Reuven Schiff was born in February 1926 in Toronto to Sarah and Moshe. At the age of 17 during World War II, he wanted to enlist in the army. Because he was underage, he changed his date of birth and forged his father's signature and was able to join. As part of his service he was sent to Europe as a sergeant machine gunner in the infantry. He participated in the triumphs and the conquests of war, was wounded in Germany and discharged in 1945. He returned to Canada and worked for a while in his brother's restaurant.
He came to Israel late in 1947 was one of the crew of the illegal ship "Geula." Captured by the British and interned on Cyprus, he escaped on the way to the detention camp at Atlit. In January 1948, he was accepted to Kibbutz Ma'ayan Baruch, during those difficult days of fighting in the Galilee. He remained on the kibbutz, where he bonded both with place and the people. His friends there nicknamed him “Red.”
Reuven fell in the attack on Bir Abu-Jabar in the Negev on July 17, 1948, and was buried at Kibbutz Ruchama. His name is inscribed on the memorial at Maayan Baruch.
On May 16, 1950 he was re-interred in his final resting place in the military cemetery in Nachlat Yitzhak.