Yosef was born in 1929 in Tel Aviv to Rachel and Moshe. The father, Moshe, sixth generation in the Land of Israel, graduate of the Kol Israel Haverim — Alliance School in Tel Aviv, was one of the first people to work for the Municipality of Tel Aviv, working together with Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of the city. The mother was born in Cairo, daughter of a rabbi in one of the city’s synagogues. The atmosphere in the family was Religious Zionist, for Yosef and his two sisters.
Yosef studied in Tel Aviv, from elementary school to the Balfour Gymnasium. He was part of the Young Maccabi youth movement. In 1947, he was recruited to Lehi by friends who presented the principles of the movement to him, which did not contradict his family’s worldview. In the movement, he trained with firearms, took ideological courses, and like all youths, he put up posters.
Before the establishment of the State, Yosef’s connection to the underground weakened. Thus, when other Lehi members enlisted in the IDF, he did not; rather, he responded to a draft notice and was placed in 7th Brigade. He finished his service with the rank of sergeant.
In 1962, he married Malka Cordoba, educational director in the Museum of the Land of Israel in Tel Aviv. They have four children and numerous grandchildren.
Yosef worked for the Tel Aviv Municipality, becoming its official documentary photographer. Photography was a love of his from 1947 until he retired in 1994, continuing the family tradition. Like his father, he retired after many years of working for the municipality. (His sister Aviva was also a department director in the Tel Aviv Municipality.) After his retirement, Yosef worked part-time as for the Tel Aviv Development Fund. In his free time, he continued to pursue documentary photography and other types as well. He listened to classical music and loved Israeli poetry.
He maintained a traditional, nationalist home. His son, who spent many years in the United States, completing a master’s degree in social work, returned to Israel and went to work as a social worker in the Tel Aviv Municipality.