Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important Update on HMI Operations
May 28, 2020 By: Jen Bokoff, Honeymoon Israel Chicago, December 2019 Michael and Rachel Plump met six years ago at a music festival. Rachel grew up Jewish, went to Jewish summer camp, and celebrated Shabbat periodically with her family. Michael is not Jewish and grew up not knowing a thing about Shabbat. Now, he hosts a weekly virtual Shabbat gathering for their HMI cohort. Michael and Rachel live in Brooklyn, NY and decided to do HMI as a way to meet couple friends. On their trip to Israel, they really enjoyed connecting with the other couples. More unexpectedly, they also...
May 14, 2020 By: Jen Bokoff, Honeymoon Israel Chicago, December 2019 Kari Parekh and David Pell had planned on frequent support from family and friends once they had their first child. Then coronavirus hit, and baby Kaden arrived in the thick of it. Plans were called off. The HMI community became more important to them than they had ever imagined. David grew up Jewish and Kari grew up Hindu. Neither considers themself religious, but the community and familial aspects of religion always resonated. On their trip to Israel, they specifically enjoyed the group conversations, which...
How do you plan a ritual meal when you don't want to leave the house? What if you don't have the makings for a traditional meal? Alumni Kristin Posner (SF, founder of Nourish Co.), Dylan Maysick (CHI, founder of Diaspora Dinners), and Jeffrey Eisner (NYC, author of The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook) each shared a quarantine ready dish to get you in the spirit of Passover and help you plan your meal.  Jump to recipe: Savory Potato Kugel with Preserved Lemon (Kristin Posner, San Francisco Feb. 2017) Ribollita with Matzo (Dylan Maysick, Chicago July...
By Stephanie Goldfarb, Honeymoon Israel Chicago Director of Community Engagement Passover is not only the most widely-celebrated Jewish holiday, it’s also the one that requires the most choreography, prepping, shopping, and planning. While most of us probably have more prep time than normal these days due to #socialdistancing2020, it’s not a guarantee that we’ll find everything we need at the grocery store to make a traditional seder plate. There are also many reasons why some folks opt out of using traditional items (from environmental and ethical reasons to dietary restrictions), and...
  Have you ever stopped to think about that ninth candle on the Hanukkah menorah? It’s called the shamash, and it’s the helper candle we use to light the other candles. It’s the one that allows all the others to shine.  This Hanukkah, we want you to be the light that illuminates others. We’ve put together eight conversation starters featuring HMI alumni from all over North America to help you spark up each night of Hanukkah. As you reflect on how you’ll be the light, join us in passing it on to future HMIers by supporting Honeymoon Israel with a donation....
This post originally appeared in the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.  Rachel and Daniel Villena both grew up in families with strong religious traditions. Daniel’s Catholic father and Christian mother met at a Christian college and their family life in Quincy, MA was steeped in faith and churchgoing. Rachel grew up in East Cobb. She belonged to Conservative Jewish congregation, celebrating becoming a bat mitzvah, and had strong strains of orthodoxy in her extended family. By the time they got to college, both had fallen away from observance. Daniel even began to call himself...
October 7, 2019 By: Bryanne Mahoney Bowen Bryanne is a proud alumna of Honeymoon Israel Boston March 2017 and is the Honeymoon Israel Boston Director of Community Engagement. You can join Bryanne on the next Honeymoon Israel Boston trip - apply here. This post originally appeared in Alma. A baptized Jew and a lapsed Catholic walk into a bar. They discover a shared love for bourbon and craft beer (they are both hipsters, after all), date for a very long time (too long according to the lapsed Catholic and almost all of their family and friends), and eventually decide to get married....
September 26, 2019 By Honeymoon Israel The High Holidays are the most important time of the Jewish year. Everyone recognizes the hope and solemnity of this special time in their own way. Read on to see what the High Holidays mean to our HMI family.  Mike Wise, Co-CEO: For me the High Holidays are about creating family memories through a Jewish lens. My memories are of family  and renewal. It also represents my first personal bonding with Israel when I was scheduled to leave for my first trip to Israel the day after Yom Kippur 1973, the day after the start of the Yom Kippur...
December 7, 2018 By: Gabby Markowitz Grubbs, Honeymoon Israel Atlanta, May 2016 My mother would plotz. My father would roll over in his grave. If only they knew that my two year old son and I were “making merry” decorating the house for Chanukah.  I grew up in a Jewish household where “Christmas” was virtually a dirty word. We would usually travel to our winter vacation spot on Christmas Day because: a) the lines were shorter and, b) so that we would not develop any Christmas traditions other than commercial air travel. Christmas music would come on the radio,...
November 6, 2018 By: Jeffrey Albertson, Honeymoon Israel Atlanta, July 2018 “May there always be heard in the cities of Israel and in the streets of Jerusalem: the sounds of joy and happiness, the voice of loving couples, the shouts of young people celebrating, and the songs of children at play."  This was a line cited during my ceremony to my wife, Amy. At the time, that was one of the few connections I shared with the country. Amy recalled her travels on Birthright, but it was still a struggle for me to relate and understand her connection with Israel. Prior to...

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