When remembering her late friend, Neely Tal Snyder, one particular image of the mother of three stands out to Lisa Bodziner, the executive director of Towson University Hillel.
“She wore this beautiful tallis, and her three girls, they just were always around her, under her tallis,” said Bodziner, a resident of Elkridge and member of Ner Tamid – Greenspring Valley Synagogue, when describing services at her previous synagogue, Netivot Shalom. “All of us are professionals and also mothers, and I just remember seeing her also as such a force as a mother, and I have this visual of her just enraptured with her children under her tallis. I think about her every day.”
In 2015, Snyder was stopped on Route 30 in Reisterstown, waiting to make a left turn onto Mount Gilead Road, when her Hyundai Elantra was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer, the JT reported at the time. She was later declared deceased at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Now, more than six years later, the State Highway Administration has announced it will spend $1 million to create a left-turn lane at that Route 30 intersection where Snyder was fatally hit, according to WMAR.
At the time of her death, Neely was working as a program director at the Pearlstone Center, the JT reported.
When asked about the announcement on the new left turn lane, Jakir Manela, the CEO of Pearlstone and Hazon, expressed his gratitude to those who had worked to improve the safety of that intersection, including The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, the State Highway Administration and Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-10) of the Maryland House of Delegates.
“In the aftermath of this horrific tragedy, we worked hard alongside our friends at the Baltimore Jewish Council to discuss safety improvements with our neighbors and develop consensus on these plans that are now moving forward,” Manela said in an email. “We know this will never bring back our friend and colleague, Neely, but we also know these changes will make our community safer for many years to come.”
Bodziner was also glad to hear the news of the new left turn lane.
“Every time I make that turn I think about [Snyder], and I know so many other people do,” Bodnizer said.
“I know of people [who] have posted, ‘What took so long?’” Bodziner continued. “I think we all just will be so relieved to know that that’s really what the money will be going towards, because it’s scary, it’s a scary turn, and it’s just so critical, because people aren’t looking.”
Bodziner originally met Snyder when they were both members of Netivot Shalom, she said, where Snyder was helping to build a lay-led community. They also worked together at Pearlstone, where Snyder “shadowed” the family program Bodziner was running at the time.
Snyder was also devoted to the LGBTQ community, working to ensure equity and inclusion for all, Bodnizer added.
Bodziner has also been a recipient of the Neely Tal Snyder Community Impact Award, given out by The Darrell D. Friedman Institute. She viewed the award as a way to honor people, like Snyder, who made an impact between different communities.
“Neely was just an incredible force of nature, so wise yet also maternal and had a loving instinct, and also incredibly committed to intellectual honesty and hard work and the community at large,” Bodnizer said.