|263,346 (2011 Census)|
Core Jewish population (2018):
Enlarged Jewish population (includes non-Jewish relatives of Jews) (2018):
|Regions with significant populations|
|Greater London (especially North London), Hertfordshire, south-west Essex, Brighton and Hove, Greater Manchester, Gateshead, Leeds, Greater Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, Edgbaston|
|Primarily English; also Hebrew, historically Spanish and Portuguese among Sephardim, Yiddish primarily among Haredi Jews, Amharic among Beta Israel, Arabic among Yemeni Jews, Marathi among Bene Israel, Russian among Ashkenazim, French among more recent French Jewish immigration.|
|Judaism, or irreligion|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Part of a series on|
|Jews and Judaism|
British Jews (often referred to collectively as British Jewry or Anglo-Jewry) are British citizens who identify as Jewish. The number of people who identified as Jews in England and Wales rose slightly between 2001 and 2011, with the growth being attributed to the higher birth rate of the haredi community.
The first recorded Jewish community in Britain was brought to England in 1070 by King William the Conqueror, who believed that what he assumed to be its commercial skills would make his newly won country more prosperous. Two hundred years later, the Jews were no longer welcome. On 16 March 1190, in the run up to the Third Crusade, the Jewish population of York was massacred at the site where Clifford's Tower now stands,and King Edward I of England passed the Statute of the Jewry (Statutum de Judaismo) in 1275, restricting the community's activities, most notably outlawing the practice of usury (charging interest). When, 15 years later, Edward found that many of these provisions were ignored, he expelled the Jews from England. They emigrated to countries such as Poland which protected them by law. A small English community persisted in hiding despite the expulsion. Jews were not banned from Scotland, which until 1707 was an independent kingdom.
In 1656, Oliver Cromwell made it clear that the ban on Jewish settlement in England and Wales would no longer be enforced, although when Rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel brought a petition to allow Jews to return, the majority of the Protectorate Government turned it down. Gradually Jews eased back into England, first visiting for trade, then staying longer periods, and finally bringing their families. In mid-nineteenth century Ireland, then ruled by the British, Daniel O'Connell, known as "The Liberator" for his work on Catholic Emancipation, worked successfully for the repeal of the "De Judaismo" law, which prescribed a special yellow badge for Jews.Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), of Jewish birth although he joined the Church of England, served in government for three decades, twice as prime minister.
The oldest Jewish community in Britain is the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community, which traces back to the 1630s, and was unofficially legitimised in 1656, the date counted by the Jewish community as the re-admittance of the Jews to England (which at the time included Wales). A trickle of Ashkenazi immigration primarily from German countries continued from the late 17th century to the early 19th century, before a second wave of Ashkenazi immigration, a large wave of Ashkenazi Jewish immigration fleeing persecution in the Russian Empire, such as pogroms and the May Laws between 1880 and the imposition of tighter immigration restrictions in 1905. Many German and Polish Jews seeking to escape the Nazi Holocaust arrived in Britain before and after the Second World War. [ better source needed ] Around 80-90% of British Jews today are Ashkenazi.
Following decolonisation, the late twentieth century saw Yemeni Jews, Iraqi Jews and Baghdadi Jews settle in the United Kingdom.A multicultural community, in 2006, British Jews celebrated the 350th anniversary of the resettlement in England.
|Source: * 2001 & 2011 figures based on respective censuses|
The Jewish population of England was 500,000 at the beginning of World War II.
According to the 2011 census, 263,346 people answered "Jewish" to the voluntary question on religion, compared with 259,927 in the previous count of 2001. However, this final figure is considered an undercount. Demographers David Graham and Stanley Waterman give several reasons: the underenumeration for censuses in general; the question did not record secular Jews; the voluntary nature of the question; suspicion by Jews of such questions; and the high non-response rate for large numbers of Haredi Jews.By comparison, the Jewish Virtual Library estimated a Jewish population of 291,000 (not limited to adherents of Judaism) in 2012, making Britain's Jewish community the fifth largest in the world. This equates to 0.43% of the population of the United Kingdom.
The 2001 Census included a (voluntary) religion question ("What is your religion?") for the first time in its history;266,740 people listed their religion as "Jewish". However, the subject of who is a Jew is complex, and the religion question did not record people who may be Jewish through other means, such as ethnically and culturally. Of people who chose Jewish as their religion, 97% put White as their ethnic group; however, a report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) suggests that, although there was an apparent option to write down "Jewish" for this question, it did not occur to many, because of "skin colour" and nationality bias; and that if "Jewish" was an explicit option, the results—only 2594 respondents were Jewish solely by ethnicity—would have been different. The religion question appeared in the 2011 Census, but there was still no explicit option for "Jewish" in the ethnic-group question. The Board of Deputies had encouraged all Jews to indicate they were Jewish, either through the religion question or the ethnicity one.
From 1990 to 2006, the Jewish population showed a decrease from 340,000 Jews to 270,000. According to the 1996 Jewish Policy Review, nearly half married people who did not share their faith at that time.From 2005 to 2008, the Jewish population increased from 275,000 to 280,000, attributed largely to the high birth rates of Haredi (or ultra-Orthodox) Jews. Research by the University of Manchester in 2007 showed that 75% of British Jewish births were to the Haredi community. Ultra-Orthodox women have an average of 6.9 children, and secular Jewish women 1.65. In 2015, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research reported that in England the orthodox community was growing by nearly 5% per year, while the non-haredi community was decreasing by 0.3% per year. It has been also documented that in terms of births, between 2007 and 2015, the estimated number of Strictly Orthodox births per annum increased by 35%, rising from 1,431 to 1,932. While, the estimated number of ‘Mainstream’ (non-Strictly Orthodox) births per annum increased to a lesser extent over the same period, going from 1,844 to 1,889 (+2.4%).
The great majority (83.2%) of Jews in England and Wales were born in the UK.In 2015, about 6% of Jews in England held an Israeli passport. In 2019, the Office of National Statistics estimated that 21,000 people resident in the UK were born in Israel, up from 11,890 in 2001. Of the 21,000, 8,000 had Israeli nationality. In 2013, it was reported that antisemitic attacks in France led to an exodus of French Jews to the UK. This has resulted in some synagogues establishing French-language Shabbat services.
In 2018, 534 Britons emigrated to Israel, representing the third consecutive annual decline. The figure was one third down on 2015 and was the lowest for five years.
According to the 2011 census, British Jewry is overwhelmingly English, with only around 5,900 Jews in Scotland, 2,100 in Wales, and fewer than 200 in Northern Ireland. There are also around 100 in the Channel Islands, primarily in Jersey. According to some sources,there are around 200 Jews on the Isle of Man, although unlike Jersey and Northern Ireland, there is no synagogue. The majority of the Jews in England and the UK live in and around London, with almost 160,000 Jews in London alone, and a further 21,000 just in Hertfordshire, mostly in Southwestern Hertfordshire adjacent to Jewish concentrated areas in Barnet and Harrow, as well as some Jews in south-west Essex. Barnet and Hertsmere councils in the London borders polled as the first and second most Jewish local authorities in England, with Jews composing one in five and nine residents respectively. The next most significant population is in Greater Manchester, a community of slightly more than 25,000, primarily in Bury (10,360), Salford (7,920), Manchester proper (2,725) and Trafford (2,490). There are also significant communities in Leeds (6,760), Gateshead (3,000), Brighton (2,730), Liverpool (2,330), Birmingham (2,150) and Southend (2,080). Towns and villages in Hertfordshire with large absolute populations include Bushey (4,500), Borehamwood (3,900), and Radlett (2,300). Finchley and Golders Green is the political constituency with the largest Jewish population in the UK. A very concentrated Orthodox community exists in the district of Stamford Hill in Hackney, London.
It is generally believed that Jews are under-counted in censuses due to a disinclination on the parts of some community members to reveal their ethnoreligious background and practice, so these numbers may be low estimates. Several notable communities have dwindled in recent years, such as Hull.
The British Jewish population has an older profile than the general population. In England and Wales, the median age of male Jews is 41.2, while the figure for all males is 36.1; Jewish females have a median age of 44.3, while the figure for all females is 38.1. [ citation needed ]About 24% of the community are over the age of 65 (compared to 16% of the general population of England and Wales). In the 2001 census, Jews were the only group in which the number of persons in the 75-plus cohorts outnumbered those in the 65–74 cohort.
About 60% of school-age Jewish children attend Jewish schools.Jewish day schools and yeshivas are found throughout the country. Jewish cultural studies and Hebrew language instruction are commonly offered at synagogues in the form of supplementary Hebrew schools or Sunday schools.
The majority of Jewish schools in Britain are funded by the government. Jewish educational centres are plentiful, large-scale projects. One of the country's most famous Jewish schools is the state-funded JFS in London which opened in 1732 and has about 2100 students. It is heavily over-subscribed and applies strict rules on admissions, which led to a discrimination court case, R (E) v Governing Body of JFS , in 2009.In 2011, another large state-funded school opened in North London named JCoSS, the first cross-denomination Jewish secondary school in the UK.
The Union of Jewish Students is an umbrella organisation that represents Jewish students at university. In 2011 there were over 50 Jewish Societies.
British Jews generally have high levels of educational achievement. Compared to the general population, they are 40% less likely to have no qualifications, and 80% more likely to have "higher-level" qualifications.With the exception of under-25s, younger Jews tend to be better educated than older ones. However, dozens of the all-day educational establishments in the Haredi community of Stamford Hill, which are accused of neglecting secular skills such as English and maths, claim not to be schools under the meaning of the Department for Education.
The annual Limmud festival is a high-profile educational event of the British Jewish community, attracting a wide range of international presenters.
The 2001 UK Census showed that 30.5% of economically active Jews were self-employed, compared to a figure of 14.2% for the general population. Jews aged 16–24 were less likely to be economically active than their counterparts in the general population; 89.2% of these were students.In a 2010 study, average income per working adult was £15.44 an hour. Median income and wealth were significantly higher than other religious groups. In a 2015 study, poverty has risen the fastest per generation than other religious groups.
In 2016, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research reported that the intermarriage rate for the Jewish community in the UK was 26%. This was less than half of the US rate of 58% and showed little change from the rate in the early 1980s of 23%, though more than twice the 11% level of the end of the 1960s. Around one third of the children of mixed marriages are brought up in the Jewish faith.
There are around 454 synagogues in the country, and it is estimated that 56.3% of all households across the UK with at least one Jew living within them held synagogue membership in 2016.The percentage of households adhering to specific denominations is as follows:
Those in the United Kingdom who consider themselves Jews identify as follows:
The Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue in the London Borough of Harrow said in 2015 that it had the largest membership of any single Orthodox synagogue in Europe.
There are a number of Jewish newspapers, magazines and other media published in Britain on a national or regional level. The most well known is The Jewish Chronicle , founded in 1841 and the world's oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper.Other publications include the Jewish News , Jewish Telegraph , Hamodia , the Jewish Tribune and Jewish Renaissance . In April 2020, The Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News, which had announced plans to merge in February and later announced plans for a joint liquidation, continued as separate entities after the former was acquired by a consortium.
Before the 2015 General Election, 69% of British Jews surveyed were planning to vote for the Conservative Party, while 22% would vote for the Labour Party.A May 2016 poll of British Jews showed 77% would vote Conservative, 13.4% Labour, and 7.3% Liberal Democrat. An October 2019 poll of British Jews showed 64% would vote Conservative, 24% Liberal Democrat, and only 6% Labour.
Jews are typically seen as predominantly middle-class, though historically many Jews lived in working-class communities of London. According to polling in 2015, politicians' attitudes towards Israel influence the vote of three out of four British Jews.
In London, most of the top constituencies with the largest Jewish populations voted Conservative in the 2010 general election - these are namely, Finchley and Golders Green, Hendon, Harrow East, Chipping Barnet, Ilford North, and Hertsmere in Hertfordshire. The exceptions were Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Hampstead and Kilburn, which both voted Labour in the election. Outside the region, large Jewish constituencies voted for Labour, namely Bury South and Blackley and Broughton.
|Jewish MPs by election|
1945–1992 [ full citation needed ]
|Election||Labour||Conservative||Liberal/Alliance||Other||Total||% of Parliament|
Some MPs, such as Robert Jenrick and Keir Starmer, while not Jewish themselves, are married to Jews and have Jewish children.
In May 2018, the community was described by one of its most prominent figures, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, as being “on the path to self-destruction” due to divisions over how to respond to conflict in Israel.
The earliest Jewish settlement was recorded in 1070, soon after the Norman Conquest. Jews living in the United Kingdom at this time experienced religious discrimination and it is thought that the blood libel which accused Jews of ritual murder originated in Northern England, leading to massacres and increasing discrimination.  The Jewish presence continued until King Edward I's Edict of Expulsion in 1290. 
Jews were readmitted to the United Kingdom by Oliver Cromwell in 1655, though it is believed that crypto-Jews lived in England during the expulsion.  Jews were regularly subjected to discrimination and humiliation which waxed and waned over the centuries, gradually declining. 
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the number of Jews in Britain greatly increased due to the exodus from Russia, which resulted in a large community forming in the East End of London.  Popular sentiment against immigration was used by the British Union of Fascists to incite hatred against Jews, leading to the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, when the fascists were forced to abandon their march through an area with a large Jewish population when the police clearing the way were unable to remove barricades defended by trade unionists, left wing groups and residents. 
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, undisguised racial hatred of Jews became unacceptable in British society. Outbursts of antisemitism emanating from far right groups continued, however, leading to the formation of the 43 Group led by Jewish ex-servicemen which broke up fascist meetings from 1945 to early 1950.
Records of antisemitic incidents have been compiled since 1984, although changing reporting practices and levels of reporting make comparison over time difficult. The Community Security Trust (CST) was formed in 1994 to "[protect] British Jews from antisemitism and related threats".It works in conjunction with the police and other authorities to protect Jewish schools, Synagogues, and other community institutions.
British Jewish communal organisations include:
Judaism is an Abrahamic ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.
Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist branches of contemporary Judaism. Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as literally revealed by God to Moses on Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted down through the generations of sages ever since.
Haredi Judaism consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism characterized by a strict adherence to halakha and traditions, as opposed to modern values and practices. Its members are usually referred to as ultra-Orthodox in English; however, the term "ultra-Orthodox" is considered pejorative by many of its adherents, who prefer terms like strictly Orthodox or Haredi. Haredi Jews regard themselves as the most religiously authentic group of Jews, although other streams of Judaism disagree.
Israelis are the citizens or permanent residents of the State of Israel, a multicultural state populated by people of different ethnic backgrounds. The largest ethnic groups in Israel are Jews (75%), followed by Arabs (20%) and other minorities (5%).
Jewish religious movements, sometimes called "denominations", include different groups which have developed among Jews from ancient times. Today, the main division is between the "traditional Judaism", and Reform, with several smaller movements alongside them. This denominational structure is mainly present in the United States, while in Israel, the fault lines are between Haredi Judaism (Haredim), Religious Zionism (Datim), Masortim (traditional) and Hiloni (secular) Jews.
American Jews or Jewish Americans are Americans who are Jewish, whether by religion, ethnicity, culture, or nationality. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90–95% of the American Jewish population.
Religion in the United Kingdom, and in the countries that preceded it, has been dominated for over 1,000 years by various forms of Christianity, replacing Celtic and Anglo-Saxon paganism as the primary religion. Religious affiliations of United Kingdom citizens are recorded by regular surveys, the four major ones being the national decennial census, the Labour Force Survey, the British Social Attitudes survey and the European Social Survey.
Jewish leadership has evolved over time. Since the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, there has been no single body that has a leadership position over the entire Jewish diaspora. Various branches of Judaism, as well as Jewish religious or secular communities and political movements around the world elect or appoint their governing bodies, often subdivided by country or region.
At the beginning of 2019, the world's "core" Jewish population, those identifying as Jews above all else, was estimated at 14.7 million. The "connected" Jewish population, including those who say they are partly Jewish or that have Jewish background from at least a single Jewish parent, in addition to the core Jewish population, was 17.9 million. The "enlarged" Jewish population, including those who say they have Jewish background but not a Jewish parent, and all non-Jewish household members who live in households with Jews, in addition to the Jewish connected population, is 20.9 million. Counting all "eligible" to Israeli citizenship under Israel's Law of Return, in addition to Israeli Jews, totaled 23.7 million.
World Agudath Israel, usually known as the Aguda, was established in the early twentieth century as the political arm of Ashkenazi Torah Judaism. It succeeded Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel in 1912. Its base of support was located in Eastern Europe before the Second World War but, due to the revival of the Hasidic movement, it included Orthodox Jews throughout Europe.
The United Synagogue (US) is a union of British Orthodox Jewish synagogues, representing the central Orthodox movement in Judaism. With 62 congregations, comprising 40,000 members, it is the largest synagogue body in Europe. The spiritual leader of the union is the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth – a title that bears some formal recognition by the Crown, even though his rabbinical authority is recognised by only slightly more than half of British Jews.
The history of Jews in Australia traces the history of Australian Jews from the British settlement of Australia commencing in 1788. Though Europeans had visited Australia before 1788, there is no evidence of any Jewish sailors among the crew. The first Jews known to have come to Australia came as convicts transported to Botany Bay in 1788 aboard the First Fleet that established the first European settlement on the continent, on the site of present-day Sydney.
Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to make the religious, legal, and social status of Jewish women equal to that of Jewish men in Judaism. Feminist movements, with varying approaches and successes, have opened up within all major branches of the Jewish religion.
The history of the Jews in Serbia is some two thousand years old. The Jews first arrived in the region during Roman times. The Jewish communities of the Balkans remained small until the late 15th century, when Jews fleeing the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions found refuge in the Ottoman-ruled areas, including Serbia.
The Jewish presence in north east England is focused on a number of important towns.
The terms Israeli Jews, and Jewish Israelis refer to Israeli citizens of the Jewish ethnicity or faith, and also the descendants of Israeli-Jewish emigrants outside of Israel. Israeli Jews comprise the modern descendants of the Ancient Israelites, along with other diaspora populations. Israeli Jews are found mostly in Israel and the Western world, as well as other countries worldwide, not necessarily only in Jewish communities. Israeli Jews mostly speak Hebrew and most follow at least some religious Jewish practices. Israel, the Jewish state, currently has almost half the world's Jews.
Australian Jews, or Jewish Australians, are Jews who are Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. There were 91,022 Australians who identified as Jewish in the 2016 census, which is a 6% decrease on 97,355 Jewish Australians in the 2011 census. The actual number is almost certainly higher, because an answer to the question on the census was optional and because Holocaust survivours, Haredi Jews or many non-practicing Jews are believed to prefer not to disclose religion in the census. By comparison, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz estimated a Jewish-Australian population of 120,000-150,000, while other estimates based on the death rate in the community estimate the size of the community as 250,000. Based on the census data, Jewish citizens make up about 0.4% of the Australian population. The Jewish community of Australia is composed mostly of Ashkenazi Jews, though there are Jews in Australia from many other traditions and levels of religious observance and participation in the Jewish community.
Religious relations in Israel are relations between Haredim, non-Haredi Orthodox, Karaite, Ethiopian, Reform, Conservative, and secular Jews, as well as relations between different religions represented in Israel. The religious status quo, agreed to by David Ben-Gurion with the Orthodox parties at the time of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, is an agreement on the role that Judaism would play in Israel's government and the judicial system. Tensions exist between religious and secular groups in Israel.
Ephraim Mirvis is an Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. Traditionally the Chief Rabbi serves as the head of all British Jews as the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. He served as the Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1985 and 1992.
The South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) is an affiliate of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and supports 11 progressive congregations. The SAUJP estimates that it represents around 6,000 South African Jews and around 10 per cent of the overall Jewish population residing in South Africa. In 2020 a study by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research showed that 12% identified as Progressive and that in relative terms the progressive strands are increasing.