Joel was one of the first members of the movement in his town. At the age of fifteen he went to Budapest and studied agriculture and gardening at the agricultural school MIKÉFE. Joel was active in the movement’s hahshara. On 20.3.1944, the day after the Germans invaded Hungary, he was caught and taken to the Kistarcsa detention camp. Two months later he was allowed to enlist in a forced labor unit that was transferred to the copper mines in Bor, Yugoslavia. Joel managed to run away and join Tito’s partisans where he served as a saboteur. As the Red Army approached, Joel moved to Romania and made contact with comrades from the movement. He stayed at an agricultural farm.
At the end of 1945 Joel made aliya and joined Kibbutz Kfar Glücksohn. He married Hava Ritscher. In 1947 he left the kibbutz, enlisted in the army and served as a saboteur during the War of Independence. Later he worked in the educational institute Nitzanim and in Ashkelon.