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A Program for Young Jewish Professionals in Cooperation with Classrooms Without Borders.

Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up – American Jews Meet Modern Germany is an initiative created to enrich transatlantic dialogue and provide Jewish American young emerging leaders up to 39 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 $990 per person. At the same time, Germany Close Up is an independent body regarding the organization and contents 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 as an exposure to a myriad of facets that form modern Germany, with both the past and present in focus. Every GCU trip entails a number of activities, tours and meetings. The different groups will meet German opinion makers from academic life and from across political spectrum as well as representatives of grassroots movements and German peers. All the trips cover issues of Germany‘s terrible past and its efforts to deal with the memory of the Holocaust and the Nazi terror up to this very day. They will also consider its transformation in the last 60 years 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 GCU trips.

The 10-day program will enable participants to experience Germany, Berlin’s multicultural life, visit former East Germany, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and experience other key historical sites and other cultural venues. They will meet with Germanopinion-makers, grass root movements, faculty and students of the Humboldt University Berlin, the Jewish community and Germans 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 including a visit to a former Concentration Camp
  • Transatlantic/German-American relations (incl. a meeting with officials of the German Federal Foreign Office)
  • Jewish Berlin, present and past (incl. the integration of new members of the Jewish community)
  • German-Israeli relations
  • A visit to Munich and Nuremberg

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 GermanyClose 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 US$990, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up following the program’s conclusion. If your airfare is more than US$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.

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Germany Close Up: A Travel Seminar

Sunday, August 4, 2019 - Thursday, August 15, 2019

accessibility friendlyhearing impaired accessibleThe full inclusion of people of all abilities is a core value of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community. Please discuss accessibility accommodations with the contact person for this event.


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