Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

The Roll thescroll_tagline thescroll_tagline_RSS

Hooking Up Gets Green-Lit

A group game that forces participants to reveal their relationship status

Print Email
The group at Sde Boker.(Photo by Margarita Korol)

The first night of the trip, at the Sde Boker field school minutes from David Ben-Gurion’s grave, our group readied for the requisite first-night icebreaker games. But there was a twist: After sharing our names, hometowns, and expectations for the trip, we were instructed to reveal our relationship status.

Our group leader, Yoav, had a big bag of peanut M&Ms. Red meant ‘unavailable,’ green ‘DTF,’ and yellow somewhere in between.

This sparked giggles, and later passionate debate among some participants—including Tableteers—about what this game says about the trip:

Stephanie: It’s awkward getting to know people you’ve just met, and I was glad to be reminded of everyone’s names. I just feel like things got patently sexualized with that question. Sure, I’m single, and I’m on this trip, but I’m not on this trip as a single person. I’m just here. I guess I’m a yellow?

Bari: I found it sort of incredible that we began the trip earlier in the day with a speech about how this trip is not about hooking up or partying—only to have our guide give us an explicit push to go and get it. (And I say this as a red!)

I was much more interested in hearing about why people had come on the trip. One participant said he’d come in honor of his father, who passed away five months ago from cancer. Another said she’d come to see the place where her grandfather lived. A third admitted she wanted to get over her fear of travel. And then there were the reasons you’d expect: a free trip; a chance to learn about a new culture; and so on.

Marc: It’s perhaps easy for me to say this as a ‘red,’ but I laughed when he simply said the colors and I figured out what they were for, and then I frankly marveled at its brilliance. Whether or not the trip is about hooking up, it’s on everyone’s minds, and this is a question many people likely had about many other people—and that specific people had about specific people. This was a fun and funny way to put it all out there to minimize awkwardness, missed communications, and perhaps the greatest sin of a jam-packed 10-day trip: wasted time.

Zach (24, red, Brooklyn): It takes the mystery out of it. That’s part of the fun of getting to know people. Now it’s just out there.

Mike (21, green, Long Island): A lot of peopled lied. My friend here who’s in a four-year relationship said he was a green!

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Royq says:

Which color designates ‘in need of roadside assistance’?

Adam Marx says:

Who is your trip provider?! I went on a secular one that had a reputation as a “party” tour, but we didn’t even come close to that…

So apparently the Jersey Shore has reached Israel.  Well, they’re on their own now.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Hooking Up Gets Green-Lit

A group game that forces participants to reveal their relationship status

More on Tablet:

11 Non-Jewish Celebrities—and 2 Jewish Ones—Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos

By Marjorie Ingall — You don’t have to be Jewish to sport Hebrew ink. But some of these stars should have thought twice before going under the needle.