As a child, he lived in the Ezrat Yisrael neighborhood near the corner of Jaffa Road and King George Street. Until the age of 18, he had a religious education, studying at yeshiva and beth midrash. After graduating from the "Ezra" teachers seminary in Jerusalem, he began working, in both a teaching and administrative capacity, in various schools affiliated to the Zionist Organization.
During World War I, Burla served in the Turkish army as an interpreter, and following the war, he taught in the Hebrew school in Damascus, where he lived for five years.
He continued teaching until 1944, when he starting working in the public sector and was at one stage Head of the Arab Department of the Histadrut. Yehuda Burla Street, the main thoroughfare in Jerusalem"s Nayot neighborhood, was named for him.