Saturday, February 25, 2012


Tu B'Shvat at The Free Farm

Stanley sent these photos from our February 5th tree planting in connection with Tu B'Shvat (aka Jewish Arbor Day). This event took place during Congregation Emanu-El's usual 1st Sunday workday at The Free Farm, and included participants from Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Contemporaries and Moishe House.

Gravity Goldberg of Contemporary Jewish Museum

Today I took this photo of our three thriving new pluot trees that were planted for Tu B'Shvat."If you were a tree, what kind would you be?" (Barbara Walters)

I think I would be my favorite kind -- our one and only Tree :-)! Two weeks ago, Stanley's son Joe interviewed Tree as his local hero for his 826 Valencia writing workshop! This past Thursday night, Tree hosted monthly Eating Meeting in his cozy home with The Free Farm's core group.
Tulipmania at Pier 39: Edibles + Ornamentals Unite!
Inspired by Georgia O'Keefe. . .Public Service Announcement:
Tues., Mar. 6, 2012 Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art and Jewish Thought (free admission)
Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St. between 3rd & 4th St., SF 94103
Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art and Jewish Thought is an exciting opportunity to explore the subject of the tree in Jewish tradition through the lens of contemporary artists who enable us to see the world in new ways and to encourage us to find fresh meaning in tradition. The tree is a universally potent symbol with particular significance in Judaism, especially now as global environmental concerns have begun to impact contemporary Jewish practice.
The title of the exhibition Do Not Destroy (Bal Tashchit in Hebrew), is taken from a commandment in the Torah (Deuteronomy 20:19) that forbids the wanton destruction of trees during wartime. During the rabbinical period, this concept was broadened to encompass humanity’s responsibility to shield all of nature from unnecessary harm. This ancient evidence of environmental protection, along with the rise of a distinctly Jewish environmental movement, inspired the CJM to explore a parallel initiative within contemporary art practice. By creating works of art with the tree as a central motif, artists reference the real world while envisioning an alternative.
11:30 am Public Tour of Do Not Destroy Trees
2-3 pm & 3:30-4:30 pm The documentary, A Home on the Range, tells the story of Jews who fled the pogroms and hardships of Eastern Europe and traveled to Northern California to become chicken ranchers. Even in the sweatshops of New York, word spread about the town of Petaluma where the Jews were neither shopkeepers nor professionals, but were farmers. part of the exhibit is free -- just outside CJM on Jessie Square. SF environmental design firm Rebar installed this Nomadic Grove of five brightly colored mobile islands encouraging us to "sit, relax, meditate and enjoy." Visitors are encouraged to participate in the "contemplative and hopeful act of wishing" by writing their wishes on tags tied to branches on each of the three planted Wish Trees. Yoko Ono first created Wish Tree in 1981, inspired by her childhood experience of writing wishes on thin pieces of paper that were tied to trees in temple courtyards so they looked like "white flowers blossoming from afar."Some wishes were whimsical like this one: "More love . . . and sandwiches." Many wishes were for "health" and "happiness." Several wishes were political: "I WISH ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT STOPPED UPROOTING PALESTINIAN OLIVE GROVES AND INDIVIDUAL TREES." One stated, "I wish that there was no use for money in this world." Whoever wished that should come to The Free Farm:-)

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