Meet newcomer, Jordan Schindler, another L.A. transplant!
Welcome to the Observer's monthly Newcomer Column! Every month, we will be featuring one of our Nashville Jewish Newcomers so you can get to know them and their dynamic, engaging stories. One of my favorite parts of my job as the Federation's Newcomer Engagement Associate is connecting with the newcomers and bringing them into Nashville's Jewish community through our Newcomer Shabbat dinners, Newcomer Welcome Receptions, and connecting them with community members and organizations who can help them feel like they belong here. We hope you enjoy reading these and give every newcomer you meet a smile and a warm Nashville welcome!
If you would like to be part of the Federation's work welcoming new Jewish Nashvillians to our community or have an idea of something else we could be doing, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-354-1664.
Introducing: Jordan Schindler
· Tell us your story. Where are you from? How did you end up in Nashville?
Moving to Nashville was never part of my grand plan. I was born-and-raised in the Philly suburbs, attended Temple University, then post-graduation, headed west to pursue TV writing. Long story short, it didn’t happen overnight. Actually, it didn’t even happen in the first five years. Doors would open occasionally, but just a crack. Like enough for a pinky toe, not an entire foot. Finally, I managed to kick one down in 2015 when I co-created Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical, a stage adaptation of the iconic 1999 film, which paved the way for opportunities 15-year-old me could’ve only dreamed of. But after a decade under the influence of LA and a pandemic, I found myself desperately needing a change of scenery. I was writing remotely on a Netflix series and I knew people here — so I packed up my things and set off on a new adventure. I haven’t regretted it for a second.
· What has your Jewish story been like up to this point? How did you get involved with Nashville's Jewish community?
Well, I grew up in a conservative Jewish household. I’m the only one out of three kids to attend Hebrew school through confirmation. My parents would joke that they thought I might become a rabbi, but admittedly, I did lose touch with my faith upon moving to LA. I wasn’t as active in the Jewish community as I wanted to be, probably because I was hyper-focused on my career. When I decided to move to Nashville, I made a promise to myself that I’d change that. In a hilarious turn of events, I met a man named Richard Schindler (no relation, but I do have an Uncle Richie of my own) while buying a new car. Richard put me in touch with the Jewish Federation and here we are.
· How has your experience been in Nashville so far? Any notable memories or experiences?
I love Nashville. The food, the people, the music… I’m very fortunate as some of my best friends made the move from LA before I did, meaning I didn’t have to start over from scratch. I really have the best of both worlds here and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. It already feels like home.
· What do you love about being Jewish?
I love being Jewish because it makes me feel like I’m a part of something greater — and that strong connection has helped me stay grounded through life’s many challenges. For 10+ years, I lived 3,000-ish miles away from my family, so keeping our Jewish traditions alive also kept me connected to them as well.
· What do you love about being Jewish in Nashville?
September marks my one-year anniversary of moving to Nashville, and while I haven’t been here long enough to have fully immersed myself in the Jewish community, I’m eager to get back to being an active part of one, like I was growing up. I have to shout out to Eitan Snyder and the other wonderful folks at the Jewish Federation for welcoming me with open arms.
· What does the next year look like for you? Is there anything that you are still looking to do or experience in Nashville?
I’m really looking forward to contributing to Nashville’s small-but-growing theatre community in some way. I love producing live entertainment and hope to collaborate with venues across town to bring more musicals to Music City. Aside from that, you can find me exploring TN with my 3-year-old goldendoodle Coach, eating all the BBQ, and waiting for My Life with the Walter Boys, which I wrote on, to hit Netflix sometime next year.