Written by: Darren and Ali Moorehead, Honeymoon Israel Richmond, June 2022

Darren and Ali Moorehead are one of 15 young Richmond couples who joined the Honeymoon Israel (HMI) family this summer through an immersive group trip to Israel. After they returned from their trip, Darren and Ali took some time to reflect on their experience and shared the impact that this opportunity has already had on their lives. From celebrating their first Shabbat with their cohort in Jerusalem to taking in the sights and smells of the bustling Israeli marketplaces, their vivid descriptions provide an eye-opening and beautiful look into the HMI experience and the joy of creating a new community while exploring the incredible country of Israel.

Read below for an excerpt from their reflections, and click here to read the full story originally shared by HMI Richmond partner, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

“We were fortunate to be able to go on the Honeymoon Israel trip in late June with 15 young couples from Richmond. As Jews who were ‘adopted’ into the family and trying to figure out where we fit and how to avoid succumbing to imposter syndrome, this has been an incredible experience and a culmination of our journey. The friendships we have made with the other couples (many with stories like our own) run deeply after such a short time, and we hope these people will be part of our story for a lifetime.

Our first evening in Jerusalem was Shabbat and it was clear that we ‘weren’t in Kansas anymore.’ The city shut down and the streets were deserted. We lit candles, sang the blessings, and shared challah together at our first Honeymoon Israel Shabbat meal, like so many other families were doing in their homes.” – Darren and Ali Moorehead