Community service and leadership is nothing new for Eitan Snyder, community engagement associate for The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville. He comes from a family with a long history of volunteerism and service. In fact, his parents met through United Jewish Appeal’s Young Leadership Cabinet. “You might say I literally owe my life to Jewish Federation,” he says. Since those early years, both parents have been involved in a variety of leadership roles in the Greater Washington Jewish community including his father’s 20 years of service on the national board of AIPAC.
And now, Snyder is carrying on that family tradition through his work and as a young community leader. Snyder was recently chosen to participate in Nashville’s Young Leaders Council, an organization founded more than 35 years ago to train and foster a new generation of nonprofit leaders. The cohort of 120 participants represents a broad cross section of corporate, civic, and volunteer backgrounds. The program includes weekly trainings and culminates in a year-long internship at a nonprofit organization.
Snyder says what is most significant is the network of people who are dedicated to giving back to the community. “The participants represent the exact intersection of people I don’t currently know,” says Snyder, “There are people beyond the Jewish community in areas like healthcare, and other fields.”
In total, 3,000 young leaders have participated in the program, including Hayley Levy, board member for The Jewish Federation. She says, “I learned so much from participating in Young Leaders Coucil a few years ago. YLC encouraged me as a young leader to get involved and give back to the wider community. I believe I was the only Jewish participant in my cohort. I was honored to nominate Eitan to participate in the program. I hope other Jewish young professionals will apply and participate in the future.”
Snyder was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area and graduated from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. While there, he was a student leader at the university’s Hillel organization. After graduation, he worked at the University of Southern California Hillel Foundation as one of Hillel International’s Springboard Ezra Fellows for Jewish Education. While there, he developed an internship program for nine student engagement interns that engaged over 200 students, including starting a Persian Club of Hillel. Also, during his tenure at USC, Hillel saw a 57% increase in student engagement, and was awarded a Top 5 for highest growth in engagement worldwide.
One of the highlights of the program is the internship opportunity. Snyder says, “I am excited to learn more about how to be a board member, and in turn, how to manage board members in my role with Federation.” He is looking forward to bringing Federation to the table at YLC and says, “I am honored to participate and can’t wait share my experiences with our community.”