How does the hosting work?
Once you have filled-out our online Hosting Providers Application Form giving as much information that you feel comfortable with, about yourselves and the various details of your hosting arrangements, we take this information and place it on our website. Now it is up to the HIT members themselves to contact you and/or the other hosts directly, according to the places they wish to go.
Who can use the HIT network?
Every person who has some sort of an Israeli ID (passport, driver’s licence, etc) and the partner of the above, provided they have been in an exclusive relationship, for at least 6 months. Please note: if non-Israeli Jewish people contact us to use our services we may also allow them to use our network. There is also a possibility that, at very rare times, we may allow non-Israeli non-Jews to use our services. In any case, it is always to your discretion to take or refuse guests.
Does hosting with HIT mean I have to be available for hosting at all times?
No, hosting with us does not mean that you have to host every one at every time. It is always to your discretion to take or refuse guests, whatever your reasons may be, without any need to give an explanation, either to the Israeli travellers or to the HIT network. We only ask you to make yourselves available for hosting, whenever possible, within your hosting arrangements.
How many visitors can I expect in a year?
This will depend, first and foremost, on your location. We’ve been operating in New Zealand since the year 2000 and there are some places there that our hosts can have +500 visitors a year, while others may only get 1 or 2 visitors every year or two. In other countries we need to establish the network first. The more hosts and services we’ll have in each country, the more we can promote the HIT network in that country to the Israelis and the more they will use it.
What do I need to provide my visitors with?
All we ask our hosts to provide their HIT visitors with are three things: (1) A bed (or a fold-out couch or a mattress on the floor) and/or a place to pitch a tent and/or to park with a campervan; (2) Toilets and shower that they can use and (3) a kitchen they can cook in. Anything on top of that, such as providing your visitors with a meal/s, laundry and/or internet facilities, take them on day trips (hunting, fishing, kayaking, boating, horse riding, cycling, etc) in your area; Celebrate the Jewish festivals or providing them with job opportunities (OR anything else you can think of) are extras that you are FREE (and even encouraged) to provide your visitors with, but by all means, not expected or obliged to.
What about Kosher food?
80-90% of the travelling Israelis do not keep Kosher. Those who do, will normally travel with their own pots, pans and cooking utensils. In any case, it is always their responsibility, not yours. However, if you choose to provide meal/s to your Israeli visitors, it will be wise to ask if they have any food or dietary requirements (these can include not just Kosher food, but also meat, dairy or other allergies or intolerances).
Whom would my visitors be?
In New Zealand and Australia, most of the HIT members (+90%) are between 20 to 25 years old, right after their compulsory military service. However there are also some in their late 20s-early 30s who are on their honeymoon; some in their late 30s-mid 40s who will travel with their children; some are semi-retired (in their mid-50s) and some are already retired (mid-60s-70s). The oldest Israeli we are aware of who used the HIT network was an 80 year old man.
How long will HIT members stay with me for?
This in entirely up to you (and them). In some places the Israelis will only pass through for a day or two and in other places they may look to stay longer and perhaps even work. We advise you keep the length of stay “open” and take each situation as it comes.
Does it cost anything to be listed as a host on the HIT website?
No, it doesn’t. The greatest asset that we have on the HIT network (apart from God) is our hosts. We see this as a great privilege to serve our hosts and to invest in them as much as we can. We have never charged hosts to be listed with us on our network and never will.
Do I need to feed my visitors or do their laundry?
No you don’t. All we ask you to provide your visitors with is a bed (or a mattress on the floor, or a tent/campervan space); toilet/showers; and a kitchen they can use for cooking. You are obviously free to provide them with meals (many hosts that the best time to share with their visitors is over a meal), laundry and other things but most certainly you are not obliged to.
What kind of rules would you advise to have in our home?
Obviously every host has a different personality; different things that they may like or dislike; and different ways to run their home. The most important thing is that you will feel comfortable in your own home and with your own hosting arrangements. It is good to have some boundaries but, on the other hand, you don’t want to have too many rules and regulations. Another important thing is that if there is anything you don’t want to see in your own home (such as unmarried couple sleeping together) that they will know about it in advance and before coming to stay with you. The list of rules can include things relating to smoking, alcohol, drugs, curfew, water/power use, sleeping arrangements, arrival/checkout time, cleaning, etc.
(As the very large majority of our hosts are Christians) Would most of my visitors be Christians or Orthodox Jews or have some sort of faith in God?
No. The large majority of Israeli society today (about 80%) and of those who are travelling around (about 90%) is secular. Please note that many of the Israelis today are quite ignorant in regard to their own Bible, history and the existence of their God. In fact, almost all Israelis today have been taught evolution as a proven fact and they have “a proof” that God doesn’t exist (i.e. – where was He in the holocaust?). Please remember this is an outreach to non-believing Israelis. If you happen to get a visitor who believes in God, we hope you will enjoy the experience, but this will not be the norm.
I would like to host but I have no free room. Can I participate?
Can you provide a fold-out couch or a mattress on the floor in the living room? Perhaps there’s space outside, on your property, where they can either pitch a tent and/or park their campervan? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” then you can. Many Israelis travel with their own camping gear or a car they can sleep in.
I would love to host but I am already too busy with many other things...
We are not asking you to entertain your Israeli visitors. Most HIT travellers are quite capable “to see it to themselves” during the day and have their own things they want “to see and do”. Besides, we only ask you to make yourself available for hosting whenever possible, within your hosting arrangements. IF, for instance, you receive 10 requests for accommodation in a year and can only comply with 3, we are not worried about the 7 you couldn’t host, but very excited about the 3 you could host.
I am living on my own and would not feel comfortable hosting people of the opposite sex. Can I still participate?
Of course you can! If you feel uncomfortable hosting people of the opposite sex, you can say in your hosting profile “hosting males (or females – depending on your gender) and couples only”.
I would like to host, but I am away during the week / weekends
This is not a problem. You can say “hosting only on weekends (or week days if applicable) only”.
I would love to host but I live out of town or off the beaten track...
Wherever you may live you will find that, at some point, there will be some Israeli travellers in the area. If you would be listed on our website, then the Israelis will know about you and will be able to contact you. However, if you are not, how will they know about you? Try not to worry about the things that are not in your hands. Do what you can do (register with us) and leave the rest in God’s hands. If He won’t send any Israelis to you, you won’t have to give Him an answer on why they didn’t come to you. You make yourself available.
I would love to meet Israeli backpackers but I don’t have a house...
Nobody can give what they don’t have. If you don’t have a house, how can you host? However, there are other ways that you can participate: You can become a HIT contact (someone they can call in case of emergency or accident, natural disaster, etc), invite them for a meal or cup of coffee or take them out on day trips in your area (fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, cycling, etc).
I would love to meet Israeli backpackers but there is no public transport here...
Many Israelis buy or rent their own vehicles as they travel in various countries around the world. It is not your responsibility, as a host, to make sure that the Israelis can come to you. It is their responsibility. If there is no public transport near you then perhaps you can pick them up from the nearest town/bus/train station? (If this is too far, it can be on a cost recovery basis). If picking up / dropping off is not an option, then in order to come and stay with you the Israelis will need to have their own transport.
I live in a touristic area and do not want to be bombarded with phone-calls having to say “no” to. What can I do?
There is always an option to be listed on our website without giving your phone number and get the Israelis to contact you by email only. In such a case the Israelis do not even know your email address and we can say “please email me and I will reply if I can host you”. However in any country outside of New Zealand (where the HIT network is well established and greatly used by the Israeli travellers) we would advise you to see first how many requests for accommodation you actually receive.
I want to host but I don’t want my contact details on the internet...
There is an option to be listed with us without giving your phone number and get the Israelis to contact you by email only. In such a case the Israelis do not even know your email address and we can say “please email me…” I want to host but I don’t want my personal details on the internet…
I want to host but I don’t want my personal details on the internet...
Everyone can see where we have hosts and how many hosts we have in each particular area. However, only those who have joined as HIT members (registration is in Hebrew) and other HIT hosts from your own country, can view your hosting profile. We always prefer to have as much information as possible on each individual host but hosts are not obliged to provide information that they feel comfortable with giving.
I don’t have internet – can I still host?
Of course you can! Not being connected to the internet will make our communication with you harder but not impossible. We can still be in touch with you via post or phone, and listing your personal information and contact details on our website, the Israelis will be able to contact you, direct.
I want to host but my adult children think I am too old / vulnerable to host...
Are you fully independent in your day to day life? If so, we see no problem. If you are a woman on your own, you may host girls or couples only. You can tell your children that you have made it thus far, thanking them for their concern, but insisting on continuing to do what you believe is the right thing to do. In such a situation, do not let your children rob you of this great blessing.
I would love to host but I don’t think my place is suitable for hosting...
You will be surprised to know how far the Israelis are willing to go for free accommodation… Just introduce your place as it is and, together with some photos, they will be able to know if it is a place that they would like to come to, or not. The spoilt Israelis may not come, but those who are willing to “rough it out” – will.
I’d like to host but I feel uncomfortable about having strangers in my home....
Have you heard the sentence “Come as a stranger, leave as a friend”? Calling someone a “stranger” already puts these people under suspicion. Instead of looking at them as strangers, perhaps try to look at them as friends you have not yet met? The Bible commands people to show hospitality to strangers (Heb 13:2). Some of you may even entertain angels unwittingly…
I live in two different places, can I still host?
Of course you can! Our system enables us to list hosts in different places, to activate or deactivate their hosting accounts or to put a note on their hosting profiles that they are unable to host at various periods of time. So, while you are at one location, you can deactivate your profile in the other location, or vice versa. This answer also applies to those who are often away.
I would like to host but I’m renovating / building / shifting to another location soon...
This is not a problem. We can list you on our website and make a comment on your hosting profile “Unable to host until __________” or “hosting from ____________ onwards” or something to this effect.
What happens when I go away on holidays or am sick or become unavailable for hosting for a particular period of time?
This is not a problem. Our system enables us to activate and deactivate hosting profile with a click of a button. In such a case we can deactivate your account (if it seems like a long time will pass before you are able to host again) or (preferably) we can make a comment on your hosting profile “Unable to host until ____________” or something to this effect.
My religious convictions mean that I would not feel comfortable if unmarried couples slept together in my home. What can I do?
(see my tips on unmarried couples). The most important thing is that you will be comfortable in your own home and in your hosting arrangements. You can say “unmarried – in separate rooms” or, if your situation doesn’t allow you, “unmarried couples – will sleep separately”. If your situation does not allow you any of these you can say “if couples – must be married” or something like this.
I would like to meet Israeli travellers but cannot host. Is there any other way I can participate?
Yes, there are many other ways you can participate. These include inviting the Israelis to (1) call in for a refreshment stop (a cuppa, travel suggestions, shower, meal, etc) (2) invite them for day trips (hunting, fishing, sailing, horse riding, boating, etc) (3) invite them to celebrate Shabbat and/or the Jewish festivals (4) offer them work (i.e. paid work – some Israelis may have the appropriate passport/visa to work in your country, or in return for accommodation and food (like the WWOOFing network) (5) just be “a HIT contact” so that they can contact you in case of emergency and/or for travel advice in your area or for general help in finding a doctor / mechanic / work etc or anything else that you can think of (6) if you have any business that can be of an interest to Israeli travellers and/or other HIT hosts, we’ll be happy to give your free publicity on our website in return for a discount and/or a special deal for HIT members (see Service Providers link).
I’m on a pension / very low income. What can I do?
No host should go bankrupt for hosting Israelis. There is room for our hosts to put a small cover charge to help pay for overheads (power, water, tea/coffee/sugar, toilet paper, etc). In New Zealand we have found that $5 per person / per night easily covers these. If you want to provide your visitors with a meal/s you can charge extra for this (in New Zealand – up to $5 per person / per meal/s). Also if you invite your visitors on day trips you can do so on a “cost-recovery basis” (i.e. your visitors pay for petrol and/or entrance fees, etc.).
I am a Christian / Messianic believer – why should I host?
Apart from being obedient to God, what better blessing can you bring upon yourself, your family (and ultimately to your church / community, town / city, state or country) than the blessing of the Jewish people? (Gen 12:3) And, what better way can you show your love, appreciation, support and friendship to the Jewish people than by opening your heart and home to them?
I am an Orthodox / Reformed / Secular Jew living out of Israel - why should I host?
This will give you a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with the native-born Israelis who come to your country. You will be able to learn more about your people and their culture and language, especially if you live in an area without many Jews. All of us Jews know deep inside that we are connected to one another and this is the most practical way we have ever come across that you can incorporate it into your life.
I am an Israeli, living out of Israel – why should I host?
Perhaps you miss some Israeli atmosphere? Maybe you want your children to practice their Hebrew? We Israelis, wherever we go on the face of this earth, never stop being Israelis – we think like Israelis; we act like Israelis; we talk like Israelis; it is simply in our blood! Besides, don’t you remember what it was like for you when you travelled after you completed your military service? Wouldn’t you have liked that there would be people who open their homes to you?
What benefits (if any) do I get as a HIT host?
Every host is free (and encouraged) to use the HIT network, in their own country (free of charge) and get to meet and connect with other HIT hosts and like-minded people. As time will progress we hope to also set up a hosting network for you in Israel if you come for a visit there. If hosts want to use the hosting network outside of their own country this may also be possible – please contact us regarding this. Also, we will look to provide you with materials (books and DVDs) that you can share with your Israeli visitors and we’ll look to bring into your area various teachers / associates to speak on various topics relating to Israel and the Jews. If you are teachable, you will also find how much you can learn from your Israeli visitors about the Jewish culture, the Hebrew language, the political/social situation in Israel and even about God and the Scriptures. The greatest benefit of all, however, God has promised to bless everyone who blesses His people, Israel (Gen 12:3). You will also find that many Israelis will invite you to come and stay with them if you ever go to Israel.
In what ways can I expect the HIT network to support me?
Hosting with us you will not be out there on your own. We will be beside you all the way. You will receive our regular newsletters (1-2 times / year). Apart from that we invite you to join our Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/hit.nz) where you will be able to share in photos and stories, your HIT experiences, with Israeli travelers and other HIT hosts. Also, Omri (and associates of his) may come and visit you while in your area to encourage and support you in your vital role as a host. Apart from rare situations, Omri is available 24/7 to be contacted with any issue or problem you have regarding the hosting network.