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Jewish Culture & Intellectual Life in Germany, Past & Present

May 17 to June 17, 2006

Program Overview

The Jewish Culture summer program is a 4 ½ week summer program in Potsdam, Germany that seeks to educate students on all aspects of the history of German-Jewish culture (from 1740 to present), and to sensitize them to the vicissitudes of minority life through immersion, visits and
encounters. The aspects covered in the program include literature and philosophy, popular culture, religion, food, cultural transformation and cross-cultural interferences, as well as the history of anti-Semitism, the holocaust, and cultures of memory.

The Setting

The program takes place in Potsdam, Germany, outside of Berlin. Potsdam is a historic town surrounded by lakes and parks. The main building of the university is housed in one of the palaces of the Sanssouci park.


Students will attend 2 ½ hour lectures Monday through Thursday mornings. There will be several guest speakers from the Abraham Geiger rabbinical seminary and the Moses Mendelssohn Institute of Judaic Studies. The afternoons are available for various excursions in the Berlin area and for museum and other cultural visits. Friday mornings are reserved for individual projects in the area of the students’ specialization (e.g. interviews if the course is taken for sociology credit, or archival work) which will be presented at a concluding miniconference.

Judaic Studies TBD, German 250, Sociology 230, Philosophy (cross-counted) TBD

Students who successfully complete this program will earn one course credit (the equivalent of 4 credit hours) in either Judaic Studies, German, Sociology, or Philosophy. Students will receive a letter grade for the course.

Program Activities

The program will start with a general orientation and tour of Berlin. During week 3, the group will go on a 4 day excursion to Warsaw, Poland. In week 4, we will take a trip to Weimar and the Buchenwald concentration camp. There will be no program on Friday evenings and Saturdays, but attendance of Sabbath services can be arranged.


Students will be staying in dormitories at Potsdam University. Meals will be available on campus. During the excursions to Poland and Weimar, students will be staying in a hotel and some group meals and stipends will be provided.

On-Site Administration

The student group will be met in Berlin by the program director who provides support during the program. The program director for Summer 2006 is Professor Marion Picker, whose teaching interests include German-Jewish culture, philosophy, and comparative literature.

Program Cost

The estimated comprehensive fee will be $5,400, which covers tuition, round-trip transportation from a designated east coast airport to Berlin, a dorm room, and excursions and travel within the Berlin area. Students receive a weekly stipend to cover the cost of food, some group meals are included. Not included in the program fee are primary medical and accident insurance and all other incidental expenses.

For more information, contact

Professor Marion Picker
Department of German
Dickinson College
P. O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Tel.: 717-245-1279


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