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PORTLAND JEWISH ACADEMY At the Schnitzer Family Campus

Think for yourself. Work for the world.

Exclusive updates for our donors and supporters from PJA  September 2012 ~ Elul/Tishrei 5772-3

Happy holidays from our Board, Staff and Students Even those of us whose school days are long past remember the anticipation of the first week of school! Excitement is in the air and laughter rings through the halls as our PJA students return after summer vacation. One of the middot or values that guide our school is hoda’ah – gratitude. So it seems especially appropriate that we begin this new school year with a huge todah rabbah - thank you – to you, our donors and supporters. Along with a very generous allocation from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, your contributions make possible scholarships that enable many PJA students to attend school here, along with enrichment arts activities, field trips and technology enhancements. Last year, our community contributed $810,000 to support programs at PJA, including a $154,000 allocation from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. We are especially grateful to Jay and Diane Zidell and Steve “Rosy” Rosenberg and Ellen Lippman for their extraordinary support of our school. We are so grateful for all that your support has made possible. May the New Year bring you and your family sweetness, health and happiness.

Edy Dorsen Board President

Lisa Horowitz Executive Director

Merrill Hendin Principal

PJA welcomes more than 500 children with 300 from preschool through 8th grade! PJA opened its doors on September 5, welcoming back nearly 300 students from preschool through 8th grade as we began our school’s 51st year. We welcomed new students at every grade, along with several new teachers. We are also delighted to have more than 75 infants in our Infant Toddler Development Program, and to serve more than 150 children in afterschool programs: Kidscorner at our campus, Kidspace at Forest Park Elementary, Kidsplace at Skyline Elementary School and Kidzone at Glencoe Elementary School. All of our students, their families and our staff are “PJA Proud!”

Tech Rocks at PJA!

50 years of Spaghetti!

Apple Boot Camp for teachers. COWS in the classroom. (That’s “Computers on Wheels”, not bovine visitors!) What will be next?

What fun we all had at PJA’s 50th anniversary spaghetti dinner, honoring Linda Nemer Singer and the Nemer family for their years of support for PJA – relentless volunteering, generous contributions and ceaseless fundraising.

This summer has been exceptionally busy for PJA’s Technology team, as we created a “dual platform” campus, adding an Apple server to our Windows-based server. We added software and trained staff over the summer so that we could start off the school year with new technology throughout the school. Students will see changes in the classrooms and parents will see changes on the web, as they can communicate more easily with teachers and see student work on password-protected web pages. Special thanks to all the donors who made this possible, including Diane and Jay Zidell and Steve Rosenberg and Ellen Lippman, whose very generous auction matches last year inspired others to give generously as well, providing funding to make these technology enhancements possible.

Let Us Introduce You...

We are thrilled to welcome back returning PJA teachers and staff as well as new teachers at our school this year. Let us introduce you to …



Sarah was born & raised in Colorado. After graduating from college, she bounced around the United States for a couple of years until she landed in Oregon and has been here in Portland with her husband for 12 years. She has 2 wonderful children - a daughter, age 5, and a son, 15 months. She loves to read just about anything she can get her hands on. She also loves the great outdoors, traveling and knitting, although it seems like it has been a long time since she picked up her needles. She has been teaching for 9 years, mostly in the Beaverton School District. Sarah got her introduction to teaching here at PJA 11 years ago and she is very excited to be returning as PJA’s Middle School Science Teacher.

Originally from Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Sam Blumberg is thrilled to start this year as the Middle School Jewish Studies teacher at PJA. After completing his M.A. in Jewish Education at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, Sam and his fiancée Amalia have just arrived to Portland and can’t wait to take in all of the wonderful things this city has to offer. In addition to his fascination with Talmud study and Biblical Hebrew grammar, Sam enjoys cooking, bowling, and keeping up with the latest technology.

From the youngest ages… Extracurricular activities: Nurturing, caring, fun, friendly, devoted teachers … those are compliments we hear from parents of children in PJA’s Infant-toddler and Preschool programs. Give your child or grandchild the gift of an incomparable start in life. At PJA preschool, they will learn and grown with specialists in art, music, Hebrew, Jewish studies and storytelling, plus PE and Library time. A very limited number of spots remain for the 2012-13 school year. For more information, please contact Preschool Director Erika Saiers right away at

Welcoming our community at PJA We love to partner with other agencies, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and to highlight programs of interest to our community. We welcome our community to PJA and to our campus. Please join us!

Build the Sukkah September 30, 2012 12:00 - 2:00 pm with storytelling provided by PJ Library; in partnership with the MJCC.

Super Sunday Community Action Day!

What did you Discover this Summer?

“Mathmagic” - Engineering - Reptiles: Real and Imagined - “Dogs with Jobs.” don’t you wish that you had been able to take one of these one-week summer enrichment classes at PJA’s Summer Discovery. More than 140 students enjoyed these and an array of other classes taught by PJA teachers. Kudos to kindergarten teacher Celinda Llanez, who has led our Summer Discovery program over the past three years.

Federation’s Super Sunday will return to the MJCC campus after many years, in a new format that will include community service opportunities as well as a concert by renowned Jewish rocker Rick Recht. Sunday, Nov. 18, 9:30 am to 8:30 pm.

We are PJA proud of all our students and graduates. Accomplished. Confident. Committed. These are just a few of the words that describe our students and graduates. PJA is proud to develop kids with character who become tomorrow’s leaders. Here are just a few of the reasons why we’re “PJA Proud”. Mazel tov to: 6th grader Seth T., who tied for first place in the K-5 Individual group at the 2012 Chess for Success State tournament. 8th Grader Estee R. for the wonderful work she is doing for Project Lemonade as profiled on page 30 of the August 2012 issue of NW Kids Magazine! Class of 2003: Classmates Esther Horowitz and Leanne Silberberg both attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada, graduating in June 2011. (Yes, they both graduated in only 3 years!) Esther received a Master’s of Science in Education (Applied Linguistics) from Oxford University in May 2012 and Leanne just began a Master’s of Science in Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Toronto.

Class of 2004: Sarah Meyerowitz received the University of Oregon Centurion Award - given to undergraduate students for dedication and outstanding service as student leaders in the last year.

Sam Glauber, who recently graduated from Pacific Torah Institute in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and earned a full four-year scholarship to Yeshiva university in New York.

Mazel tov and todah rabbah – thank you - to: Nathan Ariel who is currently serving in Afghanistan as Military Police in the National Guard. Hadas Horenstein received the Theresa Kelly Janes Mothers’ Club Scholarship - Awarded to a University of Oregon student on the basis of grades, and community and university service and also the Dean’s Award for Service – awarded to seniors who have made exceptional contributions of service to the university community, fellow students, or the larger community .

Class of 2008, heading off to colleges this year, including: • Boston University • Brown University • Dickinson College • Haverford • Tulane University • Whitman College • Yeshiva University • Gap Year at Bar Ilan in Israel

Alumna Profile - Gabriella Horowitz PJA Class of 2006

Gabriella was selected as an AJC Goldman Fellow, and spent her summer working in Brussels with the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), planning their annual convention, “Summer U”, which brought 200 young Jews from 23 different countries together in Hungary for a week. She will soon return to real life as a junior at UW. Gabi is the 2012 UW StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and president of Huskies for Israel at UW. She is also a leader of “Yogis at UW.” Off campus, she works at a local yoga studio and volunteers as a yoga instructor for teen girls in a juvenile detention center.

Class of 2012: Our graduates never cease to amaze and inspire us with their insights, abilities, humor, and love for PJA. Go to for some samples from this year’s graduate presentations. These students are only a few of our graduates who are making the world a better place. We want to feature even more of our graduates in our newsletters. If you are a graduate, grandparent or parent, let us know the latest news so we may share it.

Special thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and our community for their support of the students and teachers of PJA. Supported by

PJA • 6651 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219 • 503.244.0126 •

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Exclusive updates for our donors and supporters from PJA