“Only three of our ancestors are called the Avos, and these are Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.” The Shevatim are not considered our Avos even if one comes from a direct lineage from the Shevet. The reason for this is because every Jew has a spiritual inheritance received from our forefathers. This applies at all times, in each Jew and in every generation, each person on their level. The tribal leaders however do not impart a spiritual inheritance in every Jew and rather do so only to select individuals.
 Torah Or Vaeira 55a