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Date: 2021
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic hit the British Jewish community hard. According to data gathered by JPR in July 2020, 25% of British Jews had already contracted the virus by that time and Jewish mortality rates in London in April 2020 – the peak of the first wave – were almost three times as high as usual. In Manchester, the picture was even worse. Building on our previous studies on this topic, this paper looks at Jewish mortality over the first year of the pandemic, taking in both the first wave (March to May 2020) and the second wave (December 2020 to February 2021). Whilst it confirms that excess mortality among Jews during the first wave was considerably higher than among comparative non-Jews (280% higher compared to 188%), it reveals that the second wave saw the opposite picture: 69% higher than expected levels of mortality for that period among Jews, compared to 77% among the non-Jewish comparative group. This second wave picture is exactly what one might expect to see given that Jews typically enjoy relatively good health and longevity, so it forces us to ask again: what happened during the first wave to cause such devastation across the Jewish community? Whilst not yet definitive about their conclusions, the authors point towards the ‘religious sociability’ hypothesis – that notion that close interaction between Jews, prior to the first lockdown, caused the devastating spike in Jewish deaths early on. The paper also demonstrates that the ‘Jewish penalty’ at this time was greater among Orthodox Jews than Progressive ones which further strengthens the hypothesis, as much higher proportions of Orthodox Jews gather regularly for religious reasons than Progressive Jews (even though Progressive Jews do so more regularly than British society as a whole). The fact that the picture of extremely high excess mortality among British Jews was not repeated during the second wave (on the contrary, excess mortality among Jews was very slightly lower than among the comparator non-Jewish population, and slightly higher among Progressive Jews than Orthodox ones), suggests that the religious sociability theory was no longer a major factor at this time. With many synagogues closed or complying closely with the social distancing policies established by government, Jews were affected by coronavirus in much the same way as others. The findings in this paper should be taken seriously by at least two key groups. Epidemiologists and public health experts should explore the impact of religious sociability more carefully, as currently, socioeconomic factors tend to dominate analysis. And Jewish community leaders must also reflect on the findings and, in the event of a similar pandemic in the future, consider instituting protective measures much more quickly than occurred in early 2020.
Date: 2021
Abstract: In this report, the authors investigate the likely prevalence of COVID-19 and Long Covid among Britain’s Jewish population. Based on data collected by JPR in July 2020 – five months into the pandemic – they found that infection was already widespread in the Jewish community with a quarter (25%) of respondents (aged 16 and above) reporting having experienced COVID-19 symptoms (although testing in the UK was not widely available at this stage.) This accords with other national data showing that BAME groups, including Jews, suffered particularly badly in the early stages of the pandemic.

The data also confirm findings that the strictly Orthodox community was most likely to have been infected (40%) at this stage. And while respondents who self-described as having ‘very strong’ religiosity or who characterised their outlook as ‘religious’ were also far more likely to report having experienced COVID-19 symptoms, it appears that synagogue or communal involvement (rather than membership) is associated with higher levels.

The report also shows that almost two out of three (64%) respondents first experienced symptoms in March 2020, which was the clear peak of infection up to July 2020 when the survey took place. Nevertheless, more than one in six (16%) said they first experienced symptoms in February 2020, and these cases were mainly among more secular members of the Jewish community.

Reports of ongoing health issues following a COVID-19 infection began to appear early on in the pandemic. Gradually, data emerged about Long COVID showing it to be associated with 205 symptoms affecting multiple organs. In January 2021 it was estimated that 300,000 people in the UK may have been suffering from Long COVID. Our data showed that at least 15% of respondents, who said they had experienced COVID-19 symptoms, reported Long COVID symptoms in July 2020, similar to the levels found in the UK generally.

Respondents who had pre-existing health conditions, were far more likely to report Long COVID than those without such conditions. The most commonly reported health concerns were shortness of breath, affecting half of sufferers (51%), followed by ‘severe fatigue’ affecting 43%. Long COVID sufferers were also more likely to report lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety.

Long COVID may ultimately be one of the main long-term health legacies of the coronavirus pandemic. While many gaps in our understanding of this complex health issue remain at the time of publication, JPR will continue to investigate this and other key health issues confronting the Jewish community during the pandemic.
Date: 2021
Abstract: As soon as the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became evident, concern began to be expressed in the Jewish community about how its effects might damage different aspects of Jewish life. Our July 2020 survey of Jews across the UK was designed to investigate some of these effects and bring some data into policy discussion about the future of the community.

In this fifth paper drawing on those survey data, we examine the impact of the pandemic on the working lives of Jewish people in the United Kingdom. It begins by studying how the experience of Jews compares to that of the wider population, and explores the issues of employment, redundancy and furlough, as well as other work disruptions such as income reduction, working from home, and caring for children. With very little data on Jewish employment available, this report provides key insights into the ways in which the community was impacted over the first five months of the pandemic, and points to how it is likely to have been affected subsequently. By providing this analysis, we hope to help UK Jewish community organisations and foundations to respond appropriately to the challenges identified.

Of particular note among the findings: the Jewish employment rate had declined at a lower rate than among the general population, but the Jewish unemployment rate had increased at a higher rate. Whilst many Jews have experienced serious work impacts, and many among the high proportions of self-employed Jews have lost income without having the same access to government financial support as the employed, it seems unlikely that the Jewish population as a whole has suffered disproportionately. We found that those who were most likely to experience severe work disruptions (defined as being made redundant, being furloughed, having their pay reduced and/or having their hours reduced) were the youngest workers (aged 16-24), Jewish women (especially regarding furlough and redundancy), single parents, those with household incomes below £30,000 per year prior to the pandemic, and the most religious respondents, especially Strictly Orthodox workers, more than half of whom (52%) experienced one or more of these severe impacts.

A follow-up survey planned for the coming months will determine how things have changed further since July among Jews, but it is nevertheless already clear that communal investment in employment support is needed, since all national indicators tell us that the employment situation has generally deteriorated since that time. Continued monitoring of Jewish employment rates is imperative if we are to determine and understand how the overall picture is changing and whether various endeavours being undertaken to address the challenges are effective. This will require a combination of continued investigations using data gathered within the community, as well as new investments in analysing and interpreting national data sources to shed light on long-term trends.
Author(s): Boyd, Jonathan
Date: 2021
Date: 2021
Abstract: As soon as the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became evident, concern began to be expressed in the Jewish community about how its effects might damage aspects of Jewish life. Our July 2020 survey of Jews across the UK was designed to investigate some of these effects and bring some data into policy discussion about the future of the community.

Part of that discussion involves community income, and specifically whether Jews will feel able to donate to charities in the ways they have previously, or if they will continue to pay membership fees to synagogues or make voluntary contributions to cover the Jewish studies programmes, security and other supplementary activities in Jewish schools.

This paper looks at these issues first by examining respondents’ giving behaviours in 2019, and comparing them to their actual or expected behaviours during the first few months of the pandemic. It finds that, as of July 2020, its effects were found to be rather limited – while charitable giving, synagogue membership fees and voluntary contributions to schools were all expected to take a hit, a strong majority indicated no change in their giving behaviour at this time. Moreover, there are some indications that a shift has taken place in people’s tendency towards giving to Jewish charities over general ones. Whether this is part of a longer-term trend or simply a response to the pandemic is unclear.

The study then investigates those who said they were planning to make a ‘negative switch’ in their giving behaviour, to explore the extent to which that change was due to economic factors caused by the pandemic, or two alternative possibilities: their economic situation prior to it, or the strength/weakness of their Jewish identity.

It finds that changes in behaviour are heavily influenced by the economic impact of the pandemic, particularly with respect to synagogue membership fees, but that Jewish identity also plays a part, most acutely in relation to making voluntary contributions to schools.

Author(s): Kahn-Harris, Keith
Date: 2020
Abstract: Since 2014, JPR's European Jewish Research Archive (EJRA) has consolidated social research on post-1990 European Jewish populations within one single, freely available, online resource. EJRA is designed to be a service to community leaders, policymakers and researchers, as well as a resource to help inform the European Jewish research agenda going forward.

Drawing on an innovative methodology, this report presents a detailed statistical analysis of EJRA's holdings. Through this analysis, we are able to pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses in social research coverage of particular issues in particular countries.

The report finds a clear increase in the research coverage of European Jewish populations since 1990. The amount of coverage in each country is broadly in line with the size of each country’s Jewish population. The majority of the research is produced by researchers whose work is not confined to this field, with a small ‘core' of committed Jewishly-focused researchers. Academia provides the primary base for researchers, but there has been a significant increase in recent years in research reports produced by non-academic institutions, particularly those concerned with monitoring antisemitism.

Approximately 20% of EJRA items concern antisemitism and this proportion has more than trebled since 1990. Research on ‘living’ Jewish communities - as opposed to research on antisemitism and Holocaust remembrance - is far less developed in countries with small Jewish populations. At 8% of the collection, Jewish education appears to be underdeveloped in all European countries with the exception of the UK.

Drawing on the research findings, the report goes on to raise questions regarding possible strategic priorities for European Jewish research for discussion by researchers and organisations that sponsor research. In particular, we ask how and whether research across Europe could be better coordinated and what countries and topics require further support to develop a stronger research infrastructure.
Date: 2020
Abstract: This study, the first to assess mortality among Jews around the world during the COVID-19 crisis, draws on data from a wide variety of sources to understand the extent to which Jews were affected by coronavirus in different parts of the world during the first wave of the pandemic, March to May 2020.

The first section describes the methods of quantification of COVID-19 mortality, and explains why measuring it using the excess mortality method is the most effective way to understand how Jewish communities have been affected. The second section presents data on Jewish mortality during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, drawing particularly on data provided to JPR by Jewish burial societies in communities all over the world. It does so in a comparative perspective, setting the data on Jews alongside the data on non-Jews, to explore both the extent to which Jews have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, and how the Jewish experience with COVID-19 compares to the experience of non-Jewish populations.

The immediate impression is that there is not a single ‘Jewish pattern’ that is observable everywhere, and, with respect to the presence of excess mortality, Jewish communities, by and large, followed the populations surrounding them.

The report cautions against speculation about why Jews were disproportionately affected in some places, but rule out two candidate explanations: that Jewish populations with particularly elderly age profiles were hardest hit, or that Jews have been badly affected due to any underlying health issue common among them. They consider the possibility that Jewish lifestyle effects (e.g. above average size families, convening in large groups for Jewish rituals and holidays), may have been an important factor in certain instances, noting that these are unambiguous risk factors in the context of communicable diseases. Whilst they suggest that the spread of the virus among Jews “may have been enhanced by intense social contact,” they argue that without accurate quantification, this explanation for elevated mortality in certain places remains unproven.

The report also includes a strongly worded preface from Hebrew University Professor Sergio DellaPergola, the Chair of the JPR European Jewish Demography Unit, and the world’s leading expert in Jewish demography. In it, he stresses the importance of systematically testing representative samples of the population at the national and local levels, and, in Jewish community contexts, of routinely gathering Jewish population vital statistics. He states: “If there is one lesson for Jewish community research that emerges out of this crisis it is that the routine gathering of vital statistics – the monitoring of deaths, as well as births, marriages, divorces, conversions, immigrants and emigrants – is one of the fundamental responsibilities community bodies must take.”
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: This detailed and thorough report is rapidly becoming the ‘must-read’ study on European Jews, taking the reader on an extraordinary journey through one thousand years of European Jewish history before arriving at the most comprehensive analysis of European Jewish demography today.

Written by leading Jewish demographers Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky, the Chair and Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit respectively, it explores how the European Jewish population has ebbed and flowed over time. It begins as far back as the twelfth century, travelling through many years of population stability, until the tremendous growth of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, followed by the dramatic decline prompted by a combination of mass migration and the horrors of the Shoah. Extraordinarily, after all this time, the proportion of world Jewry living in Europe today is almost identical to the proportion living in Europe 900 years ago.

Using multiple definitions of Jewishness and a vast array of sources to determine the size of the contemporary population, the study proceeds to measure it in multiple ways, looking at the major blocs of the European Union and the European countries of the Former Soviet Union, as well as providing country-by-country analyses, ranging from major centres such as France, the UK, Germany and Hungary, to tiny territories such as Gibraltar, Monaco and even the Holy See.

The report also contains the most up-to-date analysis we have on the key mechanisms of demographic change in Europe, touching variously on patterns of migration in and out of Europe, fertility, intermarriage, conversion and age compositions. While the report itself is a fascinating and important read, the underlying data are essential tools for the JPR team to utilise as it supports Jewish organisations across the continent to plan for the future.
Date: 2020
Abstract: JPR’s COVID-19 survey looks at how Jews have been impacted by the pandemic in terms of their health, jobs, finances, relationships and Jewish lives. The findings are being shared in a series of short reports looking at key policy issues, and this one focuses on the issue of how comfortable Jews feel about attending Jewish activities and events in person.

Drawing on survey responses from July 2020, it finds that whilst Jews situate themselves across the full length of the ‘comfort scale’ (running from very comfortable to very uncomfortable), there is a clear leaning towards the uncomfortable end.

Unsurprisingly, those who are uncomfortable are likely to be in older age bands and/or suffering from health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the virus. Similarly, those who have had the virus and continue to suffer from secondary symptoms (i.e. ‘Long COVID’) also tend to be uncomfortable about attending events in person.

However, there are some interesting exceptions. The most elderly appear to feel more comfortable than average, and the youngest age bands (those aged 16-24) feel more uncomfortable than average. Those who have had COVID-19 and recovered feel more comfortable than those who have not. And those who have experienced job losses, or have been furloughed, are rather less comfortable than those whose working loves have remained reasonably stable.

It is also very striking to see that, denominationally, the Strictly Orthodox feel most comfortable about attending in-person events, whereas non-synagogue members feel most uncomfortable. Members of other ‘mainstream’ denominations cluster together in between. However, people’s level of religiosity is actually a slightly better predictor than denomination of how comfortable they feel about attending community activities or events in person – those with strong religiosity are most likely to feel comfortable, and those with weak religiosity most likely to feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps most interestingly, there is an important relationship between how comfortable people feel about attending community activities and events in person, and their general state of mental health. Those showing signs of psychological distress feel notably less comfortable than others.

Brief details about the methodology used in the survey are contained in the report. A more detailed methodological is being prepared and will be available shortly.
Author(s): Staetsky, Daniel
Date: 2020
Abstract: Since the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, concerns have been expressed that Jews have been disproportionately affected, with mortality levels among them abnormally high. Initial hypotheses arguing that this could largely be explained by geographical and age factors were both proven and challenged by a June 2020 paper published by the Office for National Statistics. It showed that Jews were more likely to be affected because of their above average age profile and where they tend to live (London and other urban centres), but that even after accounting for these and other socio-demographic variables, they were still found to be disproportionately vulnerable.

This short paper draws on existing evidence to investigate why this might be the case. In particular, it explores whether the long-established above average health profile of Jews in the UK has shifted in such a way as to result in elevated levels of mortality from COVID-19, and whether behavioural factors – particularly in the most Orthodox parts of the community – affect the numbers in any significant way. In brief, it finds that there has been no such change in the fundamental health status of British Jews, and that regardless of any specific issues within haredi communities, the vast majority of COVID-19 related deaths among Jews have occurred in the mainstream, non-haredi sector.

Its key conclusions are as follows:
1) Even though Jewish mortality from COVID-19 is high as it is for other Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, Jews are a completely different case and should be analysed and understood as such;
2) The high mortality levels found among Jews is not caused in any significant way by any particular developments occurring in the strictly Orthodox (haredi) population;
3) Elevated mortality among Jews may in part be due to the interconnected and contact-rich social and religious lives that Jews have, but further analysis is required to confirm this.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Written by the world’s leading Jewish demographer, Professor Sergio DellaPergola, and Dr Daniel Staetsky, Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit, this report shines a light on the demography of Jewish in Austria today, and presents in-depth analysis of fertility rates, age distribution data, patterns of Jewish identity, migration and intermarriage rates to predict Austrian Jewry’s future. It demonstrates, through careful and methodical analysis, that the population is projected to grow.

Whilst the Austrian Jewish population is small, its projected growth constitutes an important finding in European Jewish demography. The Jewish population of Europe has declined dramatically over the past century and a half, particularly as a result of mass migration and the Holocaust. Yet today, in several European countries, demographers are beginning to see signs of growth, driven particularly by high birth rates in the strictly Orthodox population. This study provides an important example of this phenomenon.

The report is a publication of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit, an initiative established in 2019 to produce new data to support Jewish community planning across Europe. Funded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, the Unit is working to produce country-specific reports annually, and this study about Austria is the first of these.

The report draws on three major sources of data: the 2001 Austrian Census, comprehensive records of the Austrian Jewish community and a survey carried out by a JPR/Ipsos consortium in 2018 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Key findings include:

Today the core Jewish population of Austria is estimated to be just above 10,000. The ‘core Jewish population’ consists of people who would explicitly identify themselves as Jews. This is the highest number of Jews observed in Austria since the 1960.
According to the Israeli Law of Return – which uses a broader definition to determine who is entitled to migrate to Israel and immediately apply for Israeli citizenship – the eligible Jewish population in Austria is currently about 20,000.
The core Jewish population constitutes 0.1% of the total population of Austria. 64% of all Austrians are Roman Catholics, 17% are unaffiliated in religious terms, and 8% are Muslims.
The Jewish population of Austria is growing and may reach 11,000-12,000 by the mid-2030s.
About 86% of all Austrian Jews reside in Vienna. Only 19% of all Austrians live in Vienna
The average number of children that a Jewish woman in Austria is expected to have in her lifetime is 2.5; strictly Orthodox Jewish women have 6–7 children per woman, on average, while non-strictly Orthodox Jewish women typically have about 2. The average among Austrian women in general is 1.5.
Migration has been a powerful factor of growth in the Austrian Jewish population. Jews born in Israel constitute about 20% of Jews in Austria today.
About 78% of Jewish households in Austria are affiliated with the Jewish community through membership of its representative organisation. Compared to other communities around the world, this is a very high level of affiliation.
About 30% of Jews in Austria identify as ‘Orthodox’ or ‘Traditional’ and 19% as ‘strictly Orthodox.’ 15% identify as ‘Reform/Progressive’ and 19% as ‘just Jewish.’ Austrian Jewry has one of the highest proportions of strictly Orthodox Jews of all European Jewish communities.
Due to their high fertility, the strictly Orthodox represent the main engine of population growth for the Jewish community as a whole. For the same reason, their share in the Jewish population is expected to increase significantly in the medium term.
About two thirds (70%) of partnered Austrian Jews have a Jewish partner.
About 70% of all Jewish children of compulsory school age in Austria attend Jewish schools. While 100% of strictly Orthodox Jews attend Jewish schools, among the non-strictly Orthodox uptake is still significant – about 52%.
Author(s): Graham, David
Date: 2020
Abstract: This report, published in conjunction with the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town, contains a detailed demographic assessment of the South African Jewish population and the results of the 2019 Jewish Community Survey of South Africa – the largest and most extensive study of its kind ever undertaken. The fieldwork for the survey generated a final sample of 4,193 individuals (aged 18 and over) living in 2,402 unique households. Accounting for everyone living within those households, the report draws on data on 5,287 individuals.

Authored by JPR Senior Research Fellow Dr David Graham, the report finds that the Jewish population of the country has declined over the past twenty years, mainly as a result of migration, but also due to the natural ageing of the population. Jews have emigrated from South Africa in significant numbers since the 1960s; the study speculates that the South African Jewish diaspora may now be larger than the Jewish population living in South Africa.

However, despite the numerical decline, the report demonstrates that the South African Jewish community is remarkably vibrant and resilient. Overall, Jewish identity in South Africa appears to be stronger, and more religious, than in either Australia or the UK and the community remains very close-knit.

The study finds significant differences between the Jewish communities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, with 48% in Johannesburg self-identifying as either Orthodox or strictly Orthodox, compared with 22% in Cape Town. In Cape Town 40% self-describe as Progressive or Secular, compared with 18% in Johannesburg.

The report explores South African Jews' sense of belonging to the country and sense of satisfaction with their lives, as well as their attitudes to issues such as unemployment, government corruption and crime levels, anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism. It also contains new data on synagogue membership and Jewish school enrolment.

The study is designed to provide an up-to-date set of empirical data to help Jewish community leaders plan for the future, including those involved in social care, health and welfare, education, religious life and combating antisemitism.
Date: 2019
Author(s): Staetsky, L. Daniel
Date: 2019
Abstract: Communal anxieties about the possibility of an inadequate supply of secondary school places in Jewish schools in London have, on occasion, run high, and have occurred against a context of demographic changes and an increase in preference for Jewish schooling. These seemingly unpredictable dynamics have made planning very difficult and this new study helps to bring some empiricism to the table.

This statistical study, authored by JPR Senior Research Fellow, Dr Daniel Staetsky, and supported by Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), uses an empirical approach to predict future levels of demand for mainstream Jewish secondary schools in and around London. Using Local Authority data to examine applications and admissions from 2011 to 2018, it projects forward to the academic year 2022/23 in order to support future planning.

It is a follow-up to previous work in this area, and it draws on observations from the field that allow us to assess the accuracy of that work and to extend our projections further into the future.

The study concludes that current levels of provision will be sufficient if the demand in the next four years remains at today’s levels. Whilst this is a possibility, two of three possible scenarios presented in the report suggest an increase in demand, at a level in which about fifty additional places will be required across the entire Jewish secondary school system in London. Given this projected scale of increase, the report recommends that schools should develop some flexibility in capacity to satisfy the increasing demand. That might mean preparedness to open an extra class, as and when required, rather than to open an entirely new school.
Date: 2019
Abstract: In late 2017, JPR published a major study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel among the population of Great Britain, a project supported by the Community Security Trust and the Department for Communities and Local Government. We regard it as a groundbreaking piece of work - the first study conducted anywhere that empirically demonstrates a clear connection between extreme hostility towards Israel and more traditional forms of antipathy towards Jews.

This report explores this connection yet further, focusing specifically on two particularly prevalent ideas that are often experienced by Jews as antisemitic: the contention that Israel is 'an apartheid state' and that it should be subjected to a boycott.

In the first instance, the study finds that large proportions of people actually have no view at all on these ideas, either because they do not know anything about the issues, or because they are simply unsure of where they stand on them. This is particularly the case for young people and women - knowledge levels improve and opinions sharpen the older people are, and, as has been found in numerous other studies, women tend to be less opinionated than men on these types of political issues.

However, among those who do have a view, 21% agree with the contention that 'Israel is an apartheid state,' 5% strongly so, and 10% endorse the argument that 'people should boycott Israeli goods and products (3% strongly so). About the same proportion (18%) disagrees with the apartheid contention as agree with it, but a much higher proportion disagrees with the boycott one (47%) than agrees with it.

Disagreement with the boycott idea is higher in older age bands than in younger ones, increasingly so among those aged 40-plus, a phenomenon that is not found in relation to the apartheid contention. But the ideas are not particularly sensitive to educational level - both agreement and disagreement with both contentions increase the higher the educational qualification achieved.

However, clear distinctions can be found when looking at the data through the lens of religion, with Muslims much more likely than other groups to support both contentions.

The report goes on to explore the correlations between these views and more traditional anti-Jewish ones, and finds clear links between the two, although this is more the case with the boycott idea than the apartheid one. However, it also notes that the correlation is stronger with other anti-Israel beliefs, particularly those arguing that Israel exploits the Holocaust for its own purposes, and those claiming that Israel is excessively powerful or the primary cause of troubles in the Middle East.
Author(s): Boyd, Jonathan
Date: 2019
Abstract: Produced by JPR on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and authored by JPR Executive Director, Dr Jonathan Boyd, this statistical bulletin contains data on Jewish school enrolment in the UK for the academic years 2015/16 to 2017/18. It is intended to help community educators and policy makers monitor changing trends over time and to inform thinking about the development of the field.

The report confirms and adds to our existing understanding of enrolment, demonstrating again that more and more Jewish children are going to Jewish schools. The actual number has risen from about 5,000 in the 1950s to close to 35,000 today, a period which, by contrast, has also seen the UK Jewish population as a whole decline by about 30%. The most acute numerical increase has occurred over the past twenty years or so, with the total more or less doubling from about 17,000 in the mid-1990s to the level found today.

Amongst the key findings in the paper:

There were 34,547 Jewish children studying in Jewish schools in the academic year 2017/18.
This represents an increase of 3,633 children, or 11.8% since the last figures were published for the academic year 2014/2015.
This increase can be observed in both the mainstream and strictly Orthodox sectors: the mainstream sector had 1,666 more Jewish children in 2017/18 compared to 2014/15; the strictly Orthodox sector had an additional 2,367 children over the same period.
58% of Jewish children in Jewish schools are in strictly Orthodox schools; 42% in non-strictly Orthodox or ‘mainstream’ Jewish schools.
Three quarters of all Jewish children in Jewish schools are in the Greater London area or South Hertfordshire.
Enrolment in strictly Orthodox schools continues to increase dramatically over time, increasing by an estimated 166%, or over 12,000 children, since the mid-1990s.
The annual growth rate of the strictly Orthodox sector is estimated to be about 4.3%, compared to 3.1% in the mainstream sector.
The growth of the Jewish school sector is a reflection both of high fertility levels in the strictly Orthodox part of the Jewish community, and a growing interest in Jewish schooling within the more mainstream part of it. UK Jewish community leaders have focused considerable attention on Jewish schooling in recent years out of concerns about declining levels of Jewish knowledge and engagement. However, as these schools have developed, considerable attention has focused on general academic quality which has helped to attract higher numbers of pupils. In turn, as the choice of Jewish schooling has become more common, it has also grown in acceptability, pushing up numbers still further.
Author(s): Miller, Stephen H.
Date: 2018
Abstract: JPR has been conducting research on Jews in Britain for many years, allowing us to explore trends in Jewish life over time. This study takes four major datasets, spanning close to quarter of a century, to investigate an important and challenging question: is there a negative correlation between high academic achievement and Jewish community engagement? Or, more simply, are the most academically qualified Jews turning away from Jewish communal life?

The answer appears to be yes. It demonstrates that:

• Jews with postgraduate qualifications are, on average, the least engaged members of the Jewish community;
• The gap in levels of Jewish communal engagement between postgraduates and others is particularly substantial in areas such as synagogue membership, outmarriage, charitable priorities and support for Israeli government policy
• Highly educated Jews are about half as likely as non-graduates to see their fellow Jews as a source of natural support, or to express concern about Jewish continuity.

However, high academic achievers are more likely than others to cite positive traits and values (such as fairness, respect, dislike of prejudice, love of learning) as examples of how they feel their Jewishness has affected them.

The report author, Professor Stephen H. Miller OBE, one of the leading experts in the social scientific study of British Jews and senior adviser to JPR’s research team, also notes that the drop in Jewish engagement seen in highly educated Jews can be largely attributed to their more critical evaluation of the Jewish community, rather than any weakness in their personal identity as Jews.

So, in short, the fundamental message of this study is a challenging one for Jews of all types. It indicates that the most academically qualified Jews are turning away from organised Jewish life in unusually high numbers, because the types of Jewishness they find there fail to resonate with the ways in which they understand their own Jewish identities.

It leaves us with at least two critical questions: (i) is academia a detrimental environment for Jews, teaching them to think in ways that implicitly undermine their links with Jewish life (or, viewed from an alternative perspective, is academia a positive environment for Jews, helping to free them from the limitations imposed by Judaism and to think more openly?); and (ii) is Jewish communal life insufficiently rigorous in its thinking to attract the most thoughtful and qualified (or, again, viewed differently, an intellectually rich environment that rightly differs from the academy and challenges its modes of thinking by offering an alternative model)?
Date: 2018
Abstract: This study, which forms part of JPR’s research programme for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, investigates the numbers of births and deaths that have taken place in Jewish population of the UK in recent years. Births and deaths reflect natural life events and are critical to understanding how the population is changing over time, particularly in terms of its size and structure. By monitoring the balance of births over deaths or vice versa (i.e. natural increase or decrease), it is possible to predict future trends, including the stability, growth or decline of the population.

The report, authored by JPR research Fellow, Donatella Casale Mashiah, demonstrates that the UK Jewish community has turned an important corner in recent years. Following several decades of demographic decline, during which Jewish deaths consistently exceeded Jewish births, births have exceeded deaths in every year since 2006, which implies Jewish demographic growth in the UK, all other factors being equal (e.g. migration, adhesions, renouncements).

The total number of Jewish births per annum in the UK has increased by about 25% over the past decade, peaking in 2011 at 3,869. This has more to do with birth rates in the strictly Orthodox part of the Jewish community than the remainder, although both sectors have seen an increase.

By contrast, the number of Jewish deaths per annum has been falling over time, broadly in line with national trends, due to increasing life expectancy. 2,411 Jewish death were recorded in the UK in 2016, the lowest number on record. The average between 1979 and 2016 was 3,738.

Denominationally, the majority of deaths (68%) in 2018 were ‘central Orthodox’ – i.e. funerals conducted under the auspices of the United Synagogue, the Federation of Synagogues, or independent modern Orthodox synagogues. These were followed, in turn, by Reform at 18%, Liberal at 6%, Sephardi at 4%, Strictly Orthodox at 2% and Masorti at 1%. These proportions are reflective of the relative size of each group in the Jewish population at the oldest age bands.

Beyond the overarching story of the Jewish population that these data reveal, the numbers themselves are also essential for planning purposes. They are of significant value to local authorities, politicians, community leaders, educators and charitable organisations among others, since they can be applied to assess a variety of communal needs, such as childcare facilities, school places, elderly care facilities, religious services and burial grounds.
Author(s): Graham, David
Date: 2018
Abstract: JPR’s report, European Jewish identity: Mosaic or monolith? An empirical assessment of eight European countries, authored by Senior Research Fellow Dr David Graham, asks whether there is such a thing as a European Jewish identity, and, if so, what it looks like.

The question of whether there is a Jewish identity that is at once common to all European Jews but also peculiar to them, has intrigued scholars of contemporary Jewry since the fall of the Berlin Wall. This study contrasts the European picture with the two major centres of world Jewry, the United States and Israel, and examines the nature and content of Jewish identity across Europe, exploring the three core pillars of belief, belonging and behaviour around which Jewish identity is built.

This research was made possible by the advent of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) survey in 2012 examining Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism across nine EU Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Sweden and the UK. As well as gathering data about antisemitism, the study investigated various aspects of the Jewishness of respondents, in order to ascertain whether different types of Jews perceive and experience antisemitism differently. This study focuses on the data gathered about Jewishness, thereby enabling direct comparisons to be made for the first time across multiple European Jewish communities in a robust and comprehensive way.

The report concludes that there is no monolithic European identity, but it explores in detail the mosaic of Jewish identity in Europe, highlighting some key differences:
• In Belgium, where Jewish parents are most likely to send their children to Jewish schools, there is a unique polarisation between the observant and non-observant;
• In France, Jews exhibit the strongest feelings of being part of the Jewish People, and also have the strongest level of emotional attachment to Israel;
• Germany’s Jewish community has the largest proportion of foreign-born Jews, and, along with Hungary, is the youngest Jewish population;
• In Hungary the greatest relative weight in Jewish identity priorities is placed on 'Combating antisemitism,' and the weakest level of support for Israel is exhibited;
• In Italy, respondents are least likely to report being Jewish by birth or to have two Jewish parents;
• The Jews of Latvia are the oldest population and the most likely to be intermarried;
• The Jews of Sweden attach a very high level of importance to 'Combating antisemitism' despite being relatively unlikely to experience it, and they observe few Jewish practices;
• In the United Kingdom, Jews observe the most religious practices and appear to feel the least threatened by antisemitism. They are the most likely to be Jewish by birth and least likely to be intermarried.

According to report author, Dr David Graham: “This report represents far more than the culmination of an empirical assessment of Jewish identity. Never before has it been possible to examine Jewish identity across Europe in anything approaching a coherent and systematic way. Prior to the FRA’s survey, it was almost inconceivable that an analysis of this kind could be carried out at all. The formidable obstacles of cost, language, political and logistical complexity seemed to present impenetrable barriers to the realisation of any such dream. Yet this is exactly what has been achieved, a report made possible through an FRA initiative into furthering understanding of Jewish peoples' experience of antisemitism. It reveals a European Jewry that is more mosaic than monolith, an array of Jewish communities, each exhibiting unique Jewish personas, yet united by geography and a common cultural heritage."
Author(s): Staetsky, L. Daniel
Date: 2017
Abstract: This study takes an in-depth look at attitudes towards Jews and Israel among the population of Great Britain, both across society as a whole, and in key subgroups within the population, notably the far-left, the far-right, Christians and Muslims.

It introduces the concept of the ‘elastic view’ of antisemitism, arguing that as antisemitism is an attitude, it exists at different scales and levels of intensity. Thus no single figure can capture the level of antisemitism in society, and all figures need to be carefully explained and understood.

It finds that only a small proportion of British adults can be categorised as ‘hard-core’ antisemites – approximately 2% – yet antisemitic ideas can be found at varying degrees of intensity across 30% of British society. Whilst this categorically does not mean that 30% of the British population is antisemitic, it does demonstrate the outer boundary of the extent to which antisemitic ideas live and breathe in British society. As such, it goes some way towards explaining why British Jews appear to be so concerned about antisemitism, as the likelihood of them encountering an antisemitic idea is much higher than that suggested by simple measures of antisemitic individuals. In this way, the research draws an important distinction between ‘counting antisemites’ and ‘measuring antisemitism’ – the counts for each are very different from one another, and have important implications for how one tackles antisemitism going forward.

The research finds that levels of anti-Israelism are considerably higher than levels of anti-Jewish feeling, and that the two attitudes exist both independently of one another and separately. However, the research also demonstrates that the greater the intensity of anti-Israel attitude, the more likely it is to be accompanied by antisemitic attitudes as well.

Looking at subgroups within the population, the report finds that levels of antisemitism and anti-Israelism among Christians are no different from those found across society as a whole, but among Muslims they are considerably higher on both counts. On the political spectrum, levels of antisemitism are found to be highest among the far-right, and levels of anti-Israelism are heightened across all parts of the left-wing, but particularly on the far-left. In all cases, the higher the level of anti-Israelism, the more likely it is to be accompanied by antisemitism. Yet, importantly, most of the antisemitism found in British society exists outside of these three groups – the far-left, far-right and Muslims; even at its most heightened levels of intensity, only about 15% of it can be accounted for by them.
Date: 2017
Abstract: This study, which was produced by JPR on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, takes an in-depth statistical look at synagogue membership figures in the UK. Synagogue membership data have been gathered and analysed consistently over several decades, and constitute the best measure of Jewish communal affiliation in the UK that exists. They provide the only consistent indicator of patterns of Jewish affiliation and belonging over time, and are thus of particular interest to community leaders and planners.

The report, authored by JPR researchers Dr Donatella Casale Mashiah and Dr Jonathan Boyd, finds that despite the fact that there are now 454 synagogues in the UK – the largest number ever recorded – synagogue membership numbers have dropped below 80,000 households for the first time since records began. Indeed, there has been a 20% decline over a quarter of a century, and a 4% decline since the last such report was published in 2010.

However, the overall decline masks important developments at a denominational level. Critically, the sector that has declined most sharply is central Orthodoxy – broadly understood as the United Synagogue, the Federation and various independent modern Orthodox synagogues dotted around the country – which collectively have seen a 37% drop since 1990. This decline is partly due to disaffection, but it has also been driven considerably by natural decrease – more members dying than being born.

In contrast, membership of strictly Orthodox synagogues is growing. Indeed, it has grown dramatically over time – by 139% since 1990. A generation ago, the strictly Orthodox comprised 4.5% of all synagogue members households; today they comprise 13.5%. This growth is driven almost exclusively by demographic forces – particularly, high birth rates in this sector of the community.

Taken as a whole, Liberal, Reform and Masorti figures have been fairly stable over time. Liberal and Reform have both declined slightly since 1990, whereas Masorti has grown, albeit from a lower base. But this overall picture of stability is somewhat misleading: in reality, Liberal and Reform synagogues are both losing members at a similar rate to the central Orthodox ones, but unlike those central Orthodox ones, they are also attracting members from their religious ‘right’ to offset those losses.
Author(s): Pinto, Diana
Date: 2009
Abstract: The Res Publica (Latin for “public good”) project, funded by the Ford Foundation, was designed to bring together a diverse groups of thinkers, activists and commentators in Europe to consider some of Europe’s most pressing issues: notably, the loss of a sense of the common good in our pluralist democracies, a consequent erosion of feelings of shared belonging and the emergence of new types of tribalism.

The project involved independent voices from different religious, cultural, ethnic and secular backgrounds - each speaking in his or her personal capacity - in a series of small, closed and off the record national round tables – and each lasting for two and a half days in a rural residential setting. The national round tables were intended to open the way for a more pan-European shared reflection on the res publica.

Each round table explored the conflicts, underlying fears and defensive reflexes that exist in each country and within each minority or majority group; in other words, those factors which have led to a weakened common public space. The project intentionally sought to broach difficult questions in a context of mutual trust - questions linked to national identity, the role of the law, citizenship, the role and rights of (often silent) majorities and (often vocal) minorities, secular responses to collective religious demands, and the link between civil society and the state. The round tables were also intended to address the tensions between national cohesion and a ‘Europe without borders’, especially their impact in two areas: integration and the struggle against racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism. To facilitate the discussions, round table participants received a carefully planned set of questions and issues that they were free to address, challenge, or revise in the round table discussions.

The project comprised six national round tables in total (in the UK, Poland, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands), followed by a seventh pan-European one. In keeping with the ‘off the record’ policy of the round tables, the reports of the meetings do not identify those who spoke, and specific attributes (such as a ‘Muslim voice’, a ‘Catholic view’ or a ‘Jewish position’, a ‘judge’, or a ‘civil society activist’) were only mentioned when the person specifically chose to speak in that capacity. Prior to the pan-European one, we commissioned a set of five papers from each country which addressed the five key themes which emerged from the round tables: national identity, the status of minorities, the law, religion, and the state and civil society.
Author(s): Graham, David
Date: 2015
Abstract: Israelis constitute the largest foreign-born group of Jews living in the UK, and, as such, they garner considerable interest both in Britain and in Israel. In Britain, the presence of Israeli Jews constitutes a potential boon to the Jewish community, although any increase in their numbers can also place a potential strain on existing resources. In Israel, the decision to move abroad is rarely seen as a completely neutral choice, so understanding more about who migrates and in what numbers, makes an important contribution to contemporary Israeli discourse.

This report, entitled “Britain’s Israeli Diaspora,” uses UK Census data to paint a portrait of the diverse Israeli population in Britain. Whilst it includes a fair number of stereotypical, born-and-bred, accented Israelis who are recent migrants to the UK, it also contains a considerable proportion of people who hold dual Israeli-British citizenship, have been living in Britain for many years and appear to be well-integrated into British society.

There is clear evidence to show that the Israeli population of the UK has grown over time, increasing by an estimated 350% between 1971 and 2011, and whilst it is still small, it now stands at its highest ever recorded level. Moreover, in the decade between 2001 and 2011, a greater number of Israelis moved to Britain than British Jews moved to Israel, at a ratio of three to two.

Many of the Israelis who have moved to the UK recently are in their mid-20s to mid-40s, and are highly educated, and whilst most are secular and relatively few choose to engage in Jewish communal religious life, approximately half of those with children choose to send their children to Jewish schools. At the same time, it is important to note that the Israeli population in the UK includes a sizeable proportion of strictly Orthodox Jews (about 16%), and a not insignificant proportion of non-Jews (9%).

Based on these data, it is difficult to determine the forces that may be driving Israeli migration. Whilst one might be tempted to argue that political or economic considerations are key, the most compelling evidence points to rather more prosaic factors – most notably, partnering with, or marrying, someone from Britain.
Date: 2015
Abstract: An important study using UK Census data to assess how the composition of the British Jewish population is likely to change over the coming decades.

UK Census data continues to be by far and away the most comprehensive and valuable dataset that exists on the UK Jewish population as a whole. Whilst the census does not capture the entire Jewish population, census data allow us to examine the socio-demographic characteristics of the Jewish population in greater detail than any other source. In this report, we utilise these data to explore how the numerical balance between the 'mainstream' and the strictly Orthodox (haredi) Jewish population is shifting over time, and what the age profiles and total fertility rates of both groups indicate about the future.

In particular, we highlight how the haredi population is growing at an extraordinarily fast rate, due to its rare combination of high fertility and low mortality. By contrast, the non-haredi Jewish population is declining, not least due to its below replacement level fertility. We note how these measures, combined with an analysis of population momentum over time, help us to develop a probable picture of a future in which the haredi population will become an increasingly large part of the whole.

Whilst this is a demographic certainty, the report also notes that 30% of all haredi adults are aged 15-24. Proportions at this type of level in other populations worldwide have been associated by political scientists and demographers with a range of social problems, not least due to the existence of large numbers of young people who are unemployed or on low incomes. There is no suggestion here that haredi Jews are likely to succumb to the worst of these problems – on the contrary, the community has very high levels of social cohesion and a large number of mechanisms that help to counteract these – but the possibility of increased apathy, disillusionment or abandonment of a strictly Orthodox lifestyle should not be dismissed. Indeed, examined from a demographic perspective, these types of possibilities represent the clearest and most obvious risks facing the haredi community.

In presenting a probable picture of the future of the British Jewish population as a whole, the findings in this report should be utilised for the specific purposes JPR intended: to help Jewish community leaders, operating either within the haredi or the non-haredi sectors, to develop policy to respond to the various challenges that are highlighted.