By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Are you a young couple figuring out how to build a Jewish life together and connect with Jewish community, or do you have a son or daughter in a fairly new, committed relationship? There are many questions and choices to think about.
There couldn’t be a better place to explore those deep questions than Israel, our Jewish homeland. Honeymoon Israel, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, will take a cohort of 20 local couples on an immersive journey to Israel this spring, May 16, 2019 to May 26, 2019. Honeymoon Israel welcomes Jewish/Jewish, interfaith or mixed-heritage, and LGBTQ couples. Couples in a committed relationship, ages 25 to 40 and with at least one Jewish partner, are eligible to apply. Additionally, at least one partner must have no prior organized Israel experience on a post-high school peer trip.
Applications open on Wednesday, October 3 – less than two weeks from today!
Honeymoon Israel’s goal is to create a welcoming space for these couples in the Jewish community and inspire them to make Jewish values part of their lives in whatever ways work best for them. By introducing couples to the many possibilities that Jewish life offers them, individually and as part of a community, Honeymoon Israel fits perfectly with the Federation’s goal of ensuring Jewish continuity and creating Jewish connections where everyone can find a welcoming place.
The cost for each participating couple is just $2,200, including air travel to and from Israel, hotels, planned activities, and most meals. While the actual cost of the experience is over $10,000 per couple, the Seattle Federation and Honeymoon Israel are covering the balance of the trip expenses as an investment in creating connections and building community. We can bring amazing programs like Honeymoon Israel to our community, thanks to your generous support!
Honeymoon Israel was founded four years ago to meet the needs of younger Jews who increasingly identify as Jewish by culture and for whom intermarriage has become commonplace. On the nine-day trip, couples will explore Jewish history and traditions together and reflect on the meaning of the experience. Participants can look forward to a well-planned itinerary in which will they learn about Israel’s heritage, enjoy the country’s wonderful cuisine, and meet Israelis from many walks of life, providing a full picture of Israeli society and its rich diversity. By sharing experiences and having meaningful conversations, those on the trip will have an opportunity to build community with people like themselves and bring those connections back home after the experience concludes.
You can learn more about Honeymoon Israel here. Also, we plan to host two in-person information sessions, October 14 and 15, and a webinar on November 6, at which you can learn more about this exciting opportunity. You can check out the info sessions schedule and RSVP here.
Eligible couples who are not accepted for the 2019 trip will have a chance to re-apply for a future trip. And, we are working to ensure that all interested couples can find paths to connection, now and beyond their Honeymoon Israel trip, whether it’s the upcoming journey or a year or so in the future.
When people find a fulfilling and meaningful way into Jewish life, our community will be even more vibrant. Honeymoon Israel is another way the Federation is making investments in Jewish life, for today and for the next generation. Mark your calendar for the Honeymoon Israel application window, opening October 3. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime!
PS – The November 6 general election is just over six weeks away. The Federation and our partner Jewish organizations invite you to Voting & Vino on Sunday, October 14, at Hillel UW. Voting & Vino will be a great opportunity to meet candidates for state and federal office and to learn more about statewide ballot measures through a Jewish lens. Come enjoy a fun evening of wine, appetizers, and learning. We hope to see you there!