By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
This spring, we sent 20 committed young couples on a nine-day adventure in Israel with Honeymoon Israel. The goal was for each couple to deepen their relationship with each other, Israel, and with other couples.
We sent them off and crossed our fingers, unsure how it would all turn out. I am gratified to say that the outcome was everything we hoped for and more. Relationships were cemented. Friendships were made. Young families started thinking about what Jewish life would be like in their homes. We even got to share in the simcha of a marriage proposal and in learning about some Honeymoon Israel babies!
Those 20 couples were the inaugural Honeymoon Israel Seattle cohort, a program the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle brought to our community thanks to the support of our many generous donors. The experience was so positive, we’re planning our second Honeymoon Israel cohort for the spring of 2020! The dates for the second trip are March 19 – March 29, 2020. Applications to go on the 2020 journey opened yesterday on August 15.
Honeymoon Israel is for committed couples (ages 25-40) with at least one Jewish partner. This is the opportunity of a lifetime! Take it from the couples who were in our inaugural cohort. The trip was an amazing experience that gave them a heartfelt sense of belonging and an expansive, hopeful vision for building fulfilling Jewish lives.
“The trip blew me away. It beat all my expectations.”
“One of our big takeaways from the trip is that being Jewish and Jewish life can look different for every couple and family.”
“It’s an incredible beginning to a community we never could have built on our own.”
The key to the experience’s impact was that it was immersive and cohort-based, the signature focus of all our engagement work. Traveling together for nine days in the homeland of the Jewish people, the global center of Jewish peoplehood, builds and nourishes connection to community in powerful and enduring ways.
The trip is just the beginning because the Honeymoon Israel experience does not end when the couples fly home. Honeymoon Israel is all about creating community. The trip this past spring planted seeds and from what we’ve seen, those seeds have sprouted. Couples in our inaugural cohort have socialized together, planned Shabbat dinners at each other’s homes, shared in major life moments, and begun nurturing the strong and welcoming relationships that are at the heart of Jewish life.
Do you know someone who may be interested in Honeymoon Israel? Are you interested? If so, consider applying to join the March 19 – March 29, 2020 Honeymoon Israel cohort. To learn more about Honeymoon Israel experience, I invite you to join us for an in-person or online information session on August 19, September 9, or September 18.
Honeymoon Israel is one of the many ways that Federation is ensuring Jewish continuity by investing in Jewish life, for today and the future. On the trip and in the years that follow, those who go on the journey will foster and deepen relationships with each other, with Israel, and with our Puget Sound Jewish community. Thank you to all our generous donors for supporting this great program!