Joseph (Jay) Schneider was born on May 1, 1960 in New York to Pinhas (Paul) and Sarah. Following high school (1976), he joined the US Marines and was discharged in June 1977.
In 1979 he decided to lead a religious life and to make aliya. In April he began studying Hebrew at the Ulpan on Kibbutz Yavneh. Although he did not complete his studies, he remained on the kibbutz as a volunteer.
In July 1979, Jay received citizenship and in November he was drafted into the IDF, serving in the Golani Brigade. On March 9, 1980 he fell while on active duty. He was buried in the Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv.