Tu B’Shevat has typically not been one of the most popular nor widely celebrated Jewish holidays for Iranian Jews in general and those living in Southern California. Yet this past Sunday, more than 200 local Iranian Jews gathered at the Eretz-SIAMAK Cultural Center in Tarzana to celebrate Tu B’Shevat for the first time in that organization’s history. Young and old alike enjoyed an array of food, Israeli music, interactive games and tree planting.
Kudos to Eretz-SIAMAK for making a serious effort to outreach to Iranian Jewish teens and grade schoolers. They along with the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills have been at the forefront of attempting to keep the younger generation active with Judaism. These types of gatherings that incorporate Judaism are for younger generation and must be passed onto them if we Iranian Jews seek to retain our Jewish identity while living in the U.S.