The Germany Close Up Fellowship

An Open Program for Students in Affiliation with University of Vermont Hillel

May 19 – 27, 2020



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$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.



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 the third-fastest growing Jewish community worldwide. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are both possible on all Germany Close Up trips. 


The nine day program between May 19 and 27 (start in the US will be May 18) 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 

  • German-Israeli relations 

  • A visit to a city outside Berlin



Application closes on March 23, 2020.


Please apply online at and be prepared to attach the documents listed below as a single pdf file (please no ZIP files). Please also send a copy of your attachments to


The documents we require to complete your application are:

  • An online application form

  • A cover letter 

  • A resume

  • A 500 word essay about your interest in the program

  • One letter of recommendation (UVM Hillel external)