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1. What attracted you to begin working with Tribe?
To be honest, I had never planned on it! Whilst I was in my final year of study for my bachelor’s degree, I was youth director in Muswell Hill United synagogue and became involved in Tribe through that. Towards the end of the year they invited me to join their central team and I’ve been there ever since.
That said, I am so glad I decided to give it a go. The United synagogue (in the UK this is the main orthodox body)has values that I really identify with – we’re authentic, inclusive and modern. We provide a vibrant Jewish infrastructure for our membership of just under 100,000 Jews of the 270,000 in the UK.

2. How does Jewish life differ in the USA versus the UK?
Here in the UK the Jewish community is significantly smaller. As such, the community is more close-knit and tends to be situated in small pockets. The demographics are largely the same as in the USA and in recent years our rates of intermarriage are beginning to match those over the pond. This means there’s a lot of work for us to do.
One great advantage we have is that because most Jews are members of United Synagogue, even if they are not practicing, non-orthodox conversions tend to be less common and it’s much easier for us to substantiate peoples’ Jewish identities.

3. What are you most looking forward to at YouthCon?
I’m keen to meet like-minded professionals from the United States and further afield to share ideas and best practice.  I am sure I will learn a tremendous amount and am looking forward.

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A born & bred Londoner, Avi studied for two years at Yeshivat HaHesder Yerucham before reading History of Art in University College London. Having sat for a year as a Nivchar Hanhallah for Bnei Akiva, Avi served as Tribe youth worker in Muswell Hill and thereby began his career to date with Tribe. Avi is the Tribe / US Living & Learning Programmes Manager, providing educational content for young people of all ages and across our 64 shuls.
Avi also lectures in Jewish philosophy and runs training for Jewish educators across London.

Check out his website: http://www.tribeuk.com

Follow him on Twitter: @avifriedmann

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