An Open Program for Students and Young Professionals in Affiliation with the Orthodox Union
The Germany Close Up program in affiliation with the Orthodox Union will run from June 18 to 26, 2019, and will include programming in Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich.
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 Economic Affairs and Energy) covers more than two thirds of participation costs, which leaves a participation fee of US$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.
Remember the past in Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich, while also exploring and experiencing contemporary Jewish life in Germany.
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 a growing Jewish community. This trip will be Shabbat observant and all meals provided will be kosher (orthodox hecksher).
The 9-day program between June 18 and 26 (start in the US will be June 17) 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)
- 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 50€ (roughly US$55) for tips.
*The participation fee of US$890 is made up of a US$870 participation fee for Germany Close Up and a US$20 administration fee for the Orthodox Union.
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 Germany (point of arrival Berlin, point of departure Munich) with economy class and to provide proof of purchase to Germany Close Up.
If your airfare is lower than US$890, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up. If your airfare is more than US$890, you may be eligible for a flight reimbursement 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$10 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$900). For participants departing from elsewhere in the United States or Canada the maximum reimbursement is US$310 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$1,200). Only flight costs above the US$890 participation fee are considered for reimbursement.
For flight costs from New York of US$900, you will be reimbursed US$10.
For flight costs from New York of US$1,000, you will be reimbursed US$10.
Reimbursement will take place several weeks after the program’s conclusion and will be coordinated by the Orthodox Union. Please note that the reimbursement process can take up to three months.
9 days. June 18 to 26 (departure from the US June 17)
Statement of interest (500 words)
One letter of recommendation (Orthodox Union external)
Applications are currently being taken on a rolling basis.