Fighting fire destruction on Tu B’Shevat

Daniel Bloch (Executive Director, Cape SAJBD), Councillor Francine Higham, Adrienne Jacobson, Craig Nudelman (Programme Development Manager, Cape SAJBD) and Herzlia Student Representative Council

By Craig Nudelman

From Arbor Day to Earth Day, global citizens acknowledge the importance of trees and environmental awareness.

The Jewish calendar also acknowledges this through the Festival of Tu B’Shevat, also known as the New Year of the trees. After the 2021 fires that ravaged Vredehoek, burning down parts of Deer Park and Devils Peak and gutting UCT’s library and its contents, the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape SAJBD) collaborated with Herzlia Junior High School and the Friends of Van Riebeeck Park to plant four Yellowwood saplings at the Van Riebeeck Park. Planting these trees symbolises new life and growth for the communities that suffered loss, and demonstrates our commitment to building a greener Cape Town.

On Monday, 24 January, we were joined by Councillor Francine Higham; Herzlia’s Jewish Identity and Community Director Geoff Cohen, Rabbi Justin Swaine, Gary Anstey from the Friends of Van Riebeeck Park, and members of the Cape SAJBD including Vice-Chairperson Adrienne Jacobson. In front of an audience of Herzlia’s Grade 7 and 8 learners, all spoke about the importance of building up the environment, not just for our current society but also for generations to come.

Rabbi Swaine echoed this message, saying, as we sit in the shade of trees from generations before us, we too must plant trees so that our children’s children can use their shade.

Councillor Higham was grateful for the effort that all put into creating a greener and eco-friendly public space in the city. She emphasised the importance of being active citizens and driving eco-education.

The Cape SAJBD looks forward to collaborating in further green events with more partners to build a more sustainable and eco-friendly city for all!

Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website:, Instagram, and Facebook page.

• Published in the PDF edition of the March 2022 issue – Click here to get it.

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