Famously, Birthright Israel is a program designed to foster support for Israel in the U.S. (and other countries) by sending Jewish kids there for free for 10 days during which they meet Israeli soldiers and hook up with other Birthrighters. Birthright is limited to 18-26-year-old’s who have “one Jewish birth parent,” whatever that means, and who haven’t been to Israel on their own before. Sheldon Adelson and Norman Braman (big Republican donors) support Birthright.
But sadly Birthright won’t pay for your honeymoon if you meet your spouse on the trip.
Well I just learned about Honeymoon Israel: “Israel with the one you love.” You can go on this luxury trip if you’re 25-40, and if you’re intermarried.
At least one person in each couple must be Jewish. Jewish individuals are those who identify as Jewish and are recognized as Jewish by their local community. Jewish individuals must have at least one Jewish parent or must have completed Jewish conversion.
Here are the scheduled trips, more than 20 planned. The Washington DC promotion is here. There are hurdles to go over to show you’re Jewish, but they have a loose definition of honeymoon: “Couples must either be married or in a life-long committed relationship.” It’s not completely free either. The trip costs about $10,000 per couple of which the couple has to spend $1800. “The remainder is a gift from the Jewish community.”
Oh and there’s no agenda, the FAQ says implausibly. It’s obviously Zionist; but judging from the video below, it’s more about keeping these couples’ kids as Jews by using the lodestone of Jewish identity these days, Israel. “We represent a new Jewish community. A lot of Jewish couples are mixed couples these days,” says a woman on that video. “And it’s a great way to bring Jewish culture and the state of Israel to people who want to explore and want to learn.”
Seems a little desperate to me, but there’s probably some big money behind it, and studies showing that up to age 40 a Jew can still be molded into a Zionist…
Thanks to Scott Roth.