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Frequently Asked Questions

Israel and the surrounding region look very different in a post-October 7 world. The experience of traveling to Israel might also feel different and inspire various feelings, including concerns about safety. Honeymoon Israel is about building community, and right now community is needed more than ever. The past few months have been difficult for many of us who are Jewish or who love someone who is Jewish. With safety as our absolute top priority, we are confident that your Honeymoon Israel trip will offer a unique opportunity to connect with your partner and your peers who are having similar experiences.

General

Are Honeymoon Israel trips running?

Alongside other Israel trip providers, we’re moving forward with restarting trips this summer. Honeymoon Israel postponed trips after October 7, 2023, through March 2024. The safety of our participants and staff is our top priority. All trip dates and itineraries will be planned with special care towards creating a meaningful and safe experience for all participants.

More than a trip, Honeymoon Israel is about building community, and right now community is needed more than ever. The past few months have been difficult for many of those who are Jewish or who love someone who is Jewish. With safety as our absolute top priority, we are confident that our program will offer a unique opportunity to connect with your partner and your peers who are having similar experiences.

What is Honeymoon Israel?

Honeymoon Israel is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to welcoming young couples with at least one Jewish partner into the Jewish community. For many young couples, there’s no easy way into Jewish life, especially during the critical years when they’re deciding how to shape their lives.

Honeymoon Israel offers a way in: a highly subsidized group trip to Israel serves as a catalyst for building a lifelong Jewish community at home. Participants spend ten exhilarating days in Israel sharing thoughtful – and fun! – experiences with couples from their city. Then, the journey continues at home as they connect to Judaism with their new community.

Why does Honeymoon Israel offer this program?

When our founders read a Pew Research study indicating that interfaith marriage has become the norm, they asked how we better welcome young couples with diverse backgrounds to Jewish life rather than try to fit them into a traditional mold.

What does participation in Honeymoon Israel’s program include?

When you are accepted to Honeymoon Israel’s program, you’ll receive pre-trip support, a 10-day immersive group trip to Israel, alumni programs and support, as well as the opportunity to build a lifelong group of friends. The total cost of our experience is $20,000 per couple, but thanks to the generosity of our funders we are able to offer it for $2,900.

This sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?

There’s no catch. Our hope is to connect young couples to Judaism who would not otherwise have been connected. Many of our participants haven’t felt welcomed in traditional Jewish spaces but are interested in making Judaism their own. Our program is designed to help you do that on your own terms, with no expectations around your level of involvement, religious beliefs, or support for Israel. We provide a safe space to learn and ask questions.

How is Honeymoon Israel funded?

Our nonprofit organization is supported by more than a dozen national foundations, as well as local Jewish Federations and foundations, individual donors, and our alumni. While there is no expectation to give after your trip, our alumni love to pay it forward to ensure that more couples have access to this life-changing experience. Honeymoon Israel does not receive funding from the State of Israel for its program.

Is Honeymoon Israel affiliated with any other organizations?

Honeymoon Israel partners with organizations around the country to provide a way into Jewish life for its participants. Our national partners include Repair the World, PJ Library, Iyun, At the Well, iCenter, Israel Educational Travel Alliance, Foundation for Jewish Camp, and more.

Who are Honeymoon Israel’s local partners?

In every city in which we operate, our partners include local Jewish Federations, foundations, and others who provide funding and support for our program. In cities without full-time Honeymoon Israel staff, our partners provide local support for our couples, including trip staffing and ongoing community connections and access to programming.

Who has participated in Honeymoon Israel’s program?

Nearly 3,000 young couples from 23 cities in the U.S. and Canada have participated in our program. Our participants reflect the diversity of the Jewish community, and include couples where both partners are Jewish, multifaith, Jews by choice, LGBTQIA+, and multiracial couples.

Does your program have an impact on the participants?

Yes – our alumni report increased connection to community, including through longitudinal external research conducted by Stanford University’s SPARQ program.

Can I make a donation in support of Honeymoon Israel?

Absolutely. A gift of any amount makes a difference. Every dollar helps us provide this opportunity to more couples around the country. To make a donation in support of Honeymoon Israel, please click here.

I love your mission so much - how can I stay updated on what Honeymoon Israel is up to?

Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates on the latest at Honeymoon Israel.

Eligibility

Am I eligible for Honeymoon Israel’s program?

HMI is open to couples of all cultural, racial, religious, gender, and sexual identities who are looking to create connections with each other and to Jewish life. HMI’s program is for couples with at least one Jewish partner (we define that broadly!), between the ages of 25 and 40, and who are within the first five years of marriage or early in their lifelong committed partnership. All couples are based in the same metro area to enhance community-building during and after the trip. Note: For HMI trips traveling through August 2025, HMI is extending eligibility to couples between the ages of 25-41 and who are within the first six years of marriage due to the pause in HMI trips in 2023 and 2024.

I’m Jewish but I don’t practice. Am I eligible?

Yes! Honeymoon Israel is most powerful and impactful for couples who have yet to find a strong connection to the Jewish community or Jewish life and are searching for ways to incorporate Judaism into their relationship, family, and home.

Do we have to be an interfaith couple?

More than 30% of our couples are both Jewish, whether born Jewish or a Jew by choice. We build cohorts of couples that are reflective of the community, and while interfaith partnership is quite common, there are many Jewish-Jewish couples who are in need of support and Jewish community.

Is there an age requirement?

Couples should be between the ages of 25-40 at the time of their HMI trip. Both partners in the couple must be above 25, but one partner may be between the ages of 41-45 if the other partner is within the age range of 25-40 years old. Note: For HMI trips traveling through August 2025, HMI is extending eligibility to couples between the ages of 25-41. One partner may be between the ages of 42-46 if the other partner is within the age range of 25-41 years old.

Do we have to be married?

Nope! We do not expect our couples to be married or planning to be married. However, couples absolutely need to be committed life partners starting to build their lives together. If married, couples must be within the first five years of marriage. Note: For HMI trips traveling through August 2025, HMI is extending eligibility to couples within their first six years of marriage.

Can we join HMI if we have children?

Of course you can! We love children and we look forward to meeting yours in the future, but please note that we cannot accommodate them on our trips. So you can receive the most benefit and enjoyment from the HMI experience, we cannot allow children of any age to travel with you OR any family member(s) on a trip with a similar or parallel itinerary to the HMI trip. We want you and others to be able to focus 100% on the trip experience.

Do we have to have or want children to be eligible for HMI?

Absolutely not. As committed lifetime partners, you are already a family. All families look different for a variety of reasons. No matter how you choose to welcome or not welcome additional family members is up to you and we’re here to support you through all of those experiences and decisions.

If Honeymoon Israel isn’t currently running trips from our city, can we apply with another city?

Trips are organized locally, so you’ll be traveling with other couples from your community. All couples are based in the same metro area in order to foster community-building after the trip, so you must be a resident in the city the trip is based. We define a geographic area either by neighborhood or zip code. Email us at info@honeymoonisrael.org if you’re not sure if you live within the required geographic area.

What if I’ve been to Israel before?

At least one partner must have no prior organized Israel travel experience on a post-high school Jewish peer trip (i.e. if both partners have been on Birthright or a MASA program, you are ineligible).

Do my political views affect my eligibility?

Not at all. Honeymoon Israel is not a political organization and we don’t ask applicants to share their political views. We understand that Israel can be a divisive topic in the U.S. and welcome all points of view while maintaining a thoughtful and respectful environment. During the trip, we are committed to providing a variety of perspectives about politics, religion, and Israeli society while allowing participants to ask questions and learn.

Community Building

Do alumni keep in touch?

Yes! Most alumni remain close with their cohort. All couples are based in the same respective metro areas to enhance community-building after the trip. Our participants are in similar life-stages and are able to discuss how Judaism plays a role in their relationships and lives with each other. Our alumni stay connected when they return home through reunions, holiday celebrations, and get-togethers.

Why do you lead trips from some cities and not others?

We wish we could meet demand from every city! There are a lot of factors that go into our decision to operate in any city, and we do wish we could be everywhere. If we’re not in your city, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a thriving Jewish community where you live. Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to find out when we launch in a new city. 

Another city’s trip dates work better for us. Can we apply with another city?

You must be a full-time resident of the geographic catchment area in the city the trip is based. Trips are organized from the same metro area with specific location requirements that ensure that community building is possible upon return. We define a geographic area either by neighborhood or zip code. Email us at info@honeymoonisrael.org if you’re not sure if you live within the required catchment area.

When will trips be available in my city?

We run nearly 30 trips per year from 20 cities around the U.S. Availability depends on a variety of factors unique to each city. Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to be notified when applications open in your city.

How often do you add new cities?

There are a variety of factors we consider when beginning operations in new cities. The best way to find out when we are launching in a new city is by signing up for our mailing list.

What if I’ve recently moved or am planning to move?

You’re required to be permanently living in the city from which you’re traveling at least a few months before departure to ensure you are available and present for pre-trip events and preparation. We do not recommend applying for HMI if you have plans to move away right after the trip. If you are interested in applying but have plans to relocate, reach out to us at applications@honeymoonisrael.org for guidance on next steps. When our alumni do relocate, we connect them with their new local HMI alumni community to build connections.

How can I ensure I’m on a trip with my friends/family?

Our goal is to build community so we discourage friends and family members from applying for the same trip. We want each couple to find other new couples to connect with rather than sticking with people you already know.

Trip

What is included in the $2,900 trip fee per couple?

The total cost of our experience is $20,000 per couple, but thanks to the generosity of our funders we are able to offer it for $2,900.

What’s included:

  • Round trip airfare
  • Hotel accommodations with private rooms for couples
  • Group transportation in Israel
  • Three staff people: city-based staff, a rabbi or educator, and an Israeli Tour Educator
  • All organized activities and touring
  • Breakfast daily
  • Some lunches and dinners

What’s not included:

  • Travel/health insurance 
  • Transportation to/from the airport in the U.S.
  • Some lunches and dinners
  • Personal purchases (like souvenirs)
  • Flight upgrades or changes

What’s expected of me/us?

Participants are required to participate fully in the HMI itinerary, which means attending all organized components of the itinerary. We also ask couples to come with an open mind and willingness to be vulnerable in order to connect with other couples. Note that while there is some free time throughout the trip, it can sometimes be difficult to meet up with family and friends, but you’re welcome to make those plans in your free time.

Who will I travel with?

You’ll explore Israel with approximately 20 couples from your city, along with a local HMI staff member, a local rabbi or Jewish educator, and an Israeli Tour Educator. Each cohort will have their own dedicated bus driver. Starting in Summer 2024, each cohort will be joined by an armed Israeli security guard throughout the trip. You’ll also possibly be joined for a few days by an Israeli couple at a similar life stage as HMI couples.

What will the hotel accommodations be like during the trip?

You and your partner will have a private room in upscale hotels in prime locations throughout Israel. We’ll enjoy shared transportation on a dedicated comfortable tour bus and driver. Meals provided by HMI showcase the diverse local cuisine.

How will the trip’s itinerary change given events since October 7?

Our summer 2024 trips will be based out of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem only. We are adapting our itineraries to build participant understanding of recent events and incorporate meaningful community service, while also making sure you see Israel’s can’t-miss highlights. Our itinerary may be modified, as needed, to ensure a safe and meaningful experience. Click here to see a few of the highlights and speakers on the itinerary for our upcoming 2024 trips.

Who runs the trip?

Honeymoon Israel runs every trip with the support of our travel partners in the U.S. and Israel, Israeli Tour Educators, and HMI and local community partner staff. We have incredibly high standards for our experience, and want to ensure that each couple has the opportunity to build community and connect to Judaism in a way that feels authentic to their partnership.

Why do you have a rabbi join the trip? Are you trying to get me or my partner to convert to Judaism?

No! We welcome you exactly as you are, and have no agenda around conversion. Rabbis and Jewish educators join trips to bring Jewish meaning to special moments like visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath). They are also there to answer questions as they arise. Think of it as your ten-day “ask me anything” opportunity. Each rabbi or Jewish educator is from your home city, so when you get home they continue to be available to provide you support as desired.

Will this be a religious trip?

HMI has no agenda on how religious you and/or your partner are or want to be. Our participants come from a wide background of religions and religious beliefs, and enjoy the variety of religious sites we visit (we visit sites of multiple religions). We hope that you enjoy the opportunity to participate in our Shabbat (Jewish sabbath) experiences, as well as enjoy a spiritual moment at the Western Wall. Our intention is to provide our participants with a variety of examples of how to “do Jewish” and let you choose what feels comfortable for you and your partner.

Will we be able to meet local Israelis?

Yes! Whenever we can, we create opportunities for you to get to know Israelis. Often a couple close to you in age will join cohorts so you can get to know them informally. We also strive to connect you to Israelis with a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.

Will I have the opportunity to hear various perspectives in Israel?

Yes! HMI is committed to exposing participants to a variety of narratives, identities, and voices in Israel. You’ll hear a range of perspectives about politics, religion, and Israeli society. Groups typically visit non-Jewish religious sites, such as Christian or Islamic sites, and hear stories from speakers representing both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. The sites we visit and the speakers we hear represent a multitude of viewpoints to ensure that you can experience the full diversity of Israel. Click here to see a few of the highlights and speakers on the itinerary for our upcoming 2024 trips.

Will I be able to visit the areas impacted by the Oct 7 attacks?

Our Summer 2024 trips will be based out of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem only, and we will not visit the sites of the October 7 attacks. With an ever-changing situation on the ground in Israel, we are working to provide our couples with the safest and most meaningful experience.

We are adapting our itinerary to build participant understanding of the October 7 attacks and ongoing conflict, with the understanding that these events are impacting our lives and relationships at home. Our trips are designed to allow couples the opportunity to discuss these complex and emotional topics, and figure out how to navigate Jewish life together.

What sort of physical activity can I expect?

Pack your comfy shoes. Our trip itineraries include extensive walking each day, often on uneven surfaces, as well as opportunities for hiking, swimming, and more. The average day starts by 8am and finishes as early as 3pm or late as 10pm. Our trip is designed to accommodate pregnant people and meet accessibility needs.

Does Honeymoon Israel make accommodations for individuals with disabilities?

Guided by our Jewish values, we aim to be inclusive of all individuals with disabilities and to accommodate specific access needs. Please be sure to share any ways we can ensure your accessibility needs are met, during the application process.

What should I pack?

We will provide a detailed packing list in advance of your trip that is tailored to your specific itinerary and expected weather.

Will I be able to enjoy the trip if I have food allergies?

We have had many participants join HMI trips with various types of food allergies ranging from mild to severe. Participants with food allergies should include this information in registration forms and be in touch with HMI staff about any questions/concerns.

Is the HMI experience fairly chill or more of a party vibe?

Each cohort is a little different. Our groups focus on spending time together during free time, whether that’s trying a local restaurant at dinner, checking out nightlife, or enjoying each other’s company in the hotel. 

Financial

How much does Honeymoon Israel cost?

The total cost of our experience is $20,000 per couple, but thanks to the generosity of our funders we are able to offer it for $2,900. 

What’s included:

  • Round trip airfare
  • Hotel accommodations with private rooms for couples
  • Group transportation in Israel
  • Three staff people: city-based staff, a rabbi or educator, and an Israeli Tour Educator
  • All organized activities and touring
  • Breakfast daily
  • Some lunches and dinners

What’s not included:

  • Travel/health insurance 
  • Transportation to/from the airport in the U.S.
  • Some lunches and dinners
  • Personal purchases (like souvenirs)
  • Flight upgrades or changes

If we are accepted, when do we have to pay our nonrefundable deposit?

When you accept your trip invitation, you will be asked to pay your nonrefundable deposit within a few weeks in order to secure your spot.

Do you offer financial aid?

Our experience is highly subsidized and as such we are not able to offer financial aid or scholarships. In some cases we are able to offer a payment plan for participants. If cost is a barrier to participation, we encourage you to reach out to local Jewish organizations for potential financial support.

Does Honeymoon Israel require health or travel insurance coverage for its participants?

Yes! Honeymoon Israel requires that each participant obtains travel insurance prior to departure. HMI recommends that you include the “cancel for any reason” benefit to your policy, in which case you will likely need to purchase it within 21 days of submitting your trip fee. 

What are the payment methods?

Trip fees are paid via a secure online payment system. We accept credit and debit cards. 

What is the cancelation policy?

After you submit your registration and payment, the trip fee is deemed non-refundable and any cancellations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Ensure that you fully understand your travel insurance policy for cancellation coverage. If Honeymoon Israel makes the decision to postpone a trip, we will be in touch about options for a refund or securing your spot on a new set of trip dates.

Travel

Do I need a passport?

YES! You need a valid passport to travel to Israel. If you don’t hold a U.S. passport, you may need a visa or face other entry requirements. Please contact your closest Israeli consulate for more information. If you don’t already have a passport, we recommend that you begin the process to obtain one as soon as possible. You’ll be required to provide us with your passport number and a photocopy before we can issue your flight ticket.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from your last day in Israel. Please be sure to check the expiration date of your passport as soon as you apply for a trip. Canceling due to an expired passport may cause you to lose your trip fee if you are not able to obtain a new passport in time.

Do I need a visa (international travel document) to travel to Israel?

If you’re not traveling on a U.S. passport, you may need a visa to travel to Israel. Your flight may have a stop in another country that could have different laws regarding visas, transit visas, or other personal records. Our travel partners are prepared to support you as needed.

What is the trip cancellation policy?

After you submit your registration and payment, the trip fee is deemed non-refundable and any cancellations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Ensure that you fully understand your travel insurance policy for cancellation coverage. If Honeymoon Israel makes the decision to postpone a trip, we will be in touch about options for a refund or securing your spot on a new set of trip dates.

What if I’m unable to go or don’t feel safe traveling at the last minute?

The trip fee is non-refundable and any cancellations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. While travel to Israel and the Middle East can be unpredictable, we are working to provide our couples with the safest and most meaningful experience possible. Each itinerary will be adapted to reflect the situation on the ground, prioritizing your safety and security. 

Do I need travel insurance coverage?

Yes, Honeymoon Israel requires that each participant obtains travel insurance prior to departure. HMI recommends that you include the “cancel for any reason” benefit to your policy, in which case you will likely need to purchase it within 21 days of submitting your trip fee. 

What should travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance should cover trip cancellation, health coverage, COVID-19 quarantine costs, luggage delays, and flight delays/cancellations. Honeymoon Israel will not review your trip insurance, so it will need to cover the items above as HMI can not be responsible for any additional costs incurred due to incorrect travel insurance. When discussing coverage options, you may indicate the cost of the trip as $2,900, plus any additional fees paid, if applicable.

Can I pick my own travel insurance provider?

Yes, you can select your own insurance carrier. If needed, HMI’s travel vendor does provide an option for insurance: Travel Insured International. Please reach out to liana@traveland.net for inquiries about this plan.

How does travel insurance work?

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with your insurance plan to understand coverage and reimbursement requirements for events such as travel disruptions, illness, luggage delays, and more.

Can we change our flight tickets and extend on the front or back end of the trip?

We strongly encourage all participants to travel on the group flight to and from Israel. Due to the current unpredictability of flights, this will ensure that you are fully financially protected should HMI need to postpone your trip.

You and your partner will be booked in economy seating on the group flight to and from Israel. If you wish to upgrade your seat(s), any changes you make may incur fees that will be at your own expense. If you choose to upgrade your seat(s), your ticket will be booked separately from the group tickets, and you will be financially liable for the entire ticket should the trip be postponed or if you need to cancel. There is a deadline by which you need to choose this option, which will be communicated in advance.

Likewise, if you choose to extend your trip in Israel, your ticket will be booked separately from the group tickets, and you will be financially liable for the entire ticket should the trip be postponed or if you need to cancel. There is a deadline by which you need to choose this option which will be communicated in advance.

If you plan to add travel to another country to your trip, you will be fully financially responsible for any flights that are not to/from Israel in addition to any extension costs, as noted above.

Additionally, if HMI postpones your trip and you are not on the group flight, your deposit may not carry over to a future trip. We will address these situations on a case-by-case basis. You can find our general postponement policy HERE.

Please email trips@honeymoonisrael.org if you have any questions about our policy or your individual reservations.

What happens if I need to leave the program before it ends?

Participation in the entirety of the program is mandatory. We do not allow participants to leave before the trip ends. In the event that you have a personal emergency or are asked to leave the trip due to inappropriate conduct, costs associated with leaving early (flight changes, transportation, etc) are the responsibility of the participant.

What if the airline loses my luggage?

If your luggage does not arrive in Israel when you do, most airlines will offer some (minimal) compensation when you present receipts so that you can get some basics. Your trip staff and our travel providers will do our best to assist you working with the airlines and acquiring essentials until your luggage is located. Remember to carry essentials such as medications in your carry-on baggage. 

What if the name I entered when I applied has changed or is spelled wrong?

Airline tickets are issued based on the full given name(s) and last name that you put on your registration, which must match the full name on your passport. If there’s a discrepancy, the airline has the right to deny you passage or charge to reissue the ticket, and you will be responsible for any financial penalties. If you entered your name incorrectly or changed your name, contact us right away.

Health

How does HMI keep its community healthy at in-person events and gatherings, especially with COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses?

We care about our community, and want to keep everyone healthy and safe to the best of our ability. The HMI alumni community is diverse and has a variety of access needs, and as such we do our best to make accommodations to ensure that everyone can participate.

If you are attending an HMI event, we ask that you stay home if you are exhibiting contagious symptoms or feel unwell. If you have accessibility needs that put you at higher risk to infectious diseases, please let us know so that we can provide accommodations. We also strongly encourage event attendees to be up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters as recommended by the CDC.

Thank you for helping us keep everyone in our community safe.

What happens if I get sick or injured on the trip?

Your health and safety is our top priority. Our team will support you and your partner throughout your illness or injury. If an individual requires medical attention for any reason, Israel has an excellent medical system with hospitals throughout the country. HMI staff will transport individuals to nearby medical facilities if needed, based on the severity of illness, and we can arrange to bring doctors to the hotel and provide translation support. For your own protection, be sure your travel insurance includes medical coverage in Israel for the duration of your trip.

Will I be able to enjoy the trip if I have food allergies?

We have had many participants join HMI trips with various types of food allergies. Participants with food allergies should include this information in registration forms and be in touch with HMI staff about any questions/concerns. While we cannot guarantee that meals will not have cross-contamination, we will work with our travel vendors to do our best to ensure a safe experience.

What are the current requirements regarding COVID-19 vaccinations to travel to Israel on an HMI trip?

Participants are encouraged to be up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters as recommended by the CDC.

What happens if I get sick or test positive for COVID-19 while on the trip?

On your trip, if you begin exhibiting symptoms or feel unwell, from COVID-19 or another illness, please remove yourself from group activities until you’re 24 hours fever-free, and/or your symptoms improve. Once you return to the group, please be prepared to take additional precautions to protect other members of your group, particularly those most at risk for severe illness. HMI staff can support you if you need additional medical attention or any testing for insurance purposes. If you have accessibility needs that put you at higher risk to infectious diseases, please let us know so that we can provide accommodations.

Safety & Security

How do you address safety and security?

The safety of our participants and staff is always our top priority. We ensure that all groups are following the most updated safety and security guidelines in Israel. We work with experienced, accredited, professional tour educators and trip operators who have access to the most up-to-date security information. Our trip itineraries are reviewed continually to ensure that participants are safe and have the best experience possible.

How is Honeymoon Israel navigating the current crisis in Israel?

The safety of our participants and staff is always our top priority, and we want to ensure that cohorts are able to have the full Honeymoon Israel experience on their trip while staying safe. Due to the ongoing war in Israel and the region, we made the decision to postpone trips through March 2024. Honeymoon Israel is working with the Israel Educational Travel Alliance, our travel partners on the ground, and the Israeli government to determine that travel is safe. As we plan to resume travel, we will make adjustments to the HMI itinerary as needed, with safety and security as our absolute top priority. 

What happens if there is a security situation during the trip?

In the event of an escalation of conflict or any threat of violence, HMI will not hesitate to change the itinerary and/or take any other necessary precautions. HMI’s travel partners in Israel are in constant contact with Israel’s security services who have responsibility for the safety and security of all groups in the country. Starting in Summer 2024, each cohort will be accompanied by armed security personnel out of an abundance of caution.

Will staff members accompany us throughout the trip?

Each HMI cohort is led by an Israeli Tour Educator, and accompanied by a community staff person and a rabbi or Jewish educator, both from the group’s city of origin. National HMI staff and our travel partner, Routes, also join all cohorts throughout the trip providing additional assistance as needed.

How will we get around Israel?

Each cohort travels together as a group on a designated tour bus with the same driver for the duration of the trip. Nobody outside of the group will be permitted on the bus. When there is free time, such as some lunches and evenings, participants can travel by taxi or by foot with guidance from staff on the best areas to explore. 

Has Honeymoon Israel ever had any security issues?

No. In nearly ten years of operation with more than 150 groups, Honeymoon Israel has never had any security issues or incidents.

I’m nervous about traveling to Israel, especially with the recent conflict. How can I stay safe?

Travel to Israel and the Middle East can make many people nervous. Honeymoon Israel and our trip providers have vast experience running trips to Israel, keeping participants safe, and we will make changes to the itinerary if necessary. We have a number of security protocols in place to ensure the safest experience possible and work very closely with Israel’s security services who have responsibility for the safety and security of all groups in the country, which will allow us to take precautions and make changes if needed.

My loved ones in the U.S. are worried about me traveling to Israel. Will they be able to reach me during the trip?

Yes. Wi-Fi is generally available on tour buses and at all hotels. We recommend that participants purchase additional international cellular coverage or a SIM card in order to stay in contact throughout the trip.

What’s the policy regarding conduct on Honeymoon Israel?

We have a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment of any kind and are absolutely committed to providing a space of physical and emotional safety for all participants. If you violate this policy, you will be asked to leave the trip at your own expense.

Application

What is the application process?

First, you and your partner will complete an online application when the application cycle in your city opens. Then you may be invited to an in-person interview. Not all applicants are invited for an interview due to limited trip spots. If you are invited to an interview, the interview will take 30 minutes, take place on a designated set of dates, and each invited couple will have the ability to sign up for a slot.

How does the application work?

When an application cycle is open for your city, you will submit an online application by the posted deadline. Once submitted, it will be reviewed by HMI staff. When you submit your application, you’ll receive an automated confirmation email. If you don’t receive the confirmation email, email us at applications@honeymoonisrael.org

Here are some tips as you prepare for your online application: 

  • Complete every answer with detail – we’re trying to understand your background, hopes, and understand how we can best serve you. Provide full answers to the questions.
  • There’s no right or wrong answer. We simply want to better understand who you are as a couple.
  • It’s critical that both partners complete the application together. We want to see that the answers reflect both partners’ voices.
  • Be honest! Don’t try to “cheat” the process by trying to fit a mold that you think we’re looking for. HMI is completely open to couples of all diverse backgrounds and experiences.

What happens after we apply?

Once we receive and review your application, we’ll reach out to you via email to let you know if you’re invited to interview. The interview is a time for us to get to know you and your partner, and for you to bring your application to life. Before the interview, it’s helpful to get familiar with the HMI Experience. Other than that, there’s nothing you need to do to prepare!

If you’re not invited to the interview round, there are different factors that may have led to that. We receive approximately four times the number of applications than we have spots available for upcoming trips. We try to interview as many eligible couples as possible.

What happens after the interview?

After your interview, we’ll let you know via email whether or not you’re secured a spot on an upcoming HMI trip. If you’re secured a spot, you’ll be asked to register for the trip and submit your payment.

If we are not accepted, can we apply again?

If we can’t secure you a spot on an upcoming trip, you are welcome to reapply in the next application cycle for your city. We receive up to four times the number of applications than we have spots available. We try to interview as many eligible couples as possible.

Will Honeymoon Israel fill more than one trip with applicants from the same application cycle?

Depending on the specific cycle, Honeymoon Israel may fill more than one trip during an application cycle.

Is there a waitlist?

HMI does not automatically add all interviewed applicants to a trip waitlist, but in the case that a participant drops out prior to the trip, some applicants may be notified and invited to fill the spot.

How does Honeymoon Israel determine who gets accepted?

We look at a variety of factors to determine who gets accepted, including whether a couple meets eligibility criteria. We will do our best to get to know you to understand whether Honeymoon Israel might be a good fit for you.

Accessibility & Inclusivity

Are individuals with disabilities, health needs, or different access needs able to participate?

Honeymoon Israel is committed to finding ways to accommodate all individuals who are selected for our trips. If you choose to apply and are ultimately secured a spot on the trip, please be sure to share any ways we can ensure your accessibility needs are met.

What if I’m pregnant?

It’s important to us that anyone traveling while pregnant remains healthy throughout the trip. If you are currently pregnant or become pregnant before your HMI trip, you are required to include this on your registration or notify us directly and submit a doctor’s note clearing you for travel at least two weeks prior to departure.

I’m a nursing parent; can I pump while on the trip?

It is possible to pump while you are in Israel. However, you may run into challenges regarding proximity to electricity and/or temperature control of your milk should you choose to transport it while in Israel. We often have long travel days in which you may be on the go all day, and it may be difficult to locate a private area for pumping. Our staff is here to support you and provide as much accommodation and support as possible.