Portland Jewish Academy is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and is proud of our partnership with them in strengthening our local Jewish community as well as the global community.



PJA FAQ

What is a Portland Jewish Academy Education?
How does PJA compare to Portland Public Schools (PPS)?
Do you have to be Jewish to have your child attend PJA?
One of us is Jewish and the other is not. Will we feel comfortable at PJA?
We consider ourselves to be Jewish but are not observant in our practice at home. Are there other families like ours at PJA?
Why should my child learn Hebrew?
What if my child has not studied Hebrew in the past?
Do you help families form carpools? Is there a bus service?

1. What is a Portland Jewish Academy Education?

Portland Jewish Academy (PJA) is a unique Jewish community day school, offering a superior academic general education and an equally superior Jewish education, that celebrates Jewish diversity, maximal inclusion, and religious purposefulness.

Throughout each grade, everything we teach is infused with Jewish tradition and values, creating an atmosphere of respect, kindness and caring.

Our students' academic achievements are extraordinary, matching the finest private schools in the nation. Our curriculum goes well beyond traditional state guidelines. Exceptional science, math, language and literature are only the beginning. Our students leave PJA well prepared to excel in high school and college, and become ethical, responsible, and very involved leaders in their school and local communities, as well as in programs all over the world. Click here to find out what our students and Alums are doing these days.

2. How does PJA compare to Portland Public Schools (PPS)?

PJA is a high performing academic school with great attention spent to each individual student and their learning style. PJA students are motivated to learn in an environment that is supportive of their needs as an individual as well as their performance within the classroom.

PJA students have art, music, dance, library time with the PJA librarian, physical education, field trips, and language instruction from the earliest grades. In addition, PJA students spend 20% more hours of the day in class than do PPS students. Specifically, PJA has 29% more instructional hours in the day than does PPS.

3. Do you have to be Jewish to have your child attend PJA?

No. PJA is a Jewish community day school but we are open to everyone, regardless of faith.

4. One of us is Jewish and the other is not. Will we feel comfortable at PJA?

Yes. Many of our students come from families where only one parent is Jewish. At PJA we are inclusive of all family types. If you are interested in meeting some PJA families, we would be happy to facilitate a chance to get together with other PJA families. Please call Inge Hoogerhuis, Admission Director, at 503.535.3599 or click here to email her directly.

5. We consider ourselves to be Jewish but are not observant in our practice at home. Are there other families like ours at PJA?

Yes. Our families range from non-Jewish to those who identify as Secular Humanistic, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Traditional and Orthodox. Our presentation of religious studies encourages a student's search for personal meaning. It is a wonderful experience for our students and their families to learn about the diversity of community and of Jewish practice and philosophy.

6. Why should my child learn Hebrew?

Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people, learning Hebrew connects us to our texts, both sacred and modern, and affords us access to these texts wherever we are in the world. We also know that learning a 2nd language like Hebrew (different letter characters, sounds, writing direction) helps facilitate learning other foreign languages which PJA students will do from 6th grade through their 8th grade PJA graduation.

7. What if my child has not studied Hebrew in the past?

Do not let this be a deterrent. We are prepared to assist your child or children with their Hebrew studies. Many children enter PJA at various grade levels with little to no knowledge of the Hebrew language. PJA offers additional support for children entering 2nd -5th grade. In Middle School, we have a separate class that caters to students who come in with varying levels of Hebrew proficiency.

8. Do you help families form carpools? Is there a bus service?

Yes and yes! We are great at arranging carpools for our families and encourage our families to share rides whenever possible. It’s good for the PJA community and great for our environment.

And, we have a bus service for those who choose it from NE and SE Portland. It is a very reasonable monthly fee, offers two different return times for those families that would like their children to participate in MJCC activities of the PJA after-care program. It is open to K – 8 PJA students. Please call the office at 503.244.0126 for more information.

Still can't find the answers that you're looking for? Please call Admission Director, Inge Hoogerhuis at 503.535.3599. Or come take a tour of the school. We'd love to get to know you!

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