Germany Close Up - American Jews Meet Modern Germany

The Germany Close Up Fellowship: An Open Student Program for Students and Young Professionals in Affiliation with the Orthodox Union, August 11th - 21st 2014

Background

Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up – American Jews Meet Modern Germany is an initiative created to enrich transatlantic dialogue and provide Jewish-American students and young professionals in their twenties and early thirties with an opportunity to experience modern Germany up close and personally. A generous government scholarship (a part of the ERP Special Assets of the German Ministry for Economics and Technology) covers more than two thirds of participation costs, which leaves a participation fee of $870 per person. At the same time, Germany Close Up is an independent body regarding the organization and content of its programs. The purpose of the program is to allow participants to gain their own perspective on Germany through individual experience.

Focus

The trips are designed to expose participants to a range of aspects that make up modern Germany, with both the past and present in focus. Every Germany Close Up trip includes a number of activities, tours, and meetings. All trips cover issues related to Germany’s reflection on its past and its efforts to deal with the memory of the Holocaust and the Nazi horror up to this very day. They also consider its transformation in the last 60 years into a modern, reunified, and democratic country in the heart of the European Union, home to the third-fastest growing Jewish community worldwide. All groups meet with German opinion-makers from the academic and political spheres, representatives of grass root movements and the Jewish community, and German contemporaries. The role of Jewish voices in transatlantic relations is also explored as participants actively contribute to German-American dialogue.
Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are obligatory on this trip.

The 11-day program between August 11th and 21st (start in the U.S. on August 10th) will focus on the following topics:

  • Berlin and united Germany
  • The Holocaust and the Nazi Era (incl. a visit to a former Concentration Camp and the Holocaust Memorial)
  • Transatlantic/German-American relations (incl. a meeting with officials of the German Federal Foreign Office)
  • Jewish Berlin, present and past (incl. the integration of new members of the Jewish community)
  • German-Israeli relations
  • Meeting with German opinion makers
  • Jewish Community and Jewish life in Munich
  • Documentation Center Reichsparteitagsgelände in Nuremberg

Participation Fee

Each participant is responsible for a fee of $870. This fee will be paid indirectly to Germany Close Up via a flight contribution. After acceptance to the program, each participant is expected to book their airline ticket with economy class. Participants will be expected to land in Berlin and return home from Munich. In most cases this expense will cover the $870 fee. If your air fare is lower than $870, you will be asked to pay Germany Close Up the difference. If your air fare is more than $870, you may be eligible for a flight reimbursement from Germany Close Up for the difference between $870 and your actual flight costs. Please note, however, that reimbursements have a maximum cap. For participants departing from the New York or Washington D.C. greater metropolitan areas the maximum ticket cost Germany Close Up allows for is $900. For participants departing from California the maximum ticket cost Germany Close Up allows for is $1150. If you depart from anywhere else in the United States or Canada the maximum ticket cost Germany Close Up allows for is $1100. This means you will receive a maximum reimbursement of $30/$280/$230 ($900/1150/$1100 max ticket cost minus the $870 registration fee). This is to ensure the participation fee remains the same while participants may come from across the Unites States and Canada. Reimbursement will take place several weeks after the program’s conclusion and will be coordinated by the Orthodox Union.

Once you have been accepted for the trip, we encourage you to begin researching flights ASAP due to the maximum reimbursement levels and the rising cost of airfares as the trip dates near.

Other expenses

Germany Close Up covers the following expenses in Germany: hotel accommodation in double rooms, most meals, transportation within Germany, admission fees and event tickets. The scholarship does not include tipping. Please keep in mind that you will need to pay around 50€ (roughly $75) for tips.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Application

Application closes on May 4, 2014.

Please apply online at http://www.germanycloseup.de/index.php?option=com_breezingforms&Itemid=112 and be prepared to attach the documents listed below as a single pdf file (please no ZIP files). Please also send a copy of your attachments to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The documents we require to complete your application are:

  • An online application form
  • A 500 word essay about your interest in the program
  • A cover letter
  • A resume
  • One letter of recommendation (OU external)
 
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