Taglit Week 2023
This year’s Taglit came at just the right time, after weeks of gray and rainy days, students and faculty were ready to break up the routine and brighten up our days! Taglit (תגלית) is the Hebrew word for “discovery.” At PJA, it is the name we give to the annual multi-day program of experiential learning opportunities specially designed by Middle School teachers for their Middle School students. Among the highlights this week were the many special guests who shared their knowledge and interests with our students.
PJA alum Liana Kressel (Class of 2020) came back to campus to speak with the “Gee, I Didn’t Know That!” class about her passion for food, cooking, and nutrition, and to host a cooking class. Together, they prepared one of Liana’s own recipes, a customizable grain bowl with shawarma roasted cauliflower. Follow Liana’s Instagram account @inlianasitchen to see photos of many of her yummy creations!
“Gee, I Didn’t Know That!” also learned what it takes to become a professional musician from PJA parent and violinist with the Oregon Symphony, Greg Ewer. Greg talked about his journey as a professional violinist. He showed students a few of the violins from his own collection, including one that was built circa 1670. Not only did students get to hear Greg play the violin, but they also got to try it out for themselves.
PJA parent Lauren Fortgang spent a whole day with the “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate” class talking about…chocolate! Lauren is a former pastry chef and now leads the Never Again Coalition. She explained to the class how cocoa beans are grown and harvested. They discussed the importance of seeking out fair-trade cocoa and the global effort to end the use of child labor in the cocoa industry. Don't worry, the "Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate" class didn't only talk about chocolate, they also ate plenty of chocolate all week long, including chocolate truffles and chocolate cake that they made with Lauren.
Other special PJA-affiliated guests included PJA parent Brendan Robinson who spent a morning with the “Wide World of Sports” Taglit class coaching touch rugby, Flo Von Grote (former PJA teacher) gave a tour and co-led an art class (risograph printing) at PNCA, and Danny Koch, Ms. Harriet's husband and architect at Allied Works Architecture talked to a class about his work on the redesign of Providence Park and the ins-and-outs of architecture.
There were many other special presenters and guests who are not affiliated with PJA. One of those was gracious enough to welcome anyone at PJA/MJCC who wanted to share his passion for unicycling, bagpipes, Star Wars, and fire! The Unipiper was a special guest of the “Weird Portland” Taglit class…and he was the perfect guest for that class!
What an incredible week of learning, experiencing, and discovering! We couldn’t have done it without all of these wonderful guests willing to share their time and expertise with our students. Thank you!