Massachusetts Gov. Charles D. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn E. Polito have congratulated Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) and the organization’s partners on account of the festival of Tu BiShvat – the New Year for trees.

MA Citation
(Courtesy image)

“We are grateful for the governor’s warm wishes and recognition of the immense impact JNF-USA has had, and continues to have, on the land and people of Israel and Jewish people everywhere,” said JNF-USA chairman of the board of New England Lawrence Cohen. “We live in an age of environmental awareness and activism, and thanks to JNF-USA, Israel was the only country to enter the 21st century with a net gain in trees. As we celebrate Tu BiShvat, the New Year for trees, let us join Gov. Baker in rededicating our efforts to the millennia-old Jewish tradition of making our earth a better place.”

The official citation from Gov. Baker reads: “Jewish National Fund: On behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am pleased to confer upon your organization this Governor’s Citation in recognition of your celebration of the Jewish festival of Tu BiShvat on February 10, 2020.”

JNF-USA supporters from across the United States, and the globe, have already participated in the organization’s inaugural Yoga Tree Pose Challenge, which is taking place between Jan. 31 and Feb. 10. As part of the challenge, participants take a picture of themselves holding the yoga position “tree pose” and then share it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags #TreesAreTrending and #PoweredByJNF-USA, while tagging three friends to do the same within 24 hours. If they don’t, they have to plant a tree with JNF-USA at

There is still time to participate: Simply snap a picture of your best “tree pose” and post it with the caption: “Return to your roots. Tu BiShvat – the birthday of the trees – is Feb. 10. Post your best yoga pose and plant trees to keep our planet healthy, celebrate trees and support the land of Israel. Now I challenge [Friend 1], [Friend 2] & [Friend 3]. #PoweredByJNF #TreesAreTrending”

JNF-USA is also running a “Catch the Tu BiShvat Spirit” sweepstakes. Everyone who purchases a tree through JNF-USA between Jan. 31 and Feb. 10, 2020, will be entered into the sweepstakes for a chance to win two economy round-trip tickets to Israel courtesy of EL AL and two nights at the Carlton Tel Aviv.

New England and capital region executive director Sara Hefez shared, “JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through our One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, Jewish National Fund-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs and heritage site preservation.”

Local community members in New England who are interested in learning more about JNF-USA should contact campaign executive Rina Wagman at or call 617-423-0999 ext. 812.

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