Press Release: Community marks Green Sunday despite Covid-19

Families across the country engaged in activities to mark Green Sunday, JNF UK’s annual appeal for Israel, which traditionally takes place at the same time as Tu Bishvat. Despite the social restrictions imposed by Covid-19, families were still able to celebrate the festival while raising awareness and donations for the appeal.

This year the focus of the appeal is on raising funds for Israeli families who are experiencing poverty for the first time, due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

One activity, “Be Seen In Green,” saw families dress in green while sharing the campaign with family and friends. JNF UK also ran a competition with online art teacher Mr Tim Anders. The young artists used their newly learnt skills to paint a tree, in honour of Tu Bishvat, with the winners having a tree planted in Israel by JNF UK in their name.

Lady Kestenbaum, Assistant Head at IJDS, commented:

“JNF UK’s activities were used throughout the Independent Jewish Day School in our cross curricular Tu Bishvat day. Top marks for the paint a tree tuition online which was loved by pupils and teachers alike as they created stunning trees at sunset.”

Primary school children also submitted edible pictures created with pieces of fruit, which they then enjoyed eating at their Tu Bishvat meal. These pictures included a dolphin, a hedgehog and steam engine.

Orah Soller, Assistant Headteacher at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, commented:

“The children had a ‘fruitylicious’ time creating their fruit creations for the JNF Tu Bishvat competition. Luckily, they didn’t eat all the fruit before finishing them.”

Pupils at secondary schools took part in a photography competition instead, taking photos in their local area on the theme of Tu Bishvat (while complying with lockdown restrictions) in order to win build-your-own camera kits.

These activities were open to all schools, with many of JNF UK’s partner schools taking part. These partner schools are supported by the charity’s Israel education grant scheme that provides financial assistance to boost Israel education programmes.

JNF UK also ran their “Green PositiviTea” campaign in the run up to Green Sunday. This saw partner outlets across North London using specially designed green cups for their takeaway hot drinks, with JNF UK donating a pound to their appeal for every drink sold.

Charles Lossos, JNF UK Interim CEO, commented:

“Green Sunday has always been an opportunity for the community to come together in support of Israel, and this year was no exception, despite the restrictions we faced. It’s been a real pleasure for JNF UK to see how children, families and schools have embraced their creative side during these challenging times.”