Jewish Federation, Mayerson JCC bring Honeymoon Israel to Cincinnati - American Israelite: Local News

Jewish Federation, Mayerson JCC bring Honeymoon Israel to Cincinnati

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Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2018 12:30 pm

Honeymoon Israel, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and the Mayerson JCC, is launching a new opportunity for young couples in Cincinnati. 

Honeymoon Israel will, for the first time in Cincinnati, provide an immersive trip to Israel for newly married or very committed couples who reside in Cincinnati, ages 25 to 40, that have at least one Jewish partner. The goal of the program is to create communities of couples who are building families with deep and meaningful connections to Jewish life and the Jewish people. 

Starting March 5, eligible Cincinnati couples will be able to apply for the first Cincinnati Honeymoon Israel trip. The first nine-day Cincinnati-based trip, with 20 couples, will take place Nov. 29 to Dec. 9, 2018. 

“We’re thrilled to launch Honeymoon Israel in Cincinnati,” said Michael Wise, Co-CEO of Honeymoon Israel. “Our relationship with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and Mayerson JCC is very strong, and we’re confident that this program, over time, will help engage thousands of couples nationally in an open-ended exploration, developing a connection to Jewish life in whatever way is meaningful for them.” 

Rabbi Shena Potter Jaffee, Community Rabbi and director of Jewish Life at the JCC, and Jaynie Levinson, Young Adult director of the Jewish Federation, will join the participating couples on the first trip in order to enhance their experience in Israel and upon their return. Levinson will serve as the engagement staff; and Jaffee will serve as the local Community Rabbi and educator for the Cincinnati Honeymoon Israel trip. 

Honeymoon Israel, which is focused on providing trips for couples from the same community, has launched in more than a dozen cities across North America with astonishing success, receiving approximately four times the number of applications for each spot. To be eligible for the trip, couples must have at least one Jewish partner, be married or in a lifelong committed relationship for five years or less, have at least one partner who is between 25-40 years old, and have at least one partner who hasn’t participated in an organized Israel trip experience as a teen or adult. Honeymoon Israel is an inclusive program and highly encourages interfaith couples, couples with a partner who has converted, and LGBTQ couples to apply. 

“Honeymoon Israel will enable us to offer a meaningful Israel and Jewish experience to couples at a point in their lives when they are building their futures together,” said Barb Miller, director of Community Building for the Jewish Federation. 

On a Honeymoon Israel trip, participants experience Israel’s culture, economy, politics, and nature in a way they could never do on their own. The 20 selected couples from Cincinnati will spend nine days in Israel touring Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, hiking Masada, floating in the Dead Sea, attending performances, sampling local cuisine, and exploring Israel’s diversity and complexity. They’ll also have the opportunity to meet Israelis, participate in Shabbat experiences, and visit sites important to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history.

“Honeymoon Israel will play a significant role in engaging our entire community and making people feel welcome,” said Mayerson JCC CEO Marc Fisher. “We are proud to offer this opportunity to young couples and look forward to building on their experiences and finding opportunities for them to get involved in Jewish Cincinnati after they return.” 

Honeymoon Israel will accept applications from March 5 through April 16. Interested couples are invited to attend an Information Night on March 22.

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