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Date: 2021
Abstract: Background Ethnic and religious minorities have been disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. The UK strictly-Orthodox Jewish community has been severely affected by the pandemic. This group shares characteristics with other ethnic minorities including larger family sizes, higher rates of household crowding and relative socioeconomic deprivation. We studied a UK strictly-Orthodox Jewish population to understand how COVID-19 had spread within this community. Methods We performed a household-focused cross-sectional SARS-CoV-2 serosurvey specific to three antigen targets. Randomly-selected households completed a standardised questionnaire and underwent serological testing with a multiplex assay for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. We report clinical illness and testing before the serosurvey, seroprevalence stratified by age and gender. We used random-effects models to identify factors associated with infection and antibody titres. Findings A total of 343 households, consisting of 1,759 individuals, were recruited. Serum was available for 1,242 participants. The overall seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2 was 64.3% (95% CI 61.6-67.0%). The lowest seroprevalence was 27.6% in children under 5 years and rose to 73.8% in secondary school children and 74% in adults. Antibody titres were higher in symptomatic individuals and declined over time since reported COVID-19 symptoms, with the decline more marked for nucleocapsid titres. Interpretation In this tight-knit religious minority population in the UK, we report one of the highest SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence levels in the world to date. In the context of this high force of infection, all age groups experienced a high burden of infection. Actions to reduce the burden of disease in this and other minority populations are urgently required. Funding This work was jointly funded by UKRI and NIHR [COV0335; MR/V027956/1], a donation from the LSHTM Alumni COVID-19 response fund, HDR UK, the MRC and the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in the design, conduct or analysis of the study or the decision to publish. The authors have no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work. Evidence before the study In January 2020, we searched PubMed for articles on rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst ethnic minority groups and amongst the Jewish population. Search teams included “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, seroprevalence, “ethnic minority”, and “Jewish” with no language restrictions. We also searched UK government documents on SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst minority groups. By January 2020, a large number of authors had reported that ethnic minority groups experienced higher numbers of cases and increased hospitalisations due to COVID-19. A small number of articles provided evidence that strictly-Orthodox Jewish populations had experienced a high rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection but extremely limited data was available on overall population level rates of infection amongst specific ethnic minority population groups. There was also extremely limited data on rates of infection amongst young children from ethnic minority groups. Added value of the study We report findings from a population representative, household survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst a UK strictly Orthodox Jewish population. We demonstrate an extremely high seroprevalence rate of SARS-CoV-2 in this population which is more than five times the estimated seroprevalence nationally and five times the estimated seroprevalence in London. In addition the large number of children in our survey, reflective of the underlying population structure, allows us to demonstrate that in this setting there is a significant burden of disease in all age groups with secondary school aged children having an equivalent seroprevalence to adults. Implications of the available evidence Our data provide clear evidence of the markedly disproportionate impact of SARS-CoV-2 in minority populations. In this setting infection occurs at high rates across all age groups including pre-school, primary school and secondary school-age children. Contextually appropriate measures to specifically reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2 amongst minority populations are urgently required.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Yiddish was the everyday language spoken by most Central and East European Jews during the last millennium. As a result of the extreme loss of speakers during the Holocaust, subsequent geographic dispersal, and lack of institutional support, Yiddish is now an endangered language. Yet it continues to be a native and daily language for Haredi (strictly Orthodox) Jews, who live in close-knit communities worldwide. We have conducted the first study of the linguistic characteristics of the Yiddish spoken in the community in London’s Stamford Hill. While Krogh (in: Aptroot, Aptroot et al. (eds.) Leket: Yiddish studies today, Düsseldorf University Press, Düsseldorf, pp 483–506, 2012), Assouline (in: Aptroot, Hansen (eds.) Yiddish language structures, De Gruyter Mouton, Berlin, pp 39–62, 2014), and Sadock and Masor (J Jew Lang 6(1):89–110, 2018), investigating other Hasidic Yiddish-speaking communities, observe what they describe as morphological syncretism, in this paper we defend the claim that present-day Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish lacks morphological case and gender completely. We demonstrate that loss of morphological case and gender is the result of substantial language change over the course of two generations: while the case and gender system of the spoken medium was already beginning to undergo morphological syncretism and show some variation prior to World War II, case and gender distinctions were clearly present in the mental grammar of both Hasidic and non-Hasidic speakers of the relevant Yiddish dialects at that stage. We conclude the paper by identifying some of the language-internal, sociolinguistic and historical factors that have contributed to such rapid and pervasive language change, and compare the developments in Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish to those of minority German dialects in North America.
Date: 2020
Date: 1994
Abstract: Background We wished to ascertain immunization uptake rates in the strictly orthodox Jewish community in Hackney and to survey reasons for non-uptake and attitudes to immunization and immunization services within this community.

Methods A total of 575 strictly orthodox Jewish children, aged under 2 5 years, were identified from three general practices in the community, and a random sampling of 100 of these children was carried out. The sample uptake recorded by family doctors was compared with District uptake rates. A questionnaire was administered to parents. The main outcome measures were immunization uptake rate, reasons for non-uptake, and attitudes to immunization. Results Percentage immunization uptake (95 per cent confidence intervals) was: third diphtheria 86 per cent (82–90 per cent); third pertussis 82 per cent (78–86 per cent); and MMR 79 per cent (75–85 per cent). District uptake rates for a cohort of the same age, and at the time of the study, were: third diphtheria 82 per cent; third pertussis 79 per cent; and MMR 83 per cent. Sixty-seven parents completed the questionnaire (72 per cent response) and their children's uptake was the same as for children of nonresponders. All parents thought immunization to be important.

ConclusionsFor all immunizations, uptake in the strictly orthodox Jewish community is not significantly different from that of the District. Responding parents had positive attitudes to the value and safety of immunizations but wished better access to services. Health professionals need to question their perceptions so that efforts to improve uptake amongst ethnic minority groups are based on facts and are responsive to identified needs.
Date: 2018