Germany Close Up's most recent alumni essay competition took place in 2020, asking alumni to submit an essay on the topic Germany Close Up: There and Back Again.
The judging panel comprised six jurors: Kathleen Gransow, Program Director, Germany Close Up, DAAD; Stefan Bienefeld, Head of Division, Transnational Education and Cooperation Programmes, DAAD; Cornelia Rindt, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Stefan Delfs, German Federal Foreign Ministry; Jo Frank, Director, Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk; Dr. Hadas Cohen, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Oklahoma, and Germany Close Up Alumna and winner of the inaugural Germany Close Up Alumni Essay Competition in 2009.
Winner of this competition was alumna Julia Breitman. Second place was awarded to Josh Gritz and third to Noah Bardash.
In 2017, Germany Close Up ran it's fourth alumni essay competition with the topic From Generation to Generation: Encountering Germany.
The judging panel for this competition comprised: Dr. Dagmar Pruin, Director Germany Close Up; Dr. Anja Siegemund, Director, New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation;Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Peck, Senior Fellow at the Mercator Foundation housed at Technische Universität Berlin; Hildegart Stellmacher, Board Member, Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste e.V.; Prof. Dr. Karin Johnston, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC.
First place was awarded to Raphael Magarik, second place to Lindsay Eanet, and third place to Arezu Hashemi. Their essays can be found below.
Germany Close Up's third alumni essay competition was run in 2014 and asked alumni to submit a text under the topic: My Own Private Germany: Conflicts, Confusion, Conclusions.
The judging panel comprised seven individuals: Dr. Dagmar Pruin, Germany Close Up Program Director; Susanne Kleinpoppen, Ministry for Economics and Technology; Henning Speck, Chief of Staff, Office of the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation, Federal Foreign Office; Dr. Hermann Simon, Director, New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation; Dr. Irit Dekel, Lecturer for Sociology at the Humboldt University, Berlin and Bard College, Berlin; Hildegart Stellmacher, Board Member, Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste e.V.; Prof. Dr. Karin Johnston, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC.
First place was awarded to Avi Colonomos, second place to Will Trichon, and third place to David Puterman. Their essays can be found below.
In 2009 and 2011 Germany Close Up ran its first and second essay competitions. The alumni wrote about their expectations, recollections and sensations with Germany. The essays reflect the topics discussed on the Germany Close Up programs: History and memory; remembrance and culture, loss and hope, identity and religion perception and layers of meaning as well as the experiences the authors had during their time in Germany.
The winning essays came from Hadas Cohen and Louis Mittel (1st prize), Mary Rachel Gould and Rachel Silverman and Kerry Chaplin (2nd prize) and Liz Foreman and Rabbi Daniel Bogard (3rd prize). Their essays can be found below.