Giving

Annual Fund

GOA 2020-21 Annual Fund — Your Gift Matters Now More than Ever!

Covid-19 has cost our school an extra $1,000 per student in 2020-21

In addition to our regular need to raise dollars to cover the gap between tuition and school operations, this year our school’s needs are greater than ever.

Invest in Our Values

Your annual gift of any amount is critical to helping Golda Och Academy meet our commitment to academic excellence. We appreciate your participation in helping us to provide an outstanding education for our students each and every day.

Invest in Our Students

The Golda Och Academy Annual Fund is our school’s largest and most important annual giving campaign. The Annual Fund provides immediate unrestricted funds that allow our school to provide financial assistance to families in need, new and advanced technology, professional development for the faculty, academic and extra-curricular enrichment opportunities for students and much more.

Special recognition opportunities exist for donors who contribute $5,000 and more. These donors are invited to a special Major Gifts Appreciation Event in a private home. Donors who give at the Shomrei Torah Society level ($1,000 and above) are invited to a special annual Dessert Reception.

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the money raised from the GOA Annual Fund used for?

    These funds support everything we do at GOA every day from academic and teaching excellence to professional development for teachers, extracurricular activities in the arts, sports and STEM. Funds also support experiential Jewish education and a multitude of leadership and enrichment opportunities for our students. The GOA Annual Fund ensures that the school can provide critical affordability and financial aid programs.
  • As current parents who already pay tuition, why is giving to the Annual Fund important?

    Like many other independent schools, annual fundraising bridges the gap between tuition and operating costs. At GOA, tuition only covers 65% of our operating costs. Therefore, an additional $1M needs to be raised on an annual basis to ensure our school continues to deliver an excellent education to each of our students. We strive to achieve 100% parent participation at any level of support. Major donors and foundations look to parent participation as a positive indicator of community engagement and support.
  • Why do we need the support of school alumni?

    We need your help to make sure students of today have the same wonderful Jewish day school experience at SSDS/GOA. Today, more than 50% of our students rely on financial assistance to receive a Jewish day school education. The school provides more than $4 million annually to support financial aid. The GOA Annual Fund also supports alumni outreach programs such as the Alumni Professional Shabbat Dinner, College Alumni Basketball Game, freshman care packages and reunions.
  • Why do we need to give when we have a significant endowment?

    While we are blessed with a large endowment that ensures our future, we can only spend 5% of the endowment annually and retain the principle in perpetuity. Endowment income is also highly restricted and primarily funds financial aid and several specific donor-designated areas. Annual fundraising still comprises a critical 10% of our annual operating budget.
  • Are there giving recognition opportunities?

    We have special recognition for our donors. Those who give $5,000 and above are invited to a special Major Gifts appreciation event in a private home. Donors who give at the Shomrei Torah Society level ($1,000 and above) are invited to a special annual Dessert Reception.
  • How much should we give to the GOA Annual Fund?

    Any amount that is meaningful to you—whether $18 or $18,000 or anywhere in between—makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.
  • When is my gift due?

    Gifts for the 2019-20 Annual Fund are payable through December 31, 2020. You can make your gift online now at or mail it to: Office of Development, Golda Och Academy, 1418 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052. For more information, or to learn about other ways to contribute, please contact Stephanie Bash-Soudry, Director of Institutional Advancement or call 973-602-3612.
  • How do I become more involved?

    We have a team of more than 60 volunteer workers who help with our fundraising efforts as well as grade captains who communicate with families in their classes and help ensure we have 100% participation from each grade. We are always looking for people who care deeply about Golda Och Academy and are invested in its future. If interested, please contact Stephanie Bash-Soudry.
In addition, capital and endowment gifts and multi-year pledges to Golda Och Academy help us build new state-of the-art facilities on our two campuses and help ensure our school’s ability to provide an excellent and affordable Jewish education for generations of students in the future.
"As a parent you make repeated, important, decisions about your children' lives. None might be more important than choosing the neighborhood in which you will raise them and the school to which you will send them. If you want to project what sort of people your children will grow up to be, consider carefully what kind of people you are exposing them to (from The Book of Jewish Values by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin). SSDS of Union and Essex, now GOA, is the 'neighborhood' we wanted our children and now our grandchildren to be part of. We will continue to do all we can to make certain this special place will thrive and be available for the greater Jewish community."

─Joan and Harvey Bucholtz, current grandparents

GOA Annual Fund Leadership 2020-21

DEVELOPMENT CO-CHAIRS
Seth Brown and Lisa Mechanick
 
DEVELOPMENT ADVISORS
Rebecca Berman, Shari Broder, Liz Bier
 
MAJOR GIFTS CHAIR
Mindy Schall ’97 
 
PARENT CHAIRS
Daniel Kestin, Keren Lebeau ‘94, Larry Weintraub
 
ALUMNI PARENTS CHAIR
Anne Kroll
 
CHAIR, BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Keith Biebelberg 

Double the impact of your gift!

As an employee benefit, donations are often eligible to be matched by your employers’ corporate matching gifts programs. Please check with your company’s HR Department. Often, there is a simple form or online application.

Thanks To You, Our Values Come Alive!

    • Former second  teacher Barbara Zinbarg reminisces with her student, author and food entrepreneur Jeffrey Yoskowitz ’04 at a GOA Annual Fund event in February, 2020.

      Former second teacher Barbara Zinbarg reminisces with her student, author and food entrepreneur Jeffrey Yoskowitz ’04 at a GOA Annual Fund event in February, 2020.

To make a donation to GOA Annual Fund now

Click on the Donate Now button on this page.

You can also mail your donation to: Office of Development, Golda Och Academy, 1418 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052. For more information, or to learn about other ways to contribute, please contact Stephanie Bash-Soudry, Director of Institutional Advancement at sbashsoudry@goldaochacademy.org or call (973) 602-3612.

Contact Us

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Stephanie Bash-Soudry

    Stephanie Bash-Soudry 

    Director of Institutional Advancement
    973-602-3612
  • Photo of Jaclyn Cistaro

    Jaclyn Cistaro 

    Development Associate
    973-602-3603
  • Photo of Erin Sternthal

    Erin Sternthal 

    Marketing and Communications Associate
    973-602-3798
  • Photo of Caryn Rosenberg

    Caryn Rosenberg 

    Special Events Coordinator
    973-602-3634