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Started from seed, pomegranate bears fruit

Celebrating the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s pomegranate tree, now bearing fruit on its first anniversary, are Early Childhood Education students with (L-R): ECE teacher Kristina Li, Dale Green and Tammy Lewis from the J’s building services department, Lipowich, and Adi Olshansky, Weintraub Israel Center P2G school twinning coordinator. WIC is a joint project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the J, dedicated to bringing the cultural richness of Israel to Tucson. (Debe Campbell/AJP)

The pomegranate, said to have 613 seeds corresponding to the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah, frequently is a symbol of Israel. It is one of the seven species of Israel listed in the Torah, along with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, and dates.

As part of building living bridges through the Weintraub Israel Center’s Partnership2Gether school twinning program, volunteer teacher Shelley Ann Lipowich brought the symbol to life. Last May, Lipowich taught 63 pre-kindergarten students in the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Education program about plants and helped them plant a pomegranate seedling in front of the J, commemorating their friendships with children in their partner school
in Israel.