It was an exciting last week of school at PJA. Between the final academic lessons and the cleaning out of desks, the week was also jam-packed with special activities from the Middle School “Beach Party” to the Kindergarten “Graduation.” The PJA faculty and staff made sure to bring joy and celebration to the close of this challenging, unpredictable, and ultimately successful school year.
The highlight, of course, was our very special 8th Grade Graduation, this year held on the PJA field under a big tent. Every PJA graduation ceremony is special and poignant, this year even more so, as students reflected on their unique experiences at PJA and expressed their gratitude for their classmates, teachers, and families. Below is just a small sample of some of the heartfelt reflections that were shared by our graduates on graduation night.
“At PJA...I have found my hunger to learn and expanded my understanding of this universe. In these walls I have learned about justice and the lack thereof in our society. I have been taught the value of kindness and understanding. PJA has helped me grow as a person and become an active participant in making the world better for everyone.” - Hannah M.
“I will carry skill, competencies, and understandings carefully taught by dear teachers whose wisdom knows no bounds.” - Sunaina A.
“For me, the community here is a mishpacha, a family...PJA is exactly who I would want to rely on. I have been relying on them since I started almost 14 years ago, and they have never let me down.” - Christopher R.
“PJA has taught me to be my best self and has taught me to embrace my true Jewish self.” - Jonathan W.
“I am lucky to have attended a school that encourages uniqueness, applauds creativity, and fights for equality.” - Bella R.
“PJA has taught me that everyone gets a voice and deserves one. I hope that what this class used its voice for helps the ones that come after us. I hope that the classes that come after us get to experience the joys we have felt and laugh the many laughs that we have laughed.” - Parker R.
“Although we have missed out on a lot, we have also developed resilience and have been able to work through all of the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at us.” - Noah Z.
“I’ve learned how to be a leader and the importance of community, friendship, and family.” - Gabi P.
“I have grown so much since 3rd grade, a testament to engaging classes, a positive learning environment, and helpful teachers.” - Amitai K.
“I would say I am a great example of one of the six middot, identity (zehoot). I learned to accept myself as someone who is part of the Jewish community.” - WeiLan N.
“Here, at PJA, I have found a sanctuary. A place where I was pushed, where I had no excuse to perform anything but my best. A place where teachers and classmates supported one another. A web of community.” - Nico C.
- Middle School