The Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool hosted a Tu B’Shvat Party, the New Year of the Trees, in honour of the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat on January 31 and combined it with a lively way to teach children about classical music.
Tu B’Shvat marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
The children started the celebration with a performance of a few Jewish songs inspired by Tu B’Shvat, Plant A Tree, The Almond Tree is Blossoming, and Seven Wonderful Fruits while wearing their handmade tree crowns. What the children were most excited about was a performance from the National Art Centre’s Amazing Strings Around the World. Lead by violinist Joan Milkson, together with violinist Christian Vachon, double bass player Benjamin du Toit and cello player Anne Contant, the string quartet performed an amazing rendition of classical works and traditional Jewish folk songs.
Elinore Rabin, a mother whose child attends WJMP, was looking forward to her first Tu B’Shvat celebration. “This is a great opportunity for the children to be exposed to classical music” she enthused.
Reflecting on the performance, Odelia Scher said “the whole event was very beautiful and enlightening for the kids to experience culture and a type of music you would not typically see in a school’s program. It was really great.”