David Soyfer was born in 1930 in Berdychiv. His father, a kosher butcher, was also born in Berdichev and his mother was born in a village near Zhytomyr. He grew up with one brother. During the Famine, he moved to the village to live with his grandmother on a collective farm. In 1939, he returned to Berdichev to live with his father. During the war, he evacuated to the northern Caucasus, and then to Kazakhstan. In 1950, after his return to Berdichev, he was drafted into the Red Army for three and a half years. After his service, he worked as a cooper for thirty-five years. His has one daughter, who lives in Berdychiv.