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About Our Program

Merkaz is the Hebrew word for "center," and for over forty years, Merkaz has truly been the place to be for Jewish teens throughout Fairfield County. Each week, students from numerous high schools and local congregations join together as one community to learn, socialize, explore and together strengthen their Jewish identity.

Merkaz offers exciting courses with something for everyone. Meet our amazing teachers, who are dedicated to providing classes that are fun and rewarding. Renew old friendships and make new ones. Explore our rich heritage and culture in the warm and inviting environment you'll experience at Merkaz

Our mission is to provide quality and meaningful Jewish education that is accessible to all community teens grades 8 through 12.
We have two locations to choose from
Tuesdays, 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Bridgeport Area Campus
Mondays, 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Westport Area Campus
A Typical Merkaz Schedule:  First Period - Snack - Second Period

Sample Courses

  • Merkaz Mahjong
  • Choices on the College Campus
  • Jews in the News
  • Denial and The Holocaust
  • Jewish Humor
  • Superheroes
  • Judaism and the Environment
  • Outstanding Jewish Women
  • Jewish Cooking
  • Broadway and the Jews
  • Jewish Songs and Songwriters
  • Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness
  • College Bound
  • Making Local Change

At Merkaz...

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  • We explore our Jewish values & connect them to our daily lives
  • We create a bridge between the history of our people and the world today
  • We use the arts, STEM & texts as a springboard to understanding our Judaism
  • We partner with the community to do Tikkun Olam (repair the world)
  • We become confident Jewish adults that our Bubbe would be proud to know
  • We foster future Jewish leaders

Meet Our Staff


Seth Marion
Head of School

Seth has been working with Jewish Youth in a variety of settings for 20 years. Seth received his Bachelors from SUNY New Paltz and his Masters from Boston University, both in Technical Production for the theatre. After working professionally in the theatre both in Boston and New York for a few years, Seth officially made a move into informal Jewish education and engagement. After beginning his work at Larchmont Temple in NY, Seth completed the Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion which solidified his love of educating and caring for future Jewish adults.
Seth’s love for Judaism stems from a lifetime of Jewish practice and learning with his family, friends, and colleagues. His desire to work with Jewish youth began at the URJ Eisner Camp where he worked for nine summers. While there he played a vital role in shaping the waterfront, logistics systems, and running camp wide events. In 2014 Seth was invited to join the summer team at the new URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy as the Director of Logistics and Engineering, bringing together Judaism and science in new and creative ways. 
Seth began working for the Jewish community full-time in 2013 at Larchmont Temple in Larchmont, NY. Here, he was able to pursue his love of working with Jewish youth by leading the congregation’s teen population in both formal and informal settings. Seth continued to pursue his career in youth work at Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore, MD where he had the opportunity to create a post-b’nei mitzvah learning program for the congregation’s teens.
Seth has made a commitment to lifelong learning which he models for his learners by taking part in a variety of professional development opportunities throughout the years. Seth currently enjoys his participation in the Experiential Jewish Education (EJE) Network and the Jewish Educators Connection through our Federation. Seth currently lives in Trumbull, CT with his wife Rabbi Sarah Marion and their two beautiful children.
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Sophie Greenspan
Program Manager

Sophie recently graduated from the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. There she studied theater history, criticism, theory, and artistic producing. While at Yale, she worked in the development office, as a research assistant at the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, as a residency coordinator with Page 73 at Yale, and as a graduate teaching assistant.
Sophie also has a background in education. For the past two summers, she was a lead instructor for the Literature, Philosophy, and Culture program of Yale Young Global Scholars. Prior to graduate school, she was an early childhood educator and drama specialist at the JCC Early Learning Center of Brookline/Brighton. Sophie has also worked as a freelance opera and theater dramaturg. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.

Sophie was raised enmeshed in Jewish life and traditions. Her father was a sofer stam, a Hebrew calligrapher, and she attended Jewish day schools from pre-K through high school. She looks forward to supporting Merkaz as Program Manager and believes strongly in the Jewish values the program imparts: open-mindedness, intellectual curiosity, and community.

Our Partners

Merkaz Community High School for Judaic Studies | 4200 Park Avenue, Suite 300 Bridgeport, CT 06604 | 203-659-3604 |
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