Our Story

Joy and Yvonne, mother and daughter, were both born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and have wide-ranging experiences with Sephardic community yeshivot - Joy as a parent and Yvonne as a student and educator. For the past five years, the duo have been identifying and researching areas within modern Jewish education that could be improved upon and began to envision creating their dream school.

They pushed themselves to think outside the current structures and mindsets of what is typical in conventional yeshivot and considered what a Jewish education could look like when building a school from the ground up. In 2020, both Joy and Yvonne and their families moved to the Deal, NJ area. With two young children, Yvonne began to search for a school that would best fit their needs. With much respect to existing institutions and the incredible services they provide, Yvonne quickly realized it was the right time for her and Joy to finally implement all their hard work - their passion project - and launch their dream school.

They researched and visited many institutions with similar values and conferred with top educators around the world. Guided by their strong faith in G-d and their unique vision, Joy and Yvonne followed their calling to create Golden Academy - a new model for Jewish education, incorporating some of the best practices of progressive educational ideologies merged with traditional Sephardic Torah values. Golden Academy strives to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders by instilling in its young students a strong sense of identity, spirituality, and confidence to take risks and meet challenges.


Joy Harari, Co-founder and CEO

Joy is an AADP Certified Holistic Health Coach and Certified EFT Coach, as well as the Founder and CEO of Shore Magic. She is a mother of five and grandmother of a growing bunch. As Joy’s children advanced through school, she would often wonder whether traditional educational systems were ideal for all students and began dreaming of one day opening her own school geared toward a different style of learning. Golden Academy is the realization of that dream. Joy’s passions throughout her life have ranged far and wide from art, dance, and acting, to dentistry, cooking, and health. All this varied experience has prepared her to lead this exciting new venture.

Yvonne Ostrov, M.S. Ed, Co-founder and Head of School

Yvonne has worked in the field of education since 2006 in community schools, including Barkai and Magen David Yeshivah. She has two young children and another on the way. Yvonne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies from Western Governors University and a Master’s Degree in Leadership in Math Education from Bank Street College of Education. Her passion for education first shone through as a classroom teacher, then as a math teacher and leader. As she continued to work in schools, Yvonne saw the immense potential for improvement to educational systems and realized much more could be done to prepare students for future success.

After moving to New Jersey and searching for more progressive schools at which to potentially teach, she realized how vital a school that marries both a strong Judaic curriculum with a holistic General Studies education could be to the community. Yvonne’s solid educational background and extensive experience combined with her passion and love for teaching children has been a driving force in the creation of Golden Academy.

Rabbi Moses Haber, M.S. , Rabbinic and Spiritual Advisor

Rabbi Moses Haber is a graduate of Magen David Yeshivah, Yeshivah of Flatbush, Yeshivah University, the Yeshivah University Azrieli School of Education, and the Sephardic Rabbinical College

For the past 23 years, Rabbi Haber has been an Associate Rabbi at Kol Israel Synagogue and Bnei Yitzhak Synagogue. From 2004 through 2016, he taught courses in Torah, Halakha, and Talmud at the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School. While there, he also developed a two-year Jewish Philosophy curriculum to prepare students for university. As a lecturer at the Allegra Franco Women’s College, Rabbi Haber created curriculums for and taught classes to community women training to become teachers. As Rav Yeshivah of Barkai Yeshivah from 2016 to 2021, he oversaw the Qodesh curriculum and led the spiritual and religious direction of the school. He has also been director of the Sephardic Community Alliance (SCA) women’s summer learning initiative for the last eight years. He currently serves as Associate Rabbi at Shaare Shalom Congregation and leads the growing adult Shabbat first minyan.

Rabbi Haber is the founder and director of The Mekor Hayim Center, a spiritual support center for those in recovery from addictions and other mental health challenges. Mekor Hayim is unique in that it integrates Jewish wisdom of the Torah and Hakhamim alongside an understanding of mental health research to support those in need.

Rabbi Haber is married to Mollie (née Ashkenazi) and together they have four children, Laurie, Diane, Gabriel, and Sammy. He currently resides with his family in Brooklyn, NY.