Joseph’s parents were pious Hasidim Jews and Joseph studied in a Yeshiva. In 1939 he became member of the Hasomer Hatzair movement’s leadership in Bratislava and as the coordinator of the Hehalutz organization. He dealt with the aliya of young people from Slovakia.
In 1940 Joseph traveled to Budapest in order to enlist in the Hungarian movement and help refugees. In 1941, before the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Germans, Joseph and some of his friends tried to open an aliya route from that country. They were caught, freed, caught again and arrested and then returned to Slovakia. In 1942 Joseph moved to Budapest with Mimish (Yitzhak Herbst) in order to organize help for many
Slovak refugees who were members of the movement who arrived illegally in Hungary.
In the summer of 1943 Joseph contacted Menahem Bader, a member of Kibbutz Mizra and the representative of the Jewish Agency in Istanbul, who sent money to the Relief and Rescue Committee which operated in Budapest.
Joseph represented the movement in the Eretz Israel Office. In 1944 he obtained a certificate, travelled to Romania and from there made aliya. He was a member of Kibbutz Ha’ogen.