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Times Will Tell

Podcast: Actor on the spectrum seeks job through reality show

Bryan Friedland, a 38-year-old Jerusalemite on the autism spectrum, talks about his experience participating in ‘Tnu L’avod’ on Israeli TV

Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel. This week, we’re speaking with Bryan Friedland, an actor on the autism spectrum who recently participated in Kan 11 reality show, “Tnu L’avod,” (“Let Us Work”).

The show, which aired in August, comprises four episodes about nine people with neurological and cognitive differences. All nine want to integrate into the Israeli workplace, and engage in a months-long process to find their way toward jobs and acceptance in Israeli society.

Friedland, who appears in the fourth episode, speaks frankly with us about the process of participating in the show, which followed him as he worked for months with a social worker and coach to figure out which jobs best suit his skills.

More importantly, he said, the process helped him navigate the complicated emotional and cognitive challenges of his life, along with his desire for acceptance and a life of meaning.

Friedland, who lives in a Jerusalem group home, has spent the past 11 years working at Shekel, an organization for people with special needs, where he created candles in a protected workshop.

Bryan Friedland, an actor on the autism spectrum, made candles in a Shekel workshop for 11 years, prior to appearing in ‘Tnu L’avod,” a TV reality show about people with disabilities finding work (Courtesy Kan 11)

He’s also an experienced actor and singer, and has performed extensively in musicals and plays for local community theater groups, which led to a new spate of work as a playacting tour guide for the Montefiore windmill tourist site in Jerusalem.

Bryan Friedland, an actor on the autism spectrum, found work as a tourist site actor through his participation in ‘Tnu L’avod,” a reality show (Courtesy Kan 11)

Friedland appeared in a fifth and final update episode of “Tnu L’avod” on September 2, which featured all nine participants, showing where they are six months after the reality show ended.

Times Will Tell podcasts are available for download on iTunesTuneIn, Pocket CastsStitcher, PlayerFM or wherever you get your podcasts.

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