An Open Program for Students in Affiliation with the Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia
Explore and experience contemporary Germany this spring break through meetings, site visits, and informal sessions with Jewish and non-Jewish young German peers.
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.
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 March 4 and 10 (arrival in Germany on March 3) 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.
The participation fee for this program is US$890. This fee is paid indirectly to Germany Close Up via a flight contribution. After being accepted to the program, participants are expected to book their roundtrip airline ticket to Berlin with economy class and to provide proof of purchase to Germany Close Up. In most cases this expense will cover the US$890 fee. If your air fare is lower than US$890, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up in cash in EUROS while you are in Berlin. 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 available is US$110. (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$1.000) For participants departing from elsewhere in the United States or Canada the maximum reimbursement is US$360 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$1.250). Only flight costs above the US$890 participation fee are considered for reimbursement.
For flight costs from Washington D.C. of US$850, you will owe US$40.
For flight costs from Washington D.C. of US$1.000, you will be reimbursed US$110.
For flight costs from Los Angeles of US$1.300, you will be reimbursed US$360.
Reimbursement will take place after the program’s conclusion and will be coordinated by the Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia. Please note that the reimbursement process can take up to three months.
Please note that miles, credit card points or trip insurances cannot be used for reimbursement purposes.
Seven days. March 4-10, 2024.
online application form
500 word essay about your interest in the program
One letter of recommendation (Brody Jewish Center external)
November 1, 2023.
Please apply via our application form and be prepared to attach the documents listed above as a single pdf file.