Registration closes Thursday, April 4 for Jewish North American college students and young professionals (ages 18-35) to join the Orthodox Union as it explores modern day Germany on a ten-day program, “The Germany Close Up Fellowship.”
With a scholarship by the German government to cover more than two thirds of costs, the participation fee is $780 per person. Germany Close Up covers hotel accommodations in double rooms; some meals; transportation; admission fees; and event tickets.
The program runs Monday, May 28-Thursday, June 6. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are obligatory on this trip.
The Germany Close Up Fellowship is designed to present to participants a range of aspects of modern Germany in regards to the Jewish community, with both the past and present in focus, noted the Fellowship website, www.germanycloseup.de.
“The OU has partnered with Germany Close Up to give our collegiate and young professional community the opportunity to explore Germany through the lenses of acknowledging the past, observing the present, and predicting the future,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Marchuck, director of the OU Alumni department and trip leader. “This will be an intellectually stimulating and emotionally charged program, with the opportunity to ask hard questions to Jewish and German communal leaders, business leaders and politicians.”
“The German government acknowledges that the rich Jewish history of its country has been destroyed by the incredible, overwhelming anti-Semitism that has overshadowed the past hundred years, including current on-going struggles,” Rabbi Marchuck noted. “In the desire to learn from its past and create a better future, the German government, through the Germany Close Up Fellowship, wants to provide opportunities to more closely understand, analyze and experience what it means to live as a Jew in today’s Germany, as well as to meet with politicians and heads of industry of the non-Jewish community.”
Themes of the trip will include:
• Berlin and united Germany
• The Holocaust and the Nazi era (including a visit to a former concentration camp and the Holocaust Memorial)
• Transatlantic/German-American relations (including a meeting with officials of the German Federal Foreign Office)
• Jewish Berlin, present and past (including the integration of new members of the Jewish community)
• German-Israeli relations
• Meeting with German opinion makers
• Jewish community and Jewish life in Munich
• Documentation Center Reichsparteitagsgelände in Nuremberg.
As explained on the Germany Close Up website, “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. Trips also consider Germany’s 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. All groups meet with German opinion-makers from the academic and political spheres, representatives of grass root movements and the Jewish community, and German contemporaries. The role of Jewish voices in transatlantic relations is also explored as participants actively contribute to German-American dialogue.”
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