Tsilia Khaiut was born in 1917 in Mohyliv-Podilskyy. Her father, also from Mohyliv-Podilskyy, was a cobbler. Her mother came from the Bessarabian region, near Mykolaiv. She attended two Yiddish schools and finished her education in 1934. She had two sisters and a brother. She survived the war in the Mohyliv-Podilskyy ghetto and a concentration camp in Transnistria.