J Trade




When Ari Feferkorn started Britain’s first Jewish trade show which connects people in the construction and property market with potential customers and employees, he had one goal in mind.

“I wanted to unite the Jewish community through business and connect Jewish people from all backgrounds,” he said from his office in the heart of Stamford Hill.

The second annual J-Trade will take place on July 8 at the ExCeL London. Since the trade show’s debut in May 2018, when 180 Jewish businesses exhibited to an audience of 3,000, Mr Feferkorn has grown the number of businesses exhibiting this year by 100 and is expecting visitors to double.

Outside the 28-year-old's office sits a bright orange Range Rover, branded with the J-Trade logo.

He said he was conscious of the wider community’s impression that the Charedi community, of which he is part of, was inward looking and he wanted to change that.

“I am originally from New York where people across the Jewish community had suppliers they can go to and it didn’t matter what kind of Jew you are, but in the UK I noticed that wasn’t the case.

“If you wanted a builder of anything to do with your construction you had to go outside the community, which is fine, but I wanted to give people the opportunity to support their brothers and sisters because we are all Jewish at the end of the day and uniting the community though business is a good way of bringing people together.”

He said after the show’s first year he had feedback from “people from across the community saying they had met people and picked up business with people they had never met before.

“People from Reform, Liberal, United and Charedi communities were all under one roof doing business. Men and women you name it, it was bringing people together that don’t normally get to meet.”

Mr Feferkorn, who left a job as a butcher at 24 to start his own construction company, said: “There are lots of things that divide us as a community, but when people meet each other more often than not they get along and I want to focus on that. We are a small community and we can’t afford to lose each other.”

He said he had to teach himself English because it was not something he learnt at his Strictly Orthodox school, and believes his positive attitude to the religious diversity within the Jewish community is more common among Charedim from his generation.

“It might be different for older generations but I am on the committee of my children’s school and I understand that they need to learn English and I think that is great. We want more people in our community working and off benefits and J-Trade is a great place to find work.”

Mr Feferkorn, whose grandfather is Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, the rabbinical head of the Stamford Hill-based Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, said he has enjoyed touring the community to tell them about J-Trade.

He said: “I went to the Saatchi Synagogue St Johns Wood last Shabbat and I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous. I thought they would be snobby about me but they were lovely and so warm and welcoming.”

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