Jewish students create a home away from home

January 5, 2012
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Dancing the night away: creating a Jewish presence where there are few other Jews

Dancing the night away: creating a Jewish presence where there are few other Jews

Some of the country's largest Jewish "communities" are formed by students living away from home.

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research's national Jewish student survey, published last October, revealed the most popular institutions for young Jews. It contained responses from Jewish students at 95 higher education institutions in the UK. However, half of them attended just eight universities.

The most popular university cities for British Jewish students are Leeds and Birmingham, closely followed by Nottingham and Manchester.

Around 750 to 1,000 young Jews study in each city, creating communities which evolve year-on-year, but which are continually larger than "permanent" communities in all but a few cities across Britain.

The next most popular institutions include Cambridge, University College London, Oxford, and King's College, London.

Students responding to the survey revealed that the "Jewish clustering" at certain universities was primarily not down to the perceived "Jewishness" of an institution but largely on account of the courses offered and a university's reputation. Only one in 10 said they had picked a university because of the number of other Jews there.

The third most Jewish populated bracket of institutions included Bristol, Warwick, and Durham, but it was the final section, with the "least Jewish" populated colleges which provided a more remarkable picture of how far and wide Jewish students are based. It revealed small communities of students in far flung corners of the country, particularly in areas where few other Jews are known to live, including: Canterbury, Stirling, Aberystwyth, Cranfield, Huddersfield, Lampeter, Roehampton, Swansea and Keele.

Last updated: 12:45pm, January 5 2012