Our History

    • Learn how Golda Och Academy went from its founding as Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union in 1965 to the preeminent preparatory school in New Jersey for Pre-K through 12th grade Jewish education.

A tradition of growth and achievement

Golda Och Academy is one of more than 70 Solomon Schechter Day Schools in the United States and Canada. GOA (originally named Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union) was founded in 1965. Our founders believed that an excellent education for Jewish students should include a grounding in the culture, history, and language of Judaism, and they created a vibrant and rigorous dual curriculum.

Students at the school were raised in the twin traditions of academic excellence and love of Judaism and Israel. The school grew and flourished throughout its first 12 years, expanding from a primary school to a full-fledged academy educating students from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. We graduated our first senior class in 1977. The school currently occupies two campuses in West Orange, located about two miles apart.

Thanks to the generosity of the family of Golda Och, the school was renamed Golda Och Academy in 2010. With each graduating class, our students have continued on to the top colleges and universities, moving into realms of leadership and achieving success in fields from law and medicine to finance and government. Our students and alumni have embodied the dream of excellence that began in 1965 when the school was born.