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.

Preschool Program

Welcome to the Best Preschool in Portland! For children ages two to five years old.

Our Program

PJA’s dynamic preschool is a warm, joyful environment that sets the stage for education to come by encouraging curiosity, caring, and love of learning in a setting of Jewish awareness.

Our curriculum has been designed to help children develop a lifelong moral framework, through richly textured learning experiences.

Small classes and PJA’s dedicated staff encourage exploration and experiential learning in a nurturing environment that helps children develop self-confidence and self-respect. Our preschool encourages creative exploration through art, music, and movement. Children also experience a rich variety of learning experiences including science, block constructions, manipulatives, books, cooking and dramatic and sensory play. Specialists in each field help to craft a complete (and fun!) program.


At PJA we value each child as an individual who learns in a multitude of ways. Our early childhood programs provide welcoming and inclusive settings that recognize children’s diverse abilities, interests, needs, and learning styles.

Philosophy & Program

We believe that children learn best through meaningful play, exploration, and an inquiry-based approach to learning. Our child-centered program integrates social and emotional development, cognitive skills, language and literacy, mathematical and scientific exploration, Hebrew language and Jewish life, art and music, and fine and gross motor development.

It is our conviction that children are capable and independent, and this is reflected across all developmental domains. Children are encouraged to make choices, practice individual decision-making, and develop a sense of themselves as capable and as self-advocates. Children are viewed as thinkers, reflecting on their world, and as empathetic individuals who care for and engage with their peers and contribute to the community.

PJA blends several philosophies and educational theories to create a program that takes each child’s learning styles into consideration, while placing Jewish life at the core. Curriculum is created in a holistic manner and individualized to the needs of each classroom, while keeping in mind developmental milestones for each age group.

Children at PJA participate in classes with specialists each week, including art, library, PE, Hebrew language, Jewish culture and music, all of which classroom teachers extend into the classroom curriculum.

Our curriculum and philosophy are further supported through:

  • Music, movement, and mindfulness opportunities
  • Cooking experiences and healthy snacks
  • Dramatic play
  • Block play and building
  • Art, sensory play, re-purposed projects
  • Library areas in classrooms
  • Monthly, child-led Kabbalat Shabbat
  • Community partnerships and field trips
  • Mitzvot and the practice of Jewish values
  • Individual portfolio reflection
  • Low child to teacher ratios
  • Regular professional development for staff
  • Community & Environment

    We believe that families are a child’s first teachers. Children learn best when families are involved in their educational program and community is established within the school. At PJA we value partnering with families and our community; our shared campus offers unique opportunities, both planned and spontaneous, for intergenerational learning and expanding community.

    Living our middah (value) of kehillah (community) we place importance on collaborating with a diverse array of organizations within the Jewish and general community. This creates partnerships that enhance and enrich the lives of our students and our partners.

    Our school environment is open, warm, and nurturing; our community feels like a family and encourages open communication, support, and feedback for each child. Teachers intentionally develop classroom environments that support engagement and a sense of welcoming and calm. Our classrooms incorporate natural elements, including a naturally inspired color palette, and materials that allow for more open-ended play.

    Dedicated & Caring Staff

    Skilled and deeply committed teachers

    Each classroom has a team of co-teachers with a demonstrated commitment to education and to PJA. Preschool teaching teams use their talent, expertise and creativity to craft rich learning experiences.

    Flexible Schedules & Options

    Recognizing the differing needs of families we have planned a flexible program. Half-day and Full-day pre-K students must be four by September 1 of the upcoming school year.

    • Morning care: 7:30 am - 8:30 am (a daily option)
    • Classes:
      Two Day 2s, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm - Tuesday and Thursday for two year olds
      Three Day or Five Day 3s, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Five
      days a week for three year olds.
      Half-Day pre-K, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm - Five days a week for four and five year olds,
      Full-Day Kindergarten is offered through PJA's lower school.
    • Afternoon care: 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm (a daily option)
    • Extended Day: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm (a daily option)

    Enrollment, Tuition & Financial Aid

    Download 2018-2019 Preschool Enrollment Application

    Click here to apply for financial aid.

    PJA Preschool Tuition, 2018 - 2019

    Effective July 1, 2018
    Early Morning Drop-Off begins at 7:30 am at No Extra Charge

    Preschool and Half Day Pre-K
    8:30 am - 12:30 pm



    Pre-K: Monday - Friday



    3 Days 3's: M, W, F



    2 Days 2's: T, TH



    Late Lunch Tuition, 12:30 - 4:00 pm
    (Pre-Registration Required)



    5 Days/Week: Monday - Friday



    4 Days/Week: Any 4 Days



    3 Days/Week: Any 3 Days



    2 Days/Week: Any 2 Days



    Extended Day Tuition, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
    (Pre-Registration Required)



    5 Days/Week: Monday - Friday



    4 Days/Week: Any 4 Days



    3 Days/Week: Any 3 Days



    2 Days/Week: Any 2 Days



    Drop-In Late Lunch Daily Fee: $30

    Extended Day drop-in: $15

    Late Lunch and Extended Day: $45

    Early Morning Drop-Off begins at 7:45 am at No Extra Charge

    Pricing for the 2018-2019 school year includes snack. Tuition includes "Vacation Day Programs" for school holidays when the building is open for those families enrolled in Late Lunch and Extended Day. Schedule is TBD.

    Click here for our Early Childhood Immunization Records



    Please contact us for more information or a tour of the Infant/Toddler Development Program.

    Erika Saiers
    Director of Early Childhood Education

    Allison Hernandez, MS
    Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education

    Jayme Ramones
    Registrar/Administrative Assistant