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.











Our PJA Pre-k community is pretty special! In Kim Krikorian’s class what started out as an exploration of the lifecycle of a butterfly turned into a thoughtful conversation about kavod (respect), kehillah (community), and diversity.  

The class started with five painted lady chrysalises. Three butterflies developed normally, one did not come out, and one emerged with a bent wing. The teacher approached them with the question, “How are we going to care for the one with the bent wing if it cannot fly?” The children came up with wonderful ideas to care for the creature, but they went even further by relating this butterfly’s experience to what some people experience in our community. They wondered how people can do things without limbs. Everyone shared their own experience and knowledge. The conversation changed from keeping the butterfly safe in nature to exploring how we can help it to reach its full potential just as we try to do with all of the members of our kehillah.  

  • Early Childhood