Our Program ~ Going Virtual for Fall 2020

Merkaz offers a unique academic and cultural program that is dynamic, comprehensive, and accessible to all of our community’s teens. It attracts a diverse student population and provides a pluralistic and supportive environment for Jewish learning. Families need not be affiliated with a synagogue to be eligible for enrollment.

At Merkaz, students are exposed to a variety of ideas, values, and practices. Students come from neighboring towns, synagogues, and schools throughout Upper Fairfield County. Teens join together as one community to learn, socialize, explore, strengthen their ties to Judaism, and develop critical thinking and leadership skills. Through on-going Jewish education and an innovative curriculum, the Merkaz program helps ensure strong connections to Judaism for generations to come!

Shelley Kreiger
Head of School

Karen Sanger
President, Board of Directors

Merkaz Prepares Students to:

  • Become aware of issues of importance to local, national, and international Jewish communities.
  • Develop an awareness of issues in Jewish family life.
  • Strive to understand the history of the Jewish people within the context of world history, and its relevance to the present day.
  • Become familiar with classical texts as sources of Jewish beliefs and practices.
  • Become familiar with Jewish values, ethics, and their applications in daily life.
  • Become familiar with the responses of Jewish writers and philosophers on contemporary issues.
  • Be able to compare and contrast Judaism with other religions.
  • Recognize and appreciate the diversity of Jewish practices.
  • Be aware of the growing impact of pseudo-religious groups and cults on Jewish life.
  • Be exposed to Jewish culture, including music, theater, language, arts, literature, and culinary traditions.
  • Recognize contributions of the Jewish people in the arts, sciences, and society.
  • Strengthen their Jewish identity and develop a mature understanding of Judaism.
  • Celebrate Jewish history and holidays in a community setting.
  • Learn about Israel’s history, culture, conflicts, contributions, and advocacy.
  • Increase knowledge of Jewish role models and develop leadership skills.
  • Practice Tikkun Olam and youth philanthropy through courses and community service programs.
  • Increase commitment to lifelong Jewish learning.
  • Prepare for responsible membership and leadership in the Jewish community and society at large.