An Open Program for Young Professionals in Affiliation with Classrooms Without Borders
This program was originally scheduled to take place in summer 2020. Due to transatlatic travel restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was postponed. A small number of places is still available. The program will be rescheduled as soon as transatlantic travel again becomes possible.
Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up – 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 Economics and Technology) covers more than two thirds of participation costs, which leaves a participation fee of US$990 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.
Meet young Jewish and non-Jewish Germans whilst learning about Germany's past and present first hand in Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich.
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 with a growing Jewish community. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are both possible on all Germany Close Up trips.
The ten day program 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 in Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich. 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 Relations (incl. a meeting with an official of the German Federal Foreign Office)
- Current German Politics
- Jewish life in Berlin, past and present
- German-Israeli relations
- A visit to Nuremberg and Munich
This fee includes airfare, hotel accommodation in double rooms (3 star), most meals, and ground expenses. The scholarship does not include tipping. Please keep in mind that you will need to pay around 100€ (roughly US$110) for tips.
Participants pay their participation fee indirectly to Germany Close Up by purchasing their round-trip airline ticket. 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, a participant's airline ticket purchase will cover the US$990 fee, and nothing more is owed to Germany Close Up.
If your airfare is lower than $990, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up following the program’s conclusion. If your airfare is more than $990, 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 $10. For participants departing from elsewhere in the United States or Canada the maximum reimbursement is $360 (max. flight costs for reimbursement: $1350). Only flight costs above the $990 participation fee are considered for reimbursement.
For flight costs from New York of $980, you will owe Germany Close Up $10.
For flight costs from New York of $990, there will be no additional fees nor a reimbursement.
For flight costs from New York of $1,000, you will be reimbursed $10.
For flight costs from New York of $1,100, you will be reimbursed $10.
For flight costs from PA/ rest USA of $1,100, you will be reimbursed $110.
For flight costs from PA/ rest USA of $1,200, you will be reimbursed $210.
Reimbursement will take place after the program’s conclusion and will be coordinated by Classrooms without Borders. 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.
Statement of interest (500 words)
One letter of recommendation (CWB external)
There are still a small number of places available on this program. Applications are being taken on a rolling basis.