Rabbi Friedman and his wife, Hannah
The 31-year-old was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York, in June. Before moving to Oxford he served as a hospital chaplain, a synagogue intern and a campus rabbinical intern at Washington University and New York University. His wife Hannah is a social worker and received her Master’s degree from Hunter College, New York, in 2006.
● Tell us about your region
We have been here since early September. Oxford University has around 400 students registered with JSoc and Oxford Brookes has around 50.
● What are the most common issues you deal with?
Our main goal as chaplains is to provide unconditional support to the Jewish students on our campuses. We want them to feel that our home is their home no matter what their Jewish background or affiliation. Through chaplaincy we’re able to provide a variety of educational and social activities open to all Jewish students. We also offer pastoral care for the students when crises occur, whether it be an individual’s own personal struggles or one that is affecting the entire community, such as hostility towards Israel.
● What events do you organise?
We hold several ‘lunch and learns’ during the week, in-depth text studies and classes for all Jewish backgrounds. We also offer Shabbat and festival meals, barbecues, a women’s Rosh Chodesh group, and even Thanksgiving dinner for American Jews studying here. We have spent the past few weeks having lots of drinks with a variety of students from around the world. I hugged every man that got an aliyah — somehow you Brits find that quite amusing.
● How can students contact you?
They can call my mobile on 07717 742 835. Our website is http://oxfordchap.weebly.com/