We gained the unique opportunity to deeply consider how we want to incorporate Judaism into our new family. The most special thing HMI gave us was the space to explore who we are and how we want to build our future together with intention. We got to have surprising and honest conversations with the couples in our group—we were taken aback by how quickly we all felt close, comfortable, and connected with each other. For us, this thoughtfully organized and profoundly meaningful trip was truly about the journey.
--Mayan Castro and Marianne Bautista, Irvine
Finally visiting Israel was everything we hoped for and so much more. The people of Israel were warm and funny, especially our knowledgeable tour guide who went above and beyond his duties to make sure we had an unforgettable trip. We will cherish the relationships we made with our fellow HMI travelers, hold the memories we made together closely, and look forward to many shared Shabbats and holidays for years to come.
--Sara Havlena and Ben Winer, Dana Point
I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve fallen in love twice in my life. The first time was when I was 22: we were in the same theatre class, and she always wanted to take a kickboxing class. That one-hour lesson turned into seven hours of talking about anything we could think of in her living room, neither of us wanting the other to leave. The second time was over ten years later, in a tiny Italian restaurant in Jerusalem. Thank you, Honeymoon Israel, for letting us fall in love a second time. And for all the other times we fall in love after this.
--Jason (and Alix) Galit, Orange
Our HMI trip was such an amazing experience that we will remember and cherish forever! We did not expect the range of emotions we felt in the 10 days we were there. We are thankful to have built a community abroad that we can continue to learn from and share Jewish experiences with at home. As a couple, we feel more connected to Judaism than ever, and we are excited for the next steps we will take together, and when starting a family.
--Brittany and Ben Levitt, Orange