Taking in the pungent, humid air of the orchid room, it was easy to ignore the frigid air outside, which hovered in the mid-20s. Inside Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, it was far preferable to wallow in the scents of trees and flowers, part of a celebration of the holiday of Tu B'Shevat this past Sunday. It was the third year Longwood played host to the communal Jewish event, though last year's program got caught in the middle of a blizzard and was snowed out. This year perhaps made up for that, with 2,000 people visiting Pierre du Pont's protected property of 1,000-plus acres of woodland and four acres of enclosed gardens.
Folks came to take in a lecture, learn a little Israeli dancing, pot a plant, see the children's show "Trees on Stage," watch young performers from the female dance groups Harokdim and Akids, and hear from the musical group Atzilut.
Oh, and don't forget the Israeli food options and kosher buffet, which boasted lines well after the typical lunch hour.
The overall program and food arrangements were organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's Chester and Delaware County Regions.
Photos and text by Carin M. Smilk