own) + Optional Sharing Circle
1:30–3:15 pm Afternoon Offerings for All Ages
3:30–3:45 pm Closing Circle

While the adults engage in a morning seder based off the Sephardic Kabbalists in Tsfat, parents can bring their littlest ones (Babies-3 year olds) to theSeder for Our Youngest Children, celebrating the holiday with stories and songs. Kids ages 4–14 (pre-K to 8th grade) are taken off into the forest for an adventure with the Wilderness Torah nature mentors! Teens 9th grade and up will have a special role in either the seder or children’s program. Please inquire to learn more about teen programming.

Adult Seder
Adults will enjoy a guided Tu B’Shvat ceremony in the redwoods that will journey through the physical world into the spirit world with symbolic fruit, wine, movement, and song.

Outdoor Adventure for Kids Ages 4–14
B’hootz and B’naiture mentors will lead children ages 4–14 on a journey into the wilds to experience the beauty of the trees and the holiday for themselves. Learn more!

Seder for Our Youngest Children (Babies-3 year olds) with Parents
Yael Raff Peskin will lead a Seder for Our Youngest Children (Babies-3 year olds) and programming with song and music for the littlest ones. At least one parent or guardian must supervise their children. Learn more!

Picnic Lunch | 12:15–1:15 pm
After the morning seder, kids’ adventure, and tots’ circle, everyone gathers to eat lunch together (bring your own lunch).

You are invited to eat lunch with friends or join an optional sharing circle. These circles are informal discussion groups around a specific topic and are a great way to meet people with similar interests.

Tu B’Shvat Musical Journey with Octopretzel!
Enjoy an interactive Jewish, folky, fun music show for kids and the whole family.

Kids Village Offerings with Camp Eden Village West
Make a healing eucalyptus salve, plant parsley for your Passover seder, make vegan tree fruit truffles, and whittle your very own reading yad pointer.

Tree of Life Dances with Jewish dance maven Bruce Bierman
Celebrate Tu B’Shvat amongst the trees with ecstatic Jewish dance, music and soulful nigunim. We will explore the more improvisational ecstatic Jewish dance forms from the Yemenite and Hasidic traditions along with the meditative shapes and deeper meanings behind the Hebrew letters using the whole body. All experiences and backgrounds welcomed!

Sun, Earth, Tree, Fire: Taking our Place in Creation with Baruch Schwadron
Take a walk, discover the forest, and learn to work with the sun, wind, and different types of wood for fire creation in any conditions. A practical guide and cozy expression of sunlight from trees.

Making Tree Berry Medicine with Amanda Nube
A gift from the trees – Learn how to make a great tasting elderberry immune boosting syrup. Elderberries are antiviral and antioxidant making them a powerful stimulant for the immune system. Elderberry can reduce the duration of illness considerably and also helps with coughs and congestion.

Grow Fruit: Scion Exchange and Give-away with Rivkah Khanin
Join the fruit tree scion give-away and learn the secrets to tree grafting. Turn your favorite tree into a multi-variety bearer. Beginners welcome *Scion is a young shoot of a tree that is used for grafting

The Ten Sefirot with Yosef Rosen
At the heart of Kabbalah lies a startling & mysterious claim: the Divine is dynamic, self-emergent, and composed of ten powers. Overflowing in symbols, magic, & mythology, the sefirot have provided Jews with a new, non-dual, cosmology that changed the course of Jewish spirituality. We will explore the history of this theological model & its capacity to transform contemporary Jewish practice – with special emphasis on the ecological & psychological components of the sefirot. If Tu B’shvat is the Jewish celebration of earthen trees, in this workshop we will celebrate a more ethereal tree–The Tree of Life

Lead to Life leading Ceremonial tree planting
This year, Lead to Life will be leading a Ceremonial redwood tree planting in the park with us. Lead to Life transforms weapons into shovels for tree plantings and regenerating life.


Date: Sunday, January 20
Time: 10:00 am – 3:45 pm

Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods will take place on Sunday, January 20, 2019. The program will begin at 10:00 am and end at 3:45 pm. No tickets will be offered onsite. You must register in advance.

Welcoming opens at 9:00 am. Please arrive with enough time to park and settle into the grove before the seder starts at 10 am.

East Bay Regional Parks, Oakland. Specific location, directions, and parking info provided upon registration.

This is an outdoor venue and is not ADA approved. The area where our seder will take place is approximately 80 feet from the paved parking lot, up a sloped mulched path. The activities are around similar mulched uneven ground.
  • We will meet rain or shine. Our seder will take place in a shaded grove where it will be cold and/or rainy. Dress for winter! Bring a warm hat, layers, a blanket for warmth, rain gear, and a warm jacket. It is usually 20 degrees colder in the redwood grove than in the sun.
  • We will be seated on the ground. It may be damp, so consider bringing a blanket to sit on, or an easy-to-carry chair if sitting on the ground is uncomfortable for you.
  • Bring a cup to drink wine or grape juice during the seder.
  • Bring a thermos of tea or other hot beverage if you like.
  • Please bring a bag lunch and any utensils you’ll need.
There is potable water onsite. Please bring a water bottle so you can stay hydrated.

Thank You to Our Program Partners

Eden Village West
Kehilla Synagogue