Source: eJewish Philanthropy
Since the Spring of 2014 we have been sharing our journey through the launch and ongoing progress of Honeymoon Israel (HMI). From the beginning, HMI partnered with Rosov Consulting to support, document and evaluate the program’s early impact on the couples who participate. In September 2016, the Rosov team delivered its first outcomes report documenting the outcomes for couples on twelve separate trips taking place between June 2015 and March 2016. Even as the Rosov team continues to assess the outcomes of our current trips, we have come together to share some of the findings that, we believe, have implications for others working to engage young couples and young families around their Jewish journeys.
Between May 2015 through the end of 2016, 440 couples from eight cities have participated in Honeymoon Israel. In 2017, HMI’s growth will bring 520 couples from ten cities on immersive trips to Israel. On average, three couples are applying for every spot available. While the trips are open to Jewish as well as interfaith couples, as we have come to learn, these designations are not as clear-cut as they may seem. Some Jewish couples are comprised of partners who are Jews by choice. And increasingly we are learning that partners who identify as Jewish may themselves have grown up in an interfaith home. While all couples value the experience, overall it seems clear that the outcomes we describe below are more pronounced for interfaith couples.
It is also clear that the intentional design of bringing together couples with a localized peer group and creating space for relationship building within and between the couples is bearing fruit. We found noticeable shifts in couples’ own dynamics and we see that their Jewish life choices are integrally tied to the extent to which they share their Jewish moments with each other once back home.