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 Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action) covers more than two thirds of participation costs, which leaves a participation fee of US$790 per person. Despite recieving public funding, 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.
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 7-day program between October 24 and 30 (arrival in Berlin will be possible from October 21 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
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 50€ (roughly US$60) for tips.
The participation fee for this program is US$790. 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.
If your air fare is lower than US$790, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up on the first day of the program. If your air fare is more than US$790, 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. For participants departing from elsewhere in the United States or Canada the maximum reimbursement is US$310. Only flight costs above the US$790 participation fee are considered for reimbursement.
For flight costs from New York of US$850, you will be reimbursed US$60.
For flight costs from New York of US$900, you will be reimbursed US$110.
For flight costs from New York of US$950, you will be reimbursed US$110.
Reimbursement will take place during the program in Germany in EUROS
Please note that miles, credit card points or trip insurances cannot be used for reimbursement purposes.
7 days. October 24 to 30, 2022 (arrival in Berlin no later than October 23, but possible from October 21 to accommodate Shabbat)
Statement of interest (500 words)
One letter of recommendation (Moishe House external)
Application closes July 18, 2022.