Eli Lejeune was born in 1935 in Lisbon, Portugal and grew up in Port Said, Egypt. His father was appointed Rabbi of Port Said and he remembers a happy childhood. Just before his Bar Mitzvah Eli’s father was jailed for 44 days without a trial or without formal charges. He was later released when authorities saw that he was not involved in politics. Shortly after this, the family left to Singapore, where Eli's father became Rabbi. Eli moved to England in 1966 to pursue a degree in Law at Sheffield University.