Joel has been active in Jewish communal affairs for many years. Following a full career as a Foreign Service Officer, with assignments in Korea, Romania, Tanzania, Malta and Berlin (where he headed the American Embassy Office), he was Founding Chairman for Germany of The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, New York Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League and President and CEO of the Center for Jewish History. Joel serves on the board of Youth Bridge New York, a JCRC high school leadership program through the lens of diversity, and is actively engaged in Park Slope Jewish Center. Joel is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Columbia University and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Joel and Carol, their adult children, and grandchildren all live within walking distance of each other in Brooklyn.