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 Traditions

Every school has their traditions, and PJA is no different. These events are what make PJA such a wonderful and special place! Please join us and you'll see why we're PJA Proud!

Back to School Ice Cream Social

All PJA families meet to see old friends, meet new ones, greet teachers, and have ice cream together on the field. It's a great way to kick off the new school year!

Kabbalat Shabbat

This lovely PJA tradition brings our entire community of students, teachers, and families together twice monthly to celebrate Shabbat. We sing Shabbat songs and celebrate Jewish holidays, light Shabbat candles, sing Kiddush, eat Challah, and kvell from our children’s performances.

Communal Teffilah

PJA has monthly communal teffilah for the 3rd-8th graders during which all students and faculty from those grades gather for a shaharit (morning) service and student d’var Torah (word of torah)

Buddy Classes

Throughout the grades, older students meet with younger students several times during the year to read together, do math or celebrate holidays. Connections between children are made that last a lifetime.

PJA Grandfriends Day

Grandfriends Day is a wonderful opportunity for your child(ren) to share a morning on an afternoon with a grandparent or special friend. An activity is planned that all participants can enjoy whether they are four (4) or 94!

Student Art Exhibition

In the Springtime, PJA families are invited to an exhibition showcasing student visual and performing arts. Every grade is represented, including preschool.


Walking through the halls of PJA at Purim you see kings, queens and other characters from the Purim story. We also celebrate with a traditional carnival, put on by middle school students. We share in the mitzvah of mishloach manot, giving gifts of food to members of our community. We fulfill the mitzvah of Matanot L’evyonim, gifts for the poor, by collecting Tzedakahand donating it to the community

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated at PJA with a big party celebrating Israel’s birthday. We have class performances, do crafts, sing songs, and participate in school-wide Israeli folk dancing.


Families of preschoolers up through middle schoolers dance to the music of a lively DJ at PJA’s all-school dance. Students (and families!) come to show off their dancing skills!

Key Ceremony

During the Last Day of School assembly, each grade passes a ‘key’onto the next grade. This includes a presentation by one grade to the next grade. Presentations include songs, videos, poems.


On our last day of school, the entire school is divided into teams named for Israeli cities for a field day. We spend the morning outside with activities appropriate for students of all ages such a three-legged races an water balloon tosses. Students make banners and show their class spirit in a parade around the field. The Maccabiah ends with a game of dodge ball between the faculty and seventh graders.

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