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Indoor Forest Sprouts at Local Synagogue

Preschoolers at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El get hands on education about Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees.

Students learn about the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shevat at an indoor forest with living trees at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park.
Students learn about the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shevat at an indoor forest with living trees at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park.


Did you know there is a forest growing indoors in Highland Park?

It has happened annually around this time for the last 15 years as a learning experience for children in the preschool at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El Preschool.

The Chicago Botanic Garden donates the living trees and the parents’ auxiliary puts the forest together as a way for the children to learn about the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat, known as the birthday of the trees, according to teacher Renee Kahn.

Kahn and her colleagues use the holiday to teach youngsters to care not just for trees but the environment. There is even a wishing well in the woods where students throw coins. The money will go to the Jewish National Fund to plant trees in Israel, according to School Director Caron Knopoff.

The holiday begins at sunset Wednesday and continues through sunset Thursday. Listen to Kahn describe the holiday and the forest in the Patch video.

Students from Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glenview and Glencoe attend the school.

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