Yosef was born in 1910 in Izmir, Turkey, to Avraham and Esther. He was known as Yosef the Turk. He made aliyah illegally in 1930. He fled from Turkey to avoid military service there. He worked in the orchards, in construction and at odd jobs.

When the riots began in 1936, he was a Hagana member in Nahariya. In 1937, he left the Hagana and joined the IZL. He was sent to serve in the Beitar recruitment company in Ekron, with responsibility for the army. When the IZL split in 1940, he joined Lehi.

In 1941, he was arrested in Tel Aviv due to informers. He was imprisoned in Jaffa, Jerusalem, Mizra and Latrun. He was counted with the first group of 251 prisoners exiled to Africa by the British on 19 October 1944, and he was held in Sembel (near Asmara, Eritrea), Carthago (Sudan), back in Eritrea and finally in Gilgil (Kenya).

He was returned with the last of the exiles on 12 July 1948, after seven years of imprisonment in the Land of Israel and abroad.

In the War of Independence, he joined the IDF and served in the canteen. After the Sinai War, he was discharged with the rank of sergeant.

In 1949, he married Rachel Tzarfati and they raised a family. He worked in construction. From 1966 on, until the age of 90, he worked at the Dahaf advertising agency in Tel Aviv.

Yosef has a son and numerous grandchildren.