While more than a year after a near-fatal car accident Arthur and Joyce Joseph are still living outside the area, the couple’s ties to the local community remain strong.
Longtime leaders in the Bergen County Jewish community, the Josephs, who now live in Maryland, near their daughter, will be honored later this year for their activities on behalf of Jewish Educational Services of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey.
"Arthur and Joyce Joseph are among the most generous, community-minded, and hard-working volunteer couples in our community," according to Dr. Wallace Greene, JES director. "They support many Jewish causes, but Jewish education occupies a place of special interest for them. They were responsible for the establishment of JES ‘5 years ago."
Arthur Joseph served as president of JES, which will celebrate its ‘5th anniversary with a dinner at the Jewish Center of Teaneck in November, at which the Josephs will be honored. In addition, he was an active member of the JES advisory board, and, until his accident, was a supporter of Jewish education on the local, national, and international levels, as well.
Joyce served as vice president of the women’s division of UJA, vice president of the sisterhood of the Jewish Center of Teaneack, and president of the women’s division of Israel Bonds in Bergen County, among many other activities.
"They’re both amazing people," note Eva Lynn and Leo Gans, longtime friends and fellow members of the Jewish Center of Teaneck. "They’re at the center of the Jewish universe here. Many of the important things happening in our Jewish community were started by Arthur."
Nor have the Josephs been forgotten by their friends here, she says. "Everyone is always asking me, ‘How are Arthur and Joyce?’" says Eva Lynn Gans. "There’s so much love and care from the community for them. They’re still a part of our community."
The Gans family and Dr. Greene are among the Bergen County friends who have traveled to visit Arthur and Joyce Joseph in Maryland since the accident in ‘006, when their car was hit by a driver backing up on a ramp. Joyce Joseph was originally thought to be the more seriously injured, and was airlifted out to a trauma center. Arthur was released that night, but collapsed a day or two later.
Despite months in a coma, Arthur has recovered sufficiently to occasionally leave the nursing home where he now lives in Potomac, Md. He was well enough to attend and participate in this year’s seder at the home of his daughter, Marcy Markowitz.
"Considering what he’s been through, he’s doing amazingly well," Markowitz says. "He definitely misses his friends, though." She reports that for his birthday this year, she made a little book with pictures of friends, family, and Teaneck. Most of the time he’s in a wheelchair, but uses a walker each day to help regain mobility.
Joyce, now in a Jewish senior living home in Rockville, Md., is fully recovered from her injuries. Markowitz reports that her mother is very active, going on bus trips sponsored by the home and getting involved in other activities. She has been back to Teaneck several times and hopes to attend the dinner in November.
"I’m using a cane, but I get around pretty well," says Joyce. "As for Arthur, he’s a fighter; he doesn’t give in. He’s talking and learning to walk again."
Jacqueline Kates, who with her husband Michael, is chairperson of the JES anniversary dinner, says that the affection for the Josephs is enormous. "This is an opportunity to come together and thank them," she says. "The end result of this fundraising will be the Joyce and Arthur Joseph Endowment for Jewish Education."