The HMI Experience 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 is geared toward couples with at least one Jewish partner, between the ages of 25 and 40, and who are within the first five years of marriage or early in their lifelong committed partnership. We build cohorts for our group trips that are reflective of the diverse demographics of the particular community, including couples with interfaith, Jewish, and multi-racial backgrounds. HMI is most powerful and impactful for couples who have yet to find a strong connection to Jewish community or Jewish life and are searching for the right ways to incorporate Judaism into their relationship, family, and home.
Ready to see if this is right for you?
Spend nine exhilarating, romantic, and memorable days exploring Israel with the one you love and 19 other couples from your city. You’ll return home with a new community and friends who feel like family.
Before the trip itself, we’ll host gatherings where you’ll get the chance to meet the couples you’ll be traveling with and get to know each other.
On the trip, you’ll experience Israel’s culture, beauty, and society in a way you could never do on your own. You’ll hit the best tourist spots like the Western Wall, Jerusalem’s Old City, and the beaches of Tel Aviv, as well as having unique experiences you wouldn’t get on a standard vacation like meals with local families and meetings with high-level public officials and business leaders. You’ll have group tours, choose content-specific tracks that let you customize your experience, and have time to explore alone with your partner.
HMI creates opportunities for connection with yourself, your partner, your community, and Israel. We’ll open the door to an exploration of what Judaism means to you. Throughout the trip, you’ll engage in what we call “HMI Conversations” that are designed to bring you closer to your partner and build bonds with your fellow participants.
In addition to enjoying Israel’s traditional tourist destinations, delicious food and wine, and vibrant art and nightlife, you’ll meet Israelis from a wide range of religious and cultural backgrounds (religious and secular Jews, Arabs, Druze, and others) to gain a full picture of Israeli society. You’ll also visit historic sites and learn about their ties to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and beyond.
We know vacation time can be hard to come by, so HMI ensures you can make the most of your visit and your time with your partner. Israel is a vibrant, exciting place. It’s a hub for technology, global politics, world religion, culture, and so much more. Not only is Israel a beautiful Mediterranean destination, but it’s also a powerful place to think about questions of religion and identity.
We can all but guarantee you’ll return home with more questions than you came with and develop a stronger shared sense of your relationship with each other and with Judaism. You’ll gain a new perspective on your identity and what it means to you as a couple. You’ll have an opportunity for shared experiences and meaningful conversations about Jewish values and traditions and how they might fit into your family.
Building and creating community is why HMI exists. In addition to traveling with couples from your city, each trip has a staff leader and a rabbi/Jewish educator from your city who will serve as your group facilitators in Israel and at home. Throughout your time on the ground in Israel, an Israeli Tour Educator will be with you every step of the way to answer questions and share knowledge.
On your HMI trip, you’ll have the chance to explore personal connections to the Jewish community and figure out how to build personal, meaningful family traditions. While in Israel, you’ll see first-hand how individuals, families, and society can integrate diverse cultural and spiritual identities. Every trip also includes two unique Shabbat (sabbath) experiences: a traditional Shabbat in Jerusalem and a modern, secular Shabbat in Tel Aviv.
In every HMI city, we work closely with local partners who are integral to the entire HMI Experience. Our local partners are senior educators and community organizations who share HMI’s vision and values.
Your safety, health, and security are our top priorities. We ensure that all groups are following the most updated safety and security guidelines in Israel. We work with experienced, accredited, professional tour guides and trip operators who have access to the most up-to-date security information, and our trip itineraries are reviewed continually to ensure you have the best experience possible.
Your staff leaders will go over safety and security protocols during one of your pre-trip gatherings and will be available before and during the trip to address any questions or concerns.
Beyond The Trip
After the Israel trip, the journey continues at home. The cohesive community we built on the ground in Israel is sustained and nurtured, formally through HMI-organized efforts and informally by grassroots efforts from the participants themselves.
HMI is so much more than a trip to Israel. Couples tend to participate in this experience for all the same reasons: to find friends, build community, and connect with Judaism in a new way. HMI provides opportunities for organized local programming, financial grants to help participants create and bring their own programming to life, and ongoing support to help sustain connections to Jewish life. Our team and local partners understand the unique needs of each city and work directly with participants to co-create Jewish experiences that fit their needs.
What kind of things happen with HMI at home? Get excited for city-wide Shabbat dinners, alumni-led yoga sessions, group baby celebrations, family-friendly camp weekends, High Holy Day festivities, and so much more.
In Their Own Words
“We thought we were going on a Honeymoon trip. Well we were wrong! What we actually signed up for was much, much more than we could have ever expected. We went on a trip that filled our heads with incredible rich history, our bellies full of fantastic food and wine, and our hearts with love, life, and culture. We have a renewed, refreshed, and revamped understanding of what it means to have a Jewish home and a Jewish life. The deepest thanks to HMI for cultivating this adventure for us to traverse together!”Marissa and OliverAtlanta Sept. '19