Rabbi Yossi Friedman was born and raised in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and was involved in communal work from a very young age. He served as ‘Shamash’ (beadle) at South Head Synagogue from the age of 6 and would walk around, welcoming everyone into the Synagogue. At that early age he also played a key role in the leading of services and was the key soloist during the Shabbat and High Holiday services. He completed his schooling at Sydney Boys’ High school in 2003 and graduated from the University of NSW in 2006 with a Commerce Degree. He undertook study at Rabbinical Colleges in Australia and Israel and obtained his Semicha (ordination) in 2008.
In that same year Rabbi Yossi introduced the first communal Passover Seder to Bali, Indonesia for 100 Jews and made all the provisioning and logistical arrangements needed for this festive occasion. In 2009, following his marriage to Chana Raizel, he spent nine months in Israel furthering his studies before undertaking the appointment as Youth Rabbi of Sydney’s Central Synagogue, where they served for three years.
Rabbi Yossi was appointed Rabbi of Cremorne Synagogue in 2012, and arranged many social, educational and festive activities for its diverse membership. During this time, levels of engagement peaked and the community grew by over 25 percent. It was during this time in 2013, that Rabbi Yossi became a Chaplain to the Royal Australian Air Force, and he holds the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
In June 2015, Rabbi Yossi accepted the position of Chief Minister at The Kingsford Maroubra Hebrew Congregation and College Rabbi to Mount Sinai College. Together with his wife Chana Raizel and three children, they bring much enthusiasm, warmth and flair to Synagogue services and have grown the membership and attendance levels significantly since their arrival.
Maroubra Shul is not just a place of prayer. It is a communal centre that offers something meaningful and engaging for those of all ages and observance levels. Inside of our walls people gather to celebrate and to mourn. We come together to learn and to know, to live and to grow. I see our Shul as that hub of Jewish life – that home – where every Jewish person can enter and feel welcomed and connected to their people and its history.
Thank G-d I have been blessed to marry my dear wife, Chana Raizel and we have three children, Penina Leah, Dovi and Yehuda Isaac. They have already come to love the shul and can’t wait to come with me each week.
Each week I share some insight from our heritage, and observations of how it relates to what is happening in our community, in Israel or around the world. You can view them here.
As a Rabbi there are some things I get asked regularly, from how to be Kosher, to what do I do to prepare for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah to other questions about morality and issues of social interest. I also get asked for recommendations to various other services, ranging from Kosher caterers to support services. You can view my top tips and picks here, or send me a question to answer.
Aside from regular services and large communal events, I arrange a number of smaller learning opportunities, catering for different levels of knowledge and understanding.