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B is for Belonging
By Steve Albert

The start of a new school year is always an exciting time, and, among other things, it allows for an opportunity to redirect focus and priorities. Beginning with our back-to-school in-service for faculty and staff, we are focusing this year upon the theme of “belonging.” 

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By Merrill Hendin

Shehcheyanu, v’kiyemanu, v’higiyanu lazman hazeh. We are blessed to reach this sacred and important milestone.

Every year at about this time we reflect on time as we prepare to graduate a new class of PJA students.

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500 Days of May
By Sean Bartlett

Here is something that is difficult to believe - We are less than one month away from the end of the 2022-23 school year. Ten months ago seems like it was years ago - so much has already changed since then.

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Passover Traditions
By Steve Albert

The Passover holiday will soon be upon us, and I find myself thinking, as I often do at this time, “How will this Passover holiday be different from all other Passover holidays?”

During the past couple of years, Passover has been dramatically different from the holiday of prior years.

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An interview with Erika Saiers, PJA's Director of Early Childhood Education
By Erika Saiers

1. As the director of Early Childhood education at Portland Jewish Academy, what are the biggest challenges you face in your job?  

On the human front: My biggest challenges are making critical decisions around the health, safety and well-being of people, particularly our unvaccinated children.

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Appreciating PJA
By Sean Bartlett

We’re all fortunate to work, learn, and gather in a values-based institution. Our Middot are present everywhere at PJA - hanging on classroom walls, on our website, present at meetings, and on the minds of our Kehillah. One stands out to me and has helped me navigate the past few weeks - Hodayah, or appreciation.

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Heroes Work Here
By Amy Katz

Usually the first week back after Winter Break is full of taller students in new shoes, well rested teachers eager to get back to the work of educating their students, new projects, and stories of vacations. While it can be difficult to get back into the regular routine of school, for most teachers and students the first week after Winter Break is usually one filled with learning and a renewed sense of commitment and enthusiasm around all of the joy school has to offer. 

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Partners in Safety
By Steve Albert

One of the biggest shifts that has taken place at Jewish schools and organizations during the pandemic is the focus of conversations around campus safety. Since the start of the pandemic, discussions have shifted somewhat away from security matters to those connected to personal health and mitigating transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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The Battle
By Kim Krikorian

After over 25 years of working in Early Childhood classrooms as a teacher, this year is my first year in an administrative position. I am eternally grateful for what O-5 year old children have taught me about, being a friend, building community, creating inclusive spaces, and how to be a leader.

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