Youth movement aims to 'fill gap in the market' in Herts provision

First meeting of Watford BBYO group will be on Sunday


BBYO is setting up a new chapter in Watford to fill what its leaders believe is “a gap in the market for Jewish youth provision”.

Regional BBYO director Adam Nickels sees potential in the Hertfordshire town, where the 2011 Census recorded a Jewish population of just over 1,000. “We’re always looking to find new areas,” he told the JC.

“Sizes of communities aren’t that important to us. As long as there is a Jewish community, there is a need for a youth movement like BBYO to be there.”

On learning that Watford Synagogue wanted to provide activities for its teenage congregants, Mr Nickels “ran an information evening for families in the community. The room was completely full.”

As there is no Jewish secondary school in the immediate vicinity, Mr Nickels said many parents — some of them BBYO alumni — wanted something to “re-engage” their children in Jewish life.

A Watford Synagogue representative added: “For many years, the youth were catered for by brownies, cubs, Tribe and cheder. But more recently there has been a demand for something different. Watford is a very diverse community and has embraced a youth group which is not overly religious and will cater for all Jews, not just members of the US.”

The first meeting of the new group is scheduled for Sunday.

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