One of the key elements of the Honeymoon Israel model is the role of a rabbi who accompanies every cohort of twenty couples to Israel and takes responsibility for developing relationships with these couples after the trip to Israel. Rabbis are drawn from the same city as the couples and should be familiar with the Jewish organizational structure of their city. Additionally, these rabbis should feel aligned with and passionate about HMI’s vision and mission. Honeymoon Israel is open to rabbis from various professional, denominational and personal backgrounds. Past HMI rabbis have been drawn from the ranks of rabbis, formal and informal education directors, and program directors.
Every Honeymoon Israel trip includes a local rabbi and a local engagement staff member.
- Currently working in a primarily Jewish setting;
- Experience with young couples, particularly those who are on the fringes of Jewish life (Interfaith, LGBT, Jews by Choice, currently unaffiliated);
- Understanding of group dynamics;
- Experience in informal educational settings;
- Experience leading groups to Israel or facilitating other Jewish immersive educational experiences;
- Familiarity with facilitating and explaining Jewish spiritual experiences, including Kabbalat Shabbat;
- Deep knowledge of Jewish history, ritual, culture;
- Creativity and flexibility.
- All airfare and land costs for the 10-day HMI experience. Airfare can be altered to either extend one’s time in Israel or add additional stops, within limitations. There may be an additional cost for such alterations for which the rabbi will be responsible.
- Either a $1500 honorarium or the land-only cost of bringing a spouse or committed partner on the trip (valued at $3000, airfare not included).
- A $250 meal stipend to cover lunches and dinners that are not part of the group experience.
- Use of an HMI cell phone while in Israel.
The HMI Rabbi is responsible for the following before, during, and after the ten days in Israel with Honeymoon Israel:
- Review all HMI educational materials – Partnership Manual and Educational Vision and Philosophy
- Engage in conversations/meetings as needed with HMI staff to review roles and responsibilities during the trip. Engage in any necessary conversations with Israeli tour guide
- Attend two pre-trip gatherings with the cohort (a Welcome Dinner and an Orientation), and lead activities such as icebreakers, introductions, and discussions that “set the stage” for the upcoming trip. These experiences will occur in the 6-8 weeks before the departure date.
- Create two Kabbalat Shabbat experiences for the group that is inclusive and relevant for the HMI audience. HMI will provide educational materials and templates as a resource, but rabbis are free to utilize their personal creativity. Trip Rabbis will check in with HMI staff in advance of the trip to review the Kabbalat Shabbat outline.
- Work with the second HMI trip leader (either the local HMI Community Manager or the assigned Community Professional) to review and outline the four HMI “Conversations” that take place during the trip.
During the Trip
- Be present for all HMI activities and sessions on the itinerary.
- Develop relationships with the couples, utilizing tools of empathy, understanding and active listening.
- Lead inclusive Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah experiences.
- Provide educational content relating to Jewish practice, custom, and ritual as needed during the trip both in large discussion and personal conversations.
- Have fun!
After the Trip
- HMI debrief with national staff.
- Commit to maintaining relationships with couples from the trip for a minimum of twelve months.
- At a minimum of once every three months, attend occasional gatherings with the couples, designing and leading educational programming designed for them around subject areas such as Shabbat, holiday celebrations, and building a Jewish home.
- Invite couples to additional community programs that would be of interest to them.
- Aid in recruitment efforts aimed at potential applicants for subsequent HMI trips.
- Act as an ambassador within the community for Honeymoon Israel.
Honeymoon Israel Rabbis must live in one of the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver/Boulder, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco & Washington DC.