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 first hand. A generous government scholarship (a part of the ERP Special Assets of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action) 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 initiative 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.
Explore and experience modern Germany first hand and engage in exchange with your peers, while remembering and commemorating the past.
The programs are designed to expose participants to a range of aspects that make up modern Germany, with both the past and present in focus. Program content is presented through various activities, tours, and meetings. All programs 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. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are both possible on all Germany Close Up trips.
The nine day program between November 7 and 15, 2022 (arrival in Germany November 6 but possible from November 4 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 transatlantic dialogue.
The program will include the following topics:
- Berlin and united Germany
- The Holocaust and the Nazi Era (including a visit to a former Concentration Camp)
- Jewish Life in Berlin, past and present
- German Politics and Society today
- Transatlantic relations (including a meeting with officials from the German Federal Foreign Office)
- A visit to a city outside Berlin
This fee includes airfare, three star hotel accommodation in a double room, most meals, transportation within Germany, admission fees, and event tickets. The scholarship does not include tipping. Please keep in mind that you will need to pay around 50€ (roughly US$60) for tips.
Participants pay their participation fee indirectly to Germany Close Up by purchasing their roundtrip 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$890 fee, and nothing more is owed to Germany Close Up.
If your air fare is lower than US$890, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up following the program’s conclusion. 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$60 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$950). 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 Detroit of US$1200, you will be reimbursed US$310.
For flight costs from Detroit of US$1250, you will be reimbursed US$310.
For flight costs from Detroit of US$1300, you will be reimbursed US$360.
For flight costs from Detroit of US$1400, you will be reimbursed US$360.
Reimbursement takes place following the program.
9 days. November 7-15, 2022
Statement of interest (500 words)
One letter of recommendation (The Well external)
Applications are currently being taken on a rolling basis.