.......................................Language-the Final Frontier.............................
' The Alphabet Tree Story'
The 'Alphabet Tree' (which evolved two years after the publication of Leo Lionni's book with the same name) originated in Isreal in 1992. The 'Alphabet Tree' was a joint effort between several volunteers from Europe/ the United states and three classes of Israeli school children from grades one to three. The children called the first 'Alphabet Tree' an "Alefbet"(Hebrew for "A,B,C") Tree. The Alphabet Tree is intended to celebrate the gift of language to mankind. The first tree's main ornaments were letters of the Hebrew, or Yiddish, alphabets. Additional decorations consisted of lights and brighly colored candy. In return for the children's help in making the ornaments, the children were allowed to dismantle (ie. eat the contents of) the tree at the end of the holiday season. Each ornament consisted of two circles of colored paper which were pasted on opposite sides of a round piece of cardboard. Paper clips served as hooks. Each circle of paper contained a copy of a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Letter Alef (A) adorned the top of the tree.
Copy of the first "Alphabetree Card"
Sign from Izzy's Bagles in Palo Alto. The right side is in Yiddish.. One of the perks of learning Dutch is that it is similar enough to Yiddish that a Dutch speaker can learn to read basic Yiddish in a matter of days.
Subsequent Alphabet Trees have also used the letters of the earliest Hebrew, or Samaritan, alphabet. The Samaritan alphabet, called Ktav Ivrit, is very similar to the Phonecian alphabet which is the ancestor of virtually all the alphabets in the western world.
Copies of the templates for the Ktav Ivrit or Hebrew letter ornaments, including instructions and one complete ornament, are available by mail. The templates cost $10 and can be purchased by check or money order.
Please make checks out to Calidocious® Inc. and send them to Calidocious® Inc. 363 Cypress Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95050.
'Zoot Icons'- Ornament and Templates
The templates are for ornaments which are 3" in diameter. When the templates are copied to sheets of colored paper, the size can be varied. To make a tree that is a copy of the original tree, use chocolate coins wrapped in various colors of tin foil. The original tree also had strands of popcorn.