Eight Communities, One Voice
Ohio Governor John R. Kasich:
“The passing of Joyce Garver Keller is a deep personal loss for me and for so many others in Ohio who valued her friendship and have long admired her leadership,” Kasich said. “I will forever be grateful for her essential role in helping make the Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial a reality. Her dedication to the Jewish community, as well as her understanding of the importance of leading lives of commitment to values larger than ourselves, is a model for us all.”
U.S. Senator Rob Portman:
“Joyce was a true friend and a tireless advocate for the Jewish community, our state and our country. She was a special leader whose advice I relied on for matters ranging from the US-Israel relationship to combating human trafficking and many others. She was wise, compassionate and personified the beautiful Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam, to repair the world. My condolences to everyone whose life she touched. She will be missed. May her memory be a blessing.”
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown:
“Joyce dedicated her career to strengthening families and their communities,” Brown said. “Her commitment to advocacy and justice was unwavering and, through her work with Ohio Jewish Communities, she touched many lives. Connie and I extend our deepest sympathies to her family and to everyone touched by her life and legacy.”
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel:
“Joyce Garver Keller was a strong leader for the Ohio Jewish Communities and I’m saddened by her passing. Her work played an important role in Columbus and throughout the state. She will be greatly missed and I send my deepest condolences to her family.”
State Representative Kent Smith:
“I was very sorry to hear of the loss of Joyce Garver Keller. Her passing is a loss for the Jewish community and the entire state of Ohio. Her hard work was well known and greatly appreciated.”
State Representative Mike Curtin:
“Joyce was a passionate advocate, certainly for the well-being of Jewish communities, but also for the civic good at all levels. She worked hard, respected differing viewpoints, and possessed a first-rate sense of humor. She will be missed.”
State Representative David Leland:
“For over 40 years, my family and I were lucky enough to count Joyce as a friend, and I had the privilege of working with this passionate activist for many years as well. Joyce’s work to advance the cause of the Jewish people in Ohio and around the world resulted in a legacy that is unmatched. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched, and her legacy lives on in the lives of those who have benefited from her work.”
Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger:
“I am incredibly saddened to have learned of the passing of my dear friend, Joyce Garver Keller. There was no stronger advocate on behalf of the Ohio Jewish community than Joyce. I’ll miss her greatly, but I know that her legacy of tireless work and her heart for service will never be forgotten. My deepest condolences go out to her family during this difficult time. God’s great speed, Joyce.”
Ohio Senate President Keith Faber:
"Joyce was a tireless, passionate community leader who valued service above self. A friend to many in the Statehouse, her leadership and devotion to others will be greatly missed. It was a privilege to have worked with her throughout the years, and I offer my deepest sympathies to her family. Our lives are enriched for having been touched by hers.”
Congressman Tim Ryan:
“Joyce Garver Keller was a tireless advocate for Ohio and the Jewish community. Throughout her 25 years of distinguished service she always prioritized results over public acclaim. I was honored to work closely with Joyce over the years during my time in Congress and I will miss her passion and her good cheer. Ohio was lucky to have her and her drive. My thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”
Congressman Steve Stivers:
"I was saddened to hear of the passing of Joyce Garver Keller. She was a good friend and colleague who passionately represented the Jewish community in Ohio and advocated for all through her organization’s good works and services. She has left a meaningful legacy.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her husband Steven, their children and grandchildren.”
Congressman Bob Gibbs:
"I have known Joyce Garver Keller for many years going back to my time as a State Representative. Joyce was kind yet tenacious. She fought very hard for OJC and their mission, making sure every elected official in Ohio knew how important of an ally Israel is to the United States. Joyce was a friend to me and many. She will be deeply missed.”
Congressman Pat Tiberi:
"My prayers are with Joyce and her family. She was a remarkable friend who had such an outgoing and loving personality. She brought joy, compassion and strength everywhere she went and she served the Jewish community with such dedication. I am forever grateful for her years of service to our state. She will be terribly missed. Rest in peace."
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty:
"I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of my good friend, and friend to many in Central Ohio, Joyce Garver Keller. As Executive Director of Ohio Jewish Communities, and even in retirement, Joyce worked tirelessly to strengthen our community and improve the lives of all people. She will always be remembered for her lifelong commitment to her family and her community. To my dear friend, I say thank you for making the world a better place."
Rabbi A.D. Motzen, National Director of State Relations & Rabbi Yitz Frank, Ohio Director, Agudath Israel of America:
Agudath Israel of America mourns the loss of former executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, Joyce Garver Keller. As an observer organization of Ohio Jewish Communities, Agudath Israel, together with its professional and lay leadership, worked closely with Joyce for many years. Joyce taught us a lot about Jewish and Ohio politics, but also how to stay above politics. Joyce showed us how to passionately advocate for a cause, while earning respect from elected officials on both sides of an issue.
Joyce’s weekly reports always ended with the same message from Isaiah 62:1. “For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest.” For 25 years and even beyond retirement, Joyce was not silent. Joyce did not rest.
May Joyce’s husband Steven and her entire family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Robin Schatz, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia:
“There are almost no words to describe Joyce Garver Keller. Passionate, smart and focused, she was the ultimate advocate, a giant in the field (or as I liked to call her, the Empress of Advocacy). I was fortunate to meet her early in my career as a Jewish professional, having spent many years in government, and blessed to call her mentor and friend. I remember how effectively she worked a room, and can still hear her voice as she approached an elected official with a smile and a firm handshake: ‘Hi, Congressman/Senator. I’m Joyce Garver Keller from Ohio Jewish Communities, and I’d like to thank you for your continued support of our community.’ Or ‘Israel is the key issue, but not the only issue.’ Smart, funny and kind, Joyce was one in a million. I am grateful to have had her in my life, and weep for her loss.”
William Daroff, SR Vice President for Public Policy & Director of the Washington Office, Jewish Federations of North America:
Click here to read William’s statement