Judith G. Joseph, 70, an attorney who aided domestic abuse victims

Judith G. Joseph
Judith G. Joseph
Posted: March 02, 2014

Judith Goldstein Joseph, 70, a former Philadelphia lawyer who worked to help victims of domestic abuse, died Friday, Feb. 21, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at her home in North Hero, Vt.

The Philadelphia native was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a master's degree in library science from Drexel University and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law.

She worked as a librarian at the Library of Congress and then La Salle University. After graduating from law school, she joined her husband, lawyer Ben W. Joseph, in private practice in Philadelphia. During that time, she helped to found Women Against Abuse, an organization that started Philadelphia's first shelter for battered women.

The family moved to Vermont in 1991, where her career continued to flourish and he became a judge. She worked at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, Women Helping Battered Women, in Burlington, and then became a deputy state attorney in Franklin County prosecuting crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Her eloquence, perceptiveness and diplomatic skills made her well-suited for the difficult work that brought her into contact with people from all walks of life.

"She was extremely good at getting along with a lot of people," said her husband of 50 years. "She was just a modest person, not at all full of herself. She was unassuming and direct."

Ms. Joseph later became coordinator for the Vermont Network Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. She was a lifelong member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, served three years as copresident of the Jane Addams Peace Association, and was a volunteer attorney at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Center.

Her husband said she had gift for friendship. Tributes, he said, had poured in after news of her death circulated.

Besides her husband, she is survived by a son, David; daughter, Anna; a cousin she helped to raise, Claire Olivia Moed; five grandchildren; and two nieces and a nephew.

At Ms. Joseph's request, there will be no funeral service. A memorial will be held this spring.

Donations may be made to Women Helping Battered Women, 279 N. Winooski Ave., Burlington, Vt. 05401, or the Jane Addams Peace Association, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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