The Jewish Community Center’s (The J) Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) Department will host a Seder (ceremonial dinner) for the holiday of Tu B’Shevat on Monday, January 21st at 6pm. Tickets can be purchased here for $35 each or $30 for members of The J.

Tu B’Shevat, sometimes called the Jewish Arbor Day or the birthday of the trees, is a Jewish holiday that celebrates trees and our relationship with the natural world. The Seder will feature a four-course meal catered by Mat Shalenko at June Health and Wellness using a variety of fruits, nuts, and other natural foods typically associated with the holiday.

“This event is a great opportunity for anyone interested in environmental activism, regardless of faith. But to be honest, it would be worth it for the food alone!” says Tara Cocco, The J’s Marketing Director, “I attended last year not knowing quite what to expect and was pleasantly surprised with how interactive the program was. It was energizing to engage (over wine) with other like-minded people and take a closer look at my own impact on the environment.”

There will also be a number of sustainability-themed activities and discussions, including a panel of speakers from local nonprofits that work to promote environmental stewardship in greater Louisville.  Proceeds from the dinner will benefit JOFEE programs at The J such as garden education, food access programming, and youth activities. JOFEE also oversees the educational garden, which supplies produce for the food pantry and its senior adult lunch and preschool.

JOFEE also supports the Gendler Grapevine Fresh Stop Market, a sliding-scale local produce market that makes fresh vegetables accessible for everybody regardless of income or resources. Sustainability initiatives include composting, recycling, and carbon footprint reduction at The J and educational opportunities also are among its projects.

“JOFEE’s goal is to connect Louisville to the world around it. The environment and the food that we eat are intimately linked,” said Michael Fraade, JOFEE Director. “The Tu B’Shevat Seder gives us the chance to tell that story, while raising money for us to expand what we are able to do.”