Yes, it's true! The sixth and seventh graders ate real carob pods and made carob fudge in Hebrew School to celebrate Tu B'Shvat, Birthday of the Trees!
There are many stories in our tradition about carob trees including Choni and the Carob Tree that is associated with Tu B'Shvat.
Here is one version of the story: Choni, a pious person, sees an old man planting a carob tree and questions how long it will take for the carob tree to bear fruit. When the man answers 70 years, Choni questions why he is doing this as the man certainly won't live another 70 years. The old man replies, "when I was born in this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees. Choni falls asleep for 70 years and when he wakes up he sees the grandson of the man also planting a carob tree.
Yes, a beautiful lesson for our children and for us! And along with telling this story a beautiful custom has developed to eat carob on Tu B'Shvat! But will the children actually try the the real carob pods Rabbi David bought for them? Watch and see in this student made and produced video!
Happy Tu B'Shvat!! And Happy Birthday to the Trees!