October 19, 2017 By: Adrea Miller-Vesely, Honeymoon Israel San Diego participant on a September 2017 trip I’ve always had a strange feeling towards the Kotel, or Western Wall as it is often called in the United States. The Kotel is one of the most sacred places in Judaism, but I think it can also be one of the most uncomfortable places for non-Orthodox Jews like myself. While I feel a sense of reverence and awe when I’m there, I also feel ill at ease. When I arrive to the Kotel I’m immediately checked by the “modesty police” to make sure that my head, shoulder and knees...
September 29, 2017 Sermon by Rabbi Aliza Berger of Temple Emanuel in Boston Rosh Hashana 2017 If you’ve read the Pew report on American Jewry, you know that we are living in troubling times.  Young people are increasingly secular and disconnected.  32% of Jews born after 1980 identify as “Jews of no religion” and 67% of those “Jews of no religion” go on to raise children without religion.  Whereas Baby Boomers and Gen Xers often rebelled against the Judaism of their childhood, Millennials are far more likely to have grown up without a Jewish connection.  It makes...
September 5, 2017 By: Colie Weinberger, Honeymoon Israel NYC participant on a May 2017 trip There’s a phrase our (amazing) tour educator used in Israel: "Jews and those who love them.” He used that phrase to address all of the couples on our trip. But for Jared and me, it didn't really resonate... Honeymoon Israel accepts couples of all backgrounds that have at least one Jewish partner. The majority of couples are interfaith, while a few are couples like Jared and me - couples where both partners were born Jewish. The groups are meant to be reflective of what the community...
August 25, 2017 By: Andrew Meyer, Honeymoon Israel SF Bay Area participant on a May 2017 trip Back in Summer of 2016, just a couple months before we got married, my wife made an “amazing” discovery - we could go to Israel with a bunch of other recently married couples, on a heavily subsidized trip, with no strings attached. Now, I say “amazing”, because at this point, the thoughts going through my head were: Wow, she is very excited. “No strings attached” never actually means no strings attached, as proven by both the rom-com of that name, and the N'SYNC album cover (...
July 29, 2017 By: Mallory Schlau, Honeymoon Israel New York City participant on a October 2016 trip After an amazing two weeks on Honeymoon Israel, I returned home to a country about to elect the next president. Two days after the election - feeling both dismayed and energized - I was looking for a way to focus my energies and resources towards something positive and inspiring. At the time, I was working as the Senior Fashion Editor of Harper's Bazaar and surrounded by an industry full of strong female voices. Later that week, at a cocktail party for a new designer, I was...
July 28, 2017 By: Leah Kaplan, Honeymoon Israel DC participant on a October 2015 trip For those of us struggling with questions about fertility, one of the most unexpected and challenging aspects can be a sense of judgement that comes with it. Or maybe worse, self judgement.  When we hit our thirties, that judgmental lens can make us wonder if we didn’t take our fertility clock seriously enough. Or we feel labeled as a “career woman”, as if we’ve valued our careers over family. Or that we’re picky or not taking the right steps. We don’t create these feelings out of nowhere; the...
By: Shanna Katz Kattari, Honeymoon Israel Colorado participant in October 2015 I grew up Jewish, like many young people in the Reform movement. I went to religious school every weekend, skipped Hebrew school since my father was fluent and taught me at home, and prepped for my Bat Mitzvah. After that, I even taught religious school, and when I got to college, despite not going to services regularly, I was the chair of Hillel at my small liberal arts school, setting up monthly Shabbat dinners, organizing Latke Cookoffs, and partnering with the ADL when anti-Semitic events...
By: Lindsey Arnold, Honeymoon Israel Los Angeles participant in September 2016 My wife Whitney and I spend a lot of time on the yoga mat, and taking yoga pictures in the wild.  So when we found out that we were headed to Israel for the September 2016 HMI trip, we were instantly excited about the new image content we were going to add to our growing collection. We were also of course, ecstatic to meet new LA couples, and give our Jewish roots a fair chance to express themselves in our every day lives.  We packed our bags with leggings, an army of sports bras, and...
Honeymoon Israel had the pleasure of interviewing Steph & Jimmy MacDonald, who participated on a Honeymoon Israel Los Angeles trip in September 2016. Why did you decide to apply and ultimately participate on Honeymoon Israel (HMI)? When we learned about HMI, we realized that we fit the application criteria to a T. The program encompassed everything that we had been searching for in our local LA community, social life, and relationship to each other. And we knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So we didn't hesitate to apply! Going to Israel together had been...
By: Lavie Tobey Honeymoon Israel Colorado participant in September 2016 In Spring 2015, as I prepared for my wedding, it became important to me to incorporate Judaism into the occasion.  I was raised in a Jewish household and was Bar Mitzvah’d, but I am not a “practicing” Jew. In fact, my connection to the religion and the people had become tenuous at best. It’s not that I had run from Judaism, I just hadn’t run towards it either. Even though there were opportunities to engage with the Jewish community along the way, I never sought it out.  As my now-...

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