Massel was a pioneer in the promotion of Hebrew as the national language, publishing works by Israel Cohen and Harry Sacher among others. He wrote Hebrew poems and translated English classics into Hebrew, including Milton’s Samon Agonistes, Longfellow’s Judas Maccabaeus and Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam. He also spent two years preparing a unique collection of 94 portraits called A Gallery of Hebrew Poets; 1725–1903.
By the time Chaim Weizmann arrived in Manchester in 1904, Massel was living in a small street of the lower end of Cheetham Hill Road (where his Hebrew printing works was based) across from Red Bank and not far from the Central Synagogue. He was much part of Manchester’s Zionist community and was a vice-president of the Manchester Zionist Association. At that time he was the only person Weizmann knew in Manchester.
Massel attended the First Zionist Congress (Basle, 1897) and had probably met Weizmann at the Second Zionist Congress (Basle, 1898). Showing Weizmann hospitality he never forgot, Massel collected him from the train station, put him up for the night and arranged lodgings for him the next day. Massel also introduced Weizmann to Charles Dreyfus. Weizmann was later to refer to Massel as a "veritable angel" and described his Friday evening visits to the Massel household as "the highlights of my life".
- Rottenberg, Dan (1986). Finding Our Fathers: A Guidebook to Jewish Genealogy, Genealogical Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8063-1151-7, p. 285.
- Manchester´s Jewish Museum, accessed, 9 September 2007.
- Sokolow, Nahum (2001). History of Zionism (1600-1918). Volume 2. Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 0-543-96871-5, p. 350.
- Sokolow, Nahum (2001). History of Zionism (1600-1918). Volume 1. Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 1-4212-2861-0, p. 41.
- Bibliothèque nationale (1981).Catalogue général des livres imprimés de la Bibliothèque nationale, p. 235.
- Singerman, Robert (2002). Jewish Translation History: A Bibliography of Bibliographies and Studies, John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 90-272-1650-9, p.302.
- Joseph Massel, accessed 9 September 2007.
- The Gentleman's Magazine, v.302-303 (1907). January–September
- Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana (1967). Studia Rosenthaliana, Van Gorcum, p. 99.
- Weizmann, Chaim (1949). Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weizmann, Harper, p. 95.
- Rabinowicz, Oskar Kwasnik (1952). Fifty Years of Zionism. R. Anscombe, p. 61.
- Razzūq, Asʻad (1970). Greater Israel: A Study in Zionist Expansionist Thought. Palestine Liberation Organization, Research Center, p. 120.