May 15-23, 2023
Current Programs

An Open Program for Graduate Students in Affiliation with The Grad Network: Powered by Columbia/Barnard Hillel

Start your summer vacation in Germany learning about contemporary German society, politics and Jewish life whilst also exploring issues of memory and remembrance.


Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up – North American Jews Meet Modern Germany is an initiative created to enrich transatlantic dialogue and provide Jewish-North American students and young professionals in their twenties and 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 Economic Affairs and Cliamte Action) covers more than two thirds of participation costs, which leaves a participation fee of $890 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.

©Laura Stöbener

Join us in Germany for a unique, immersive learning experience exploring contemporay German society and Jewish life, as well as the country's past and present day remembrance.

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 Germany’s transformation over the last decades into a modern, reunified, and democratic country in the heart of the European Union, home to the third-fastest growing Jewish community worldwide. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are both possible on all Germany Close Up trips.

The seven day program between May 15 and 23 (arrival in Germany by May 14 and possible from May 12 to accommodate Shabbat) will expose participants to Berlin’s multicultural life, allow them to visit sites such as a former concentration camp, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and to experience other key historical sites and cultural venues. They will meet with German opinion-makers from the academic and political spheres, representatives of grass roots movements and the Jewish community, as well as German contemporaries. The role of Jewish voices in transatlantic relations will be explored as participants actively contribute to German-American dialogue.


The program will focus on the following topics:

  • Berlin and united Germany
  • The Holocaust and the Nazi Era (incl. a visit to a former Concentration Camp)
  • Transatlantic/German-American relations (incl. a meeting with officials of the German Federal Foreign Office)
  • Current German Politics
  • Jewish Life in Berlin, past and present
  • German-Israeli relations
  • A visit to a city outside Berlin




This fee includes airfare, hotel accommodation in double rooms (3 star), most meals, and ground expenses.

Flight reimbursement

If your air fare is more than US$890, you may be eligible for a flight reimbursement from Germany Close Up for some of your costs above this amount. Please note that this amount is capped and depends on your point of departure in the United States or Canada. For participants departing from the New York or Washington, D.C. greater metropolitan areas, the maximum reimbursement is US$110 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$1,000). Only flight costs above the US$890 participation fee are considered for reimbursement.


For example:

For flight costs from New York of US$950, you will be reimbursed US$60.

For flight costs from New York of US$1,000, you will be reimbursed US$110.

For flight costs from New York of US$1,100, you will be reimbursed US$110.


Reimbursement will take place several weeks after the program’s conclusion and will be coordinated by Columbia/Barndard Hillel.


Nine days. May 15-23, 2023.

Further information

Application documents

online application form

cover letter


500 word essay about your interest in the program

One letter of recommendation (Columbia/Barnard Hillel external)

Application closes

February 24, 2023.

Please apply via our application form and be prepared to attach the documents listed above as a single pdf file. 

Register for this program

Apply now!
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