Israeli youth to pick excess fruit for distribution to needy in honor of Tu B’Shevat

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Youth movements throughout Israel will send teams of teens out to pick excess fruit from trees in people’s gardens for distribution to those in need.

The event in honor of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat is coordinated by Leket Israel, a National Food Bank and food rescue network.

Tu B’Shevat will be celebrated this year on Feb. 4. The teens began collecting the fruit on Sunday.

Some 1,000 children and teens from around the country will participate in the event, dubbed Sayaret Tapuz, or Project Citrus Rescue, which is now in its fifth year.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to involve the youth in a hands on activity to benefit those less fortunate and to mark Tu B’Shevat, the celebration of the trees in a truly meaningful way,” Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel’s founder and chairman, said in a statement.