2018-01-17 / Local News

Advocate for education is named Moorestown Citizen of the Year


FAMILY: Husband, Dr. Samuel Goldenberg; children, Jennifer, 25, and Jason, 23

SYNAGOGUE: Adath Emanu-El

MOST MEANINGFUL ACTIVITY: Any involvement in increasing opportunities for students

PASSION: Playing flute with the Philadelphia Doctors Orchestra

FAVORITE QUOTATION: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”—Albert Einstein

So many of us give lip service to the importance of the education of children. Not so many do what Kathy Goldenberg has done.

This tireless champion of children and what they deserve educationally has propelled Goldenberg to the New Jersey State Board of Education, a commitment she regards as a privilege.

A graduate of the University of Texas as a finance and business administration major, she went on to become an executive for Dow Jones, handling circulation, sales and advertising for the Wall Street Journal. After making her mark in the corporate world, she left all of that behind when she felt a different calling.

When Kathy met and married her physician husband, Dr. Samuel Goldenberg, and they became the delighted parents of a daughter and son, she made the decision to look homeward.

“I think my family’s background has had everything to do with my adult life,” said this articulate Moorestown woman whose roots reach back to her family’s Holocaust history. Both her mother and father fled Germany—her father from Berlin, her mother from Upper Silesia.

“Many relatives were lost, and that will always be part of us,” she said quietly.

“My father had the distinction of being a war hero at he age of 19,” she explained, noting that he was a shot down over the Adriatic in 1945 on his 33rd mission, but luckily survived.

“My mother’s family was able to escape to Namibia, Africa in 1938, and later got to the United States, where they settled in Commerce, Texas, where both became revered university professors.

That painful history is part of Goldenberg’s heritage. So yes, home and family—and years of service to education— have been her focus.

In recognition of that service, Kathy Goldenberg has recently received a singular honor. She was named Moorestown’s Citizen of the Year, a recognition by the town’s leading service clubs to single out a resident who has offered unusual commitment to the town. She will be honored on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at a ceremony at the Moorestown Community House.

Yes, Goldenberg is humbled, but those who chose her—and with great enthusiasm— cite her stellar accomplishments.

From the beginning of her 25 years in Moorestown, this Texas native became involved in the Moorestown Home and School Council and has stayed involved even after her own children graduated from the local schools. Basically, she never left, and even stepped into the presidency of the organization.

Her next step was to run for a spot on the township’s Board of Education. “It just seemed a natural progression for me,” she said. Goldenberg was dedicated enough to continue on the Board for 10 years, and to serve as president for several terms.

Goldenberg is proud that during that span, the district actually raised $750,000 by thinking outside the box and finding ways to sponsor aftercare programs and to rent out facilities without compromising educational quality and efficiency.

Now, this educational expert has been invited to sit on the prestigious New Jersey State Board of Education, an honor she had not expected. “I was totally surprised,” she admitted.

While it means that she had to leave the local board, it also means that her insight and innovation will be felt throughout the state. And as she notes, people are a bit surprised that this work comes with no remuneration and lots of time and commitment.

“I’m such a believer in education as a way to help enlightenment,” said this woman who knows from her own family history the cost of ignorance, intolerance and prejudice.

“If I can work towards eliminating that, I will be very proud and very fulfilled. I see it as the most important work I can do, and I’m honored to do it.” 

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