following compilations for 1977 and 1983. The figures presented relate to mid-1990. To
the best of our knowledge all congregations in the United Kingdom are included: we would
be pleased to be told of any unwittingly omitted. In order to compare data across
synagogue groupings and between areas, our analytical base (which is described fully
in the Appendix) is such that data presented here for individual synagogues may differ
from membership figures published by synagogal bodies. This is particularly the case
where synagogues count husbands and wives as two individual members: we have
considered them as one household membership.
twentieth taken. They constituted a landmark because, as an historical first, they
both included questions on religion, albeit voluntary questions. This voluntary status
was in itself unique, since the very essence of a census, compared to other surveys, is
that all questions are compulsory for everyone. The Scottish census was more
sophisticated than that of England and Wales in that it asked not only ‘'What religion,
religious denomination, or body do you belong to'1
but extended this to enquire into
religion of upbringing by asking ‘What religion, religious denomination, or body were
you brought up in?’.
The inconsistency between the demographic decrease and the expansion of Jewish day schools is the focus of this study, which describes and analyzes these developments in Jewish education and examines the origins of these trends and the factors affecting them.
In giving an overview of Jewish women in Great Britain I intend to touch on three areas: Jewish organizations; participation in synagogue life; and the position of Jewish women's research in Britain. The main sources for the data I quote are the regular compilations of synagogue membership and estimates of population which the Board of Deputies Community Research Unit has conducted regularly the past thirty years; and two recent large scale-studies: The Review of Women in the Jewish Community in 1993 for the Chief Rabbi's Commission on Women; and The Survey of Social Attitudes of British Jews conducted by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in 1995.
Over 120 pages long, the report covers a wide range of subjects, including the nature of Jewish partnerships, intermarriage, living standards, social inequality, ethnicity, educational standards and many other demographic issues. ‘Our understanding of the British Jewish population has been revolutionized’, concluded the authors of JPR's comprehensive analysis of the data on Jews derived from answers to the first ever voluntary question on religion in the 2001 Census. ‘The results have been truly fascinating and mould-breaking.’ A debate has now been started which, JPR hopes, will provoke an extensive and much-needed examination into the nature of the Jewish community in Britain and its future needs.