This month, Honeymoon Israel will be featured as one of Slingshot’s 10 to Watch.
The organization, which moved its national headquarters to Atlanta last year, offers trips to Israel for young couples with at least one Jewish partner.
Slingshot is an organization that empowers young Jewish philanthropists. The 10 to Watch list highlights organizations and projects in North America that are making positive change and responding to current and timely needs, according to its website.
Honeymoon Israel uses subsidized group trips to Israel as a catalyst to create local community. Its goal is to bring Judaism into participants’ homes and help make it part of their daily lives in a personal, meaningful way.
The organization’s founders and CEOs Mike Wise and Avi Rubel have close, personal ties to the Atlanta Jewish community. Wise lives in Atlanta and served as the CEO of the Marcus JCC. Rubel now lives in Tel Aviv, but his parents live in Atlanta and are active in the Jewish community. His mother was one of the leaders at The Epstein School.
Honeymoon Israel’s offices in the Armour neighborhood are open to fellow community organizations to use, as Honeymoon Israel wants to become a hub for organizations serving young adults, especially couples. Before the pandemic, Honeymoon Israel opened their doors to share its space with Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s young leadership, 18 Doors and OneTable.
Honeymoon Israel is supported by local donors, including the Jewish Federation, The Marcus Foundation, and The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Thanks to that support, Honeymoon Israel in pre-pandemic times sent three trips out of Atlanta to Israel each year. To date, there have been 10 trips and nearly 200 couples from Atlanta. Nationally, the organization has offered 114 trips with more than 2,200 couples.