Jewish Journal

Photo essay: L.A.‘s Iranian Jews celebrate unique Tu B’Shevat

by Karmel Melamed

January 21, 2008 | 11:25 am

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.

(left to right; Dr. Ario Fakheri, Dariush Fakheri, and Dr. Shirzad Abrams)

(left to right; Hagar Meged from the Jewish Agency and Nave Chupkov, Eretz-SIAMAK’s new Shlicha)

(Asher Aramnia, Eretz-SIAMAK’s Event’s Director)

(Tu Bishvat trees to be planted nearby)

(These two older Iranian Jews are listening to an IPOD for the first time and “too cool for school”)

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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