PJA: Our mission is to ensure and academically excellent environment in which children thrive. Portland Jewish Academy nurtures and inspires positive Jewish engagement, respect for human and religious differences, and responsibility for the world in which we live.
At PJA we foster a love of learning, develop inquisitive thinkers, and encourage creativity in every child. Our goal is to provide each student with the opportunity to use what they learn to make a difference in the world.
Our dedicated faculty teach through hands-on experiences, which develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. In our classrooms we encourage a connection between each student and teacher. This creates an educational community where students receive the personalized attention they need to reach their full potential.
Everything we teach is infused with Jewish tradition and values, creating an atmosphere of respect, kindness, and caring. PJA is a secure, stimulating environment that truly fosters learning. Our students get an excellent, well-rounded, values based education.
JEWISH STUDIES + ETHICS: A Guide for Life + Learning Our Jewish Studies program seeks not only to teach students about history, texts, and traditions, it also fosters inquiry and critical thinking. The result? Students learn about Jewish culture and are able to personalize it, making it relevant to them. Five thousand years of Jewish culture and ethics become part of their own value system. This helps our students gain a deeper insight into how their values shape the world in which they live.
HEBREW LANGUAGE STUDIES: Your Child's First Second Language Learning to speak and write Hebrew is a challenge! The sounds and symbols children have to learn are as different from English as anything they will ever learn. As their first second language, Hebrew opens the door to language acquisition. When students begin to study other languages in middle school, the process will come easily.
PJA accommodates new students at different grade levels with innovative programming. For example, our Dor L'Dor program helps incoming Middle School students start Hebrew. The curriculum focuses on beginning Hebrew from alef bet through prayer skills. The goal is to get new students comfortable with the language so they can read and recognize common words. It also teaches students the basics of the Jewish calendar and holidays.
Learning Hebrew also helps students connect to Jewish texts. Nothing is ever lost in translation. Our students have a much more intimate relationship to sacred texts than most children their age.
THE ARTS: Creativity + Culture Abound Our students are not only aware of Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh, they can also create art projects inspired by their work. Art is an essential part of our academic programs. We believe it complements and enriches all aspects of education. Your child will take dance, visual arts, choir, and music from specialists in each field.
In addition to creating art, our students experience it firsthand by performing in or attending plays and concerts, and visiting museums and art exhibits. Students leave PJA with a deep understanding and appreciation of art in all its forms.