Ovadya (Abdallah in his native Bagdad) Yoseph's lasting legacy is the creation of the ultra-orthodox educational system of the Oriental Jews in Israel, where thousands of children are socialized into the religious "Sepharadi" way of life. He did it by the way of politics, establishing the Shas party and conquering the Ministry of Interior's budgets. The other lasting legacy is the import of one hundred thousand Ethiopians in Israel by declaring them, alone and against everybody's opinion, kosher Jews. The Jerusalem Post tells the story:
The Ethiopian-Jews' chief rabbi, Yosef Hadana, Rabbi Yosef's student, immigrated to Israel in 1972 and witnessed the process the rabbi underwent before the ruling.
"First of all he studied the subject thoroughly. He listened to tourists who visited Ethiopia and learned rabbinical opinions and asked us, members of the community. One night he called me after midnight and wanted to hear word-for-word what community members said at wedding ceremonies. By that time he was close to the community. When four guys arrived in Israel with a temporary visa and received expulsion notices, we hid them. The rabbi said: 'Bring them to me' and he converted them. He promptly produced a certificate of approval and they got oleh papers. After that, he issued the ruling."