Charedi Judaism

Charedim among poorest, yet have less social housing

By Simon Rocker, June 12, 2008

Strictly Orthodox Jews in Hackney, North-East London, are more likely to be receiving state benefits than the general population of the borough — but much less likely to be living in social housing.

According to a council study, 58.7 per cent of Charedi households received means-tested benefits compared with 38.6 per cent on average for Hackney as a whole.

But only 8.5 per cent of strictly Orthodox households lived in affordable social housing compared with 44.1 per cent for Hackney as a whole.


Charedi degrees plan

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 12, 2008
A BA in business and Judaic studies for Charedi and other religious students is to be piloted in Manchester. The Maalot (degrees) project involves separate off-campus teaching facilities for men and women, which will be accredited by Bolton University. If the scheme proves successful, it is likely that other qualifications will be offered. Driving the initiative is Whitefield Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, who is keen to provide higher-education and employment opportunities for the strictly Orthodox.


Kedassia man resigns

June 5, 2008

The chairman of Kedassia, the kashrus arm of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, has stepped down. Mendel Hochhauser has been involved with Kedassia since 1990. It is believed he has given up the post to concentrate on his business activities.


Charedi numbers ‘much higher than Board says’

By Simon Rocker, June 5, 2008

A new report has sparked fresh debate on the size of Britain’s rapidly growing strictly Orthodox population.

The UK Charedi population numbers between 22,800 and 36,400 and has been growing at a rate of four per cent annually since the early 1990s, according to a study published this week by the Board of Deputies’ community policy research group.

But Charedi sources maintain that even the higher figure is an underestimate and that the total is above 40,000.


Jerusalem Day? I’ve never heard of it

By Shelly Paz, June 5, 2008

Orthodox jews took to the streets of the Israeli capital on Monday to celebrate Jerusalem Day.

It has become a key event in the Israeli calendar and marks the moment that the city was reunited after the Six-Day War.

But it was one that past laregely without comment in London as few in the community had ever heard of it.

“The fact that I didn't know about it maybe means it should be a lot better publicised than it is, said Candice Joseph, 22, a research worker at the Institute of Psychiatry. "But now that I have been told what is it all about, it means a lot.”


The latest conversion row could tear us apart

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, June 5, 2008

The conflict over Israeli conversions will lead modern Orthodox to split from Charedim

Shavuot is a time for reading the book of Ruth: “Wherever you go, I go, your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God …” It is a time when Jews should focus on matters relating to conversions. There is much to consider.


Shtreimel gangs target Charedim

By Dana Gloger, May 29, 2008

Charedi men have been targeted by muggers who have stolen their fur shtreimels in a wave of attacks across North-East London.

The incidents have all taken place in Stamford Hill, which is home to the largest Charedi community in Europe.

Two of the attacks happened last Friday evening and in the early hours of Saturday. 


Rabbi granted bail

By Dana Gloger, May 29, 2008

A Charedi rabbi was granted bail on appeal at London’s High Court last week, after he was originally denied it by magistrates.

The American government is seeking to extradite Avrum Friesel, 55, on 19 fraud charges, allegedly committed in late 1980s and early 1990s. The charges relate to his time as town clerk of New Square Town in New York, a Chasidic community of the Skverer sect.

He moved to Stamford Hill, London, in 1999, and was arrested in April this year.


'Yiddish' men attack and rob pensioner

By Leon Symons, May 22, 2008

Two Yiddish-speaking men armed with a hammer were being hunted by police in North-East London this week after they attacked and robbed an elderly money-changer in his home.

The men were dressed in traditional Charedi garb and the attack has left the community shocked.

Detective Constable Joan Martin, of Hackney Robbery Squad, said: “This was a vicious attack on an elderly gentleman and we are keen to ensure these individuals are caught as soon as possible. ”


What baby boom? Board disputes birth statistics for UK Jews

By Leon Symons, May 22, 2008

A claim by a University of Manchester researcher that Britain’s Jewish population is growing for the first time since the Second World War has been questioned by the Board of Deputies.

Yaakov Wise, of the University’s Jewish-studies department, claimed that the population was 275,000 in 2005, but had increased to 280,000 by 2008. He said the main factor was the steady increase in births in the strictly Orthodox community.