Sydney Murray “Syd” Schneide


On Dec. 22, Sydney Murray “Syd” Schneider (Zalman Moshe ben Yitzhak Hakohen) of Potomac, Md., passed away after a battle with cancer. Syd was born on Feb. 8, 1942, to Isadore and Sarah Koors Schneider of Paterson, N.J.

He was active in Jewish youth groups and his high school marching band and was interested in science from a young age. He received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. in Physics from NYU while serving in Army ROTC. He was stationed at Ft. Meade and served for three years on a detail assignment to NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. He was honorably discharged as a Captain and was immediately hired by Ensco, Inc., in Springfield, Va., where he would spend the next 50 years.

He initially conducted research and development in support of the Department of Defense and eventually moved into management, serving as the director of safety and security, leading special projects for the company president, and finally serving as the director of his company’s retirement plan. He retired in 2020, and continued on as a contractor, up until his passing. Syd and his wife, Ilene, were founding members and leaders of the Potomac Orthodox Jewish community, with Syd serving as the President of Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah four times, along with numerous other leadership roles.

He is remembered by his fellow board members and congregants as being a dedicated, honorable and highly capable leader. He is also remembered by his family and friends as being a knowledgeable and enthusiastic conversationalist on all subjects; a humble man who never chased the spotlight and a warm and loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.

Syd was passionate about music, theater and travel, and shared those passions with his beloved wife.

He was predeceased by his parents, Isadore and Sarah Schneider and his sister, Joan Godt. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ilene, their children Abby and Alex Engel, and their children, Tova (Shauli), Bentzi (Gabriella), Rena, Mindy (Zach), Dovid; Sarah Cohen and her children with Shane Cohen, Avi, Estie, Yonah, Rachel, Tehilla; Darren and Sara Schneider and their children, Eliezer, Ariella, and Zacky. He is also survived by two sisters, Ava (Ken) Cohn of Las Vegas and Heide Fuchs of Baltimore. Incredibly, his first great grandchild, Sophia Leah, was born just 11 minutes before his passing, and is named in his memory.

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