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.










Eighth Grade Capstone Projects

While every day at PJA we aim to "think for ourselves and work for the world," we shine a special light on the meaning of those familiar words when our middle school community, as well as family and friends, gather to hear our 8th graders deliver their Capstone drashot (plural of drash, a teaching inspired by Jewish text). These short speeches are the culmination of the year-long Capstone journey which starts with a student designing and implementing a service project and then writing a research paper on a related topic. In their drashot, these young change-makers and scholars articulately wove together their service and research experiences with Jewish tradition, texts, historical figures and the PJA middot (values). 
Through the wonder of Zoom, over two sessions we were able to bring together over 200 guests to learn from the experiences and wisdom of all 24 of our soon-to-be graduates. Here is a full list of the students' projects. 
We are so grateful to these young people for sharing the connections they've made to important topics and organizations and for inspiring in all of us a commitment for future learning and doing. It's easy to "think for ourselves and work for the world" when we have such talented and passionate students guiding us.

  • Middle School