Joel was born in the USA in 1969, but was raised in Israel from the age of two. He dedicated his life to the Lord at the age of seventeen, served 3 years in the IDF and then traveled to bible school in England where he met his future wife. Joel followed Leila to the States where they married and had their first child before returning to Israel in 1996.
Joel studied and worked as a graphic artist for many years while serving in his local congregation as a worship and youth leader. He also ran an inter-congregational youth group in Tel Aviv that grew to the point he realized the needs of the country's youth were more than he could handle on a volunteer basis.
This situation led Joel to begin to consider the possibility of full time youth work in Israel and he began to seek information about formal training. In 2003, Joel, Leila and their 3 children headed to Eastern Seminary in Portland, Oregon where he completed a Graduate Studies Diploma focused on youth ministry, and has since completed a Master’s Degree.
In 2005, the Goldberg family returned to Netanya, Israel with a clear calling to serve the local congregations in the land in the area of youth work and established the Netivah Center, where he currently serves.