Gay Dad Life

An 8-Day Trip to Israel for Gay Dad Families

Organized by OUTstanding Travel in Collaboration with Gays With Kids


This once-in-a-lifetime trip offers the best of Israel in a vacation designed specifically for gay dad families. Based on feedback from dads, we've improved on the original itinerary. Highlights include: one hotel (in Tel Aviv) for the entire trip, a flexible agenda that allows you to relax on your own or enjoy pre-planned tours, and the opportunity to meet with local gay dad families.

Nadav Peretz, the founder of the Israeli gay travel company OUTstanding Travel, met Brian Rosenberg, one of the founders of Gays With Kids, in New York City last summer. It didn’t take them long to come up with a great idea: an 8-day trip to Israel especially for gay dad families!

When Brian told Nadav he had not been to Israel since 1985, Nadav felt that he just had to arrange for Brian and one of his kids a visit to the Middle Eastern LGBT oasis that is Israel. This past November, Nadav hosted Brian Rosenberg and his 6-year-old daughter Sadie in Israel, to plan the gay dad family trip. Below you’ll find the exciting itinerary. Check here for more information about accommodations and rates.

Nadav Peretz, founder of OUTstanding Travel

Itinerary for the Gay Dad Family Trip July 30 – August 6, 2017

Day 1: Sunday, July 30 – Tel Aviv

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport your family will be greeted by an OUTstanding travel rep, who will assist you with your baggage and escort you to the transfer that will take you to the hotel. That night you'll have a chance to meet with the other gay dad families on the trip at a special welcome reception and dinner just for our group.

Sadie, Nadav and Brian in Old City, Jerusalem

 Day 2: Monday, July 31 – Old City Jerusalem

Following an authentic delicious Israeli breakfast, your family will see history come to life during a fun, family-friendly walking tour of the beautiful Old City. Historical marvels and spiritual landmarks abound, including: the Western Wall, the Tower of David and King David’s Tomb, the room of the Last Supper, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa, the Arab market and more. We'll leave time for you to wander on your own through the charming Armenian, Jewish and Christian quarters.

In the afternoon you can join our tour of the underground wonderland of the City of David or remain at the hotel for refreshing fun in the pool.

Back in Tel Aviv, we’ll enjoy a group dinner at our hotel.

Day 3: Tuesday, August 1 – Tel Aviv

If the kids let you sleep in, start your morning at leisure, with a bountiful breakfast and some time on the beach – splashing in the waves, building sandcastles or playing Israeli "matkot" paddle game.

Time will be set aside to meet with a few local Israeli families to learn about life as gay dads in Israel. We hope you'll forge new friendships that last well beyond the trip!

Brian and Sadie with Arnon Angel, Dan Goldberg and their kids at their famous Tmol Silshom Restaurant in Jerusalem

Day 4: Wednesday, August 2 – The Dead Sea: Where Everyone Floats!

Grab your swim gear and hop on the bus as we venture to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea!

We begin with a family trek to the Ein Gedi Falls where, if we are lucky, we'll spot local ibex and hyrax hanging out on the cliffs surrounding us. Time and water depth permitting, you can even take a plunge into the crystalline waters of the falls.

Then it's just a quick drive to the Dead Sea, where everyone floats! This is an experience like no other, one that kids of all ages will recall for the rest of their lives. Afterwards, we'll have lunch at the Lot Hotel, we're even the pickiest of eaters will find something at their large buffet!

Sun-kissed and bellies full, we'll head back to Tel Aviv.

Dead Sea

Day 5: Thursday, August 3 – An Adventure in the Carmel Region

After breakfast, we'll leave Tel Aviv and travel north to visit the ancient city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great and once the seat of Roman rule. Tour highlights: the excavated Roman Theater and aqueduct once used for conveying water to the city, and the  awesome Hologram room.

Then we're off to visit the beautiful old port city of Haifa, where the kids will love running up Mt. Carmel. Dads will enjoy the incredible panoramic view of Haifa Bay and the breathtaking Bahai Gardens with its impressive Shrine and gorgeous world-famous gardens.

In Haifa, we'll stroll through the old German Colony neighborhood built in the mid 19th century by the Templers. We'll even stop at a Druze village for some classic local Druze hospitality and learn about this great community that lives in Israel and serves in its army.

Day 6: Friday, August 4 – Tel Aviv…The City That Never Sleeps!

After breakfast we invite you to get caught up in the excitement at the Carmel Market with its traditional Friday shopping rush, and the adjacent Nahalat Binyamin Arts and Crafts Fair. We'll explore the White City of Tel Aviv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while strolling along the renowned Rothschild Boulevard – a mix between a commercial center with major financial institutions, a cultural center with a theater and concert hall, and a culinary center with dozens of top restaurants. Our journey includes a walk through Neve Tzedek, built in 1887 and known for being the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv. But your kids will enjoy the area's delicious ice cream!

Explore the historical sites of Old City Jaffa, one of the oldest port cities in the world; walk along the ancient cobbled streets along the Artist's Quarter, and stop for a bite at one of the local hummus joints.

Afterwards head on down to enjoy the beach and the glistening Mediterranean waters or take a dip in the pool; basically its time to relax.

As the the sun sets and the city slows down, we will enjoy a truly special Shabbat dinner with local gay families.

Tel Aviv: Beach

Day 7: Saturday, August 5 – R&R; Tel Aviv Style

Free day to enjoy the day as you and your family want.

Day 8: Sunday, August 6 – Departure Day

Following breakfast, check out from the hotel and transfer to Ben Gurion International Airport for your flight back home, taking with you everlasting fond memories of your family trip to Israel.

Goodbye and Le’Hitraot (till we see you again)!

Brian and Sadie with members of the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers

Nadav Answers Some Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Israel a great place for families?

Nadav: "Israel is a small country, and that makes it ideal for family vacations: The short distances between locations make traveling with children very easy. Despite that small size, it offers a great variety of things to do: You can snorkel in the clear waters of the Red Sea in Eilat. You can float on the salty blue waters of the Dead Sea; ride a Jeep in the sand dunes of the Negev desert or through the hills of Judea. You can delve into the incomparably rich history of Jerusalem, a city holy to people of many faiths; or visit the spectacular museums, but I suggest that you make time to check out Jerusalem’s world-class shopping as well, and to discover its many cafés and restaurants. You can swim in the Mediterranean Sea while you’re in Tel Aviv; kayak in the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias or, if you prefer, just take it easy and relax on a beautiful beach instead: The weather in August is going to be beautiful. You may like it so much, you may want to come back next year!”

Brian and his daughter Sadie near the Western Wall in November 2016

What makes Israel so special to the LGBT community?

Nadav: "First off, Israel on the whole is a very gay-friendly country. Tel Aviv in particular has a very large and visible gay community. Its annual Gay Pride Parade attracts more than 200,000 people! Gays are everywhere in this beautiful city on the sea. It also has a gay beach, Hilton Beach. The city is one of only a handful of cities in the world that has a monument dedicated to LGBT people persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.

“Israel is also progressive in the way it treats LGBT people. Gays and lesbians serve openly in the military; an increasing number of gay recruits do full military service, often in combat units. Unit 8200, an elite intelligence unit is known for its large number of openly LGBT soldiers. In 2013, the Israel Defense Forces even announced that a transgender woman would be allowed to serve in the army as a female soldier, something only very few countries allow. Basically, Israel is an amazing place for the LGBT community, both for those who call it home and for those who are here just for a visit.”

 What is so special about this trip in particular?

Nadav: "This trip is an opportunity to see Israel in the company of families like your own. This family trip to Israel is the first of its kind, with gay families from all over traveling together in Israel, a gay-friendly country like no other. So this isn’t just a trip to a gay locale like San Francisco or Toronto, or a trip for gay families in just any other vacation spot, but rather a true mixture of the two, giving you and your children an opportunity to travel this beautiful land with its rich history and to really see Israel from the perspective of those who call this place home.”

Light Festival: Jaffa Gate

Will there be an opportunity to meet Israeli gay dad families?

Nadav: "Gay dads from all over Israel will be joining us on various parts of the tour. Whether it is on the tour in the Old City of Jerusalem or during beach time in Tel Aviv, you and your children will have the opportunity to spend time with them and make new friends on the way. These joint activities will allow you and your kids the opportunity to experience Israel from a local gay perspective.”

 

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers; it's also a day to celebrate our loved ones. And that's exactly what these single dads are doing.

Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

Keep reading...
Gay Dad Life

"Worth Every Blood, Sweat, and Tear": Congrats to Gay Dads on Recent Births and Adoptions!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

Keep reading...
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Campaign to Legalize Surrogacy in New York Heats Up with Competing Bills

Two competing bills — one backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and another by Senator Liz Krueger with stricter provisions — are aiming to legalize surrogacy in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is once again attempting to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state, which is still just one of three states in the country to forbid the practice.

"This antiquated law is repugnant to our values and we must repeal it once and for all and enact the nation's strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process," Governor Cuomo said in a statement in announcing a broader effort called Love Makes a Family. "This year we must pass gestational surrogacy and expedite the second parent adoption process to complete marriage and family equality."

Keep reading...
Change the World

Your Marriage Should Be Gayer, Says the New York Times

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," lists the many insights LGBTQ marriages can offer straight ones.

According to a fascinating op-ed in the New York Times this week by Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage: a History," turns out the people convinced marriage equality — legal across the United States for five years now — would usher in the complete breakdown of civil society should be more worried about the health of their own marriages.

In the article, Coontz details the results of research that followed 756 "midlife" straight marriages, and 378 gay marriages, and found same-sex couples reporting the lowest levels of physiological distress — with male gay couples reporting the lowest. The reason for this, the author said, is pretty simple — misogyny. The idea that men and women should strive for parity in a relationship is still a fairly new idea, Coontz said, and traditional gender roles are still pervasive. Gay couples, meanwhile, are free from such presumptions, which often results in happier, healthier relationships.

The most interesting findings in the research relate to parenting. While gender norms tend to be even more emphasized among straight people once they have children, with the bulk of the childrearing falling to mothers, same-sex couples — once again freed from the stereotypes of the male/female divide — parent more equitably. As the author notes, "A 2015 survey found that almost half of dual-earner, same-sex couples shared laundry duties, compared with just under a third of different-sex couples. And a whopping 74 percent of same-sex couples shared routine child care, compared with only 38 percent of straight couples."

When it comes to time spent with children, men in straight marriages spent the least amount of time and the lowest proportion of "nonwork" time, with their children — while men in same-sex marriages spent just as much time with their children as women in a straight relationship. "The result?" Coontz writes, "Children living with same-sex parents experienced, on average, three and a half hours of parenting time per day, compared with two and a half for children living with a heterosexual couple."

Straight fathers devote the least amount of time — about 55 minutes a day — on their children, which includes things like physical needs, reading, playing, and homework. Gay mothers spent an additional 18 minutes each and straight mothers an additional 23 minutes. Gay fathers spent the most time with their children, the study found, an average of an additional 28 minutes a day.

Taken together, straight couples spend an average of 2 hours and 14 minutes on their children. Lesbian moms spend an additional 13 minutes, while gay men spend 33 more minutes than straight couples.

One factor, the author notes, that can help explain this difference is this: gay parents rarely end up with an unintended or unwanted child, whereas a full 45% percent of pregnancies in straight relationships in 2011 (the last year data is available) were unintended, and 18% were unwanted.

But right. Gay people shouldn't be parents.

Single Parenting

The 'Strange Dichotomy' of Dating as a Single Gay Dad

A single gay dad describes the balancing act involved with dating after having come out later in life.

It was a Friday morning as I walked towards the twins' bedroom door, and I caught the dreaded whiff. The unmistakable smell of fecal funk. My heart sank — I knew exactly what awaited me on the other side. As I cracked the door open, my assumptions were immediately confirmed. Our resident two-year-old "scat princess", a.k.a. Maren, had pried off her poopy diaper and painted her bedroom walls and doors in her own excrement for the third time in as many weeks. I couldn't decide if I wanted to scream or cry. Fortunately my dad superpowers immediately took over and I did neither. I simply gritted my teeth, smiled, threw open the door and uttered "good morning, girls!" I spent the next hour giving the toddlers, the walls and the doors a Silkwood scrub-down. Again.

Fast-forward twelve hours later. The kids were safely with their mom for the weekend, and I was out on a date with a handsome guy I met on Tinder. The trauma from earlier in the day a mere, faint memory. This was the strange dichotomy of my life as a single gay dad. Balancing dating in the midst of coming out later in life, never mind the whole parenting thing, is a struggle. And, one that nobody really talks about.

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse