Joel retired from full-time employment at the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago after 30 years of service in June, 2006. As Senior Vice President he was the head of Community Services and Government Relations. He spent his professional career in social work, social planning and advocacy in the Jewish community. From 2006 to 2010 he continued with the Federation part-time as Senior Vice President Emeritus, managing several projects, the most important being “J-CERT,” the Jewish Community Emergency Resiliency Team.
His publications include more than 30 articles and chapters on various subjects in the
field of social work, social planning, services for people with disabilities, and refugee resettlement. His work includes a chapter on “The Jewish Social Welfare Lobby,” published in a four-volume series, Jewish Polity & Civil Society (2002). Since 2009 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Illinois Action for Children where he is Chair of the Audit Committee.