More than 2,000 people have donated funds to plant a grove of more than 3,000 trees in Israel in memory of the victims of the Newtown shooting.
A sapling from the chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary will be planted at Yad Vashem.
Christian Palestinian residents of the West Bank will be allowed to enter Israel, including overnight, for Christmas.
The giant chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about several times in her diary collapsed in stormy weather.
"We're all healing -- emotionally, psychologically, ecologically," said Paul M. Ginsberg, director of the Forest Department in the Northern Region Office of Keren Kayemeth Leisrael (KKL), the Israeli arm of the Jewish National Fund. He stood on a hillside looking over the Hula Valley, north of the Sea of Galilee. At his back was a hillside forest of trees, many of them charred from last summer's rocket fire.
This year, as Jews living in Los Angeles, we are teaming up not only with God but also with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has launched an ambitious drive to plant 1 million new trees in Los Angeles neighborhoods, schoolyards and parks, on both public and private properties, over the next several years.
One of the most meaningful Jewish gifts would have to be the planting of an elan, Hebrew for tree, in Israel in one's honor.
And in the case of Los Angeles-born musician Elan, no other name would suit him quite as well.
Draw a Picture, Win a Tree
Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish birthday or new year of the trees, is a really fun and lightweight holiday, celebrated mostly by schoolchildren. As a child, this was one of my favorite holidays. I loved planting trees and somehow felt very much at home with this simple way to participate in tikkun olam (healing the world).
Living in the asphalt-and-glass tangle of Los Angeles, it is sometimes easy to forget that we live in an area blessed with abundant natural beauty, from our gently folded green-and-gold mountains to our powdery sand, glittering sea and everywhere, the regal trees.