Bonsai workshop honors Jewish birthday of trees 


I’ve always loved bonsai – which, according to Wikipedia, is defined as “the Japanese art of growing and shaping miniature trees in containers.” When I lived in Brooklyn, New York, I would frequently visit the Botanic Gardens, where there was an entire greenhouse full of various tiny trees. There’s something magical about miniatures for a lot of people.

When I read about Bonsai Bar, the company behind bonsai workshops hosted at bars, breweries and distilleries, I wanted to find a way to make it a community event. Of course, Judaism has the perfect occasion (if one is even needed!) called Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish birthday of trees. It’s also been referred to as Jewish Earth Day – a day of remembering our connection and commitment to caring for our home planet. This year the holiday falls on the evening of Jan. 24 through the day of Jan. 25.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island will be hosting a bonsai bar workshop for those 21 and older at Rhodium Distillery, in Pawtucket, from 1-3 p.m. During this two-hour workshop, we will be learning from Bonsai Bar experts how to pot, prune and design our own bonsai trees. No experience is needed – this is a beginner workshop that does not presume prior knowledge. All the materials will be provided, so if you have a bonsai at home, please bring in your questions but not the tree.

 The cost of the workshop is $65 for Dwares JCC members and $75 for non-members. Rhodium Distillery is at 40 Bayley St., Pawtucket. Drinks will be for sale. Advance registration is required. Got to to register and for more information. I look forward to seeing you there!

DEVORAH PHILLIPS ( is manager of arts and culture at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

Alliance, Tu B'Shevat, Bonsai Bar