Yiddish in Hackney — but not Gateshead

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 1, 2013

More detailed data from the 2011 census released this week has revealed some surprising details about Anglo-Jewry’s population shifts and spoken Hebrew and Yiddish.

On Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics released new data, including neighbourhood population figures by religion, and records of which languages people speak.

Figures show that more than one in every 100 people (1.3 per cent) in Hackney speak Yiddish as a main language, owing to the borough’s large Charedi community.

Hackney’s Jewish population has more than doubled since 2001: 2,868 people stated they were Jewish in the Cazenove area. Similar increases in four other wards record over 11,000 Jewish responses.

North London’s Golders Green has also seen large increases from 4,790 to nearly 7,000 Jewish respondents in 10 years. Hendon increased by around 1,000 people, to 5,805.

But despite a perceived expansion of Edgware Jewry, with new schools and synagogues opening, its Jewish census figure appears unchanged since 2001 at 5,447. In contrast, Borehamwood’s Jewish residents rose from just over 2,000 to nearly 4,000.

Large increases in both Bury and Salford’s Jewish communities saw Prestwich’s rise by a third to over 4,000 since 2001, confirming the growth of strictly Orthodox Jews.

Numbers for Jews in Radcliffe in Bury tripled to more than 500 respondents, which could indicate a move away from traditional Jewish population centres.

The census also showed Hebrew spoken as the main language in homes across Cambridge, Salford, North Hertfordshire, City of London, Haringey, Islington, Westminster and South Oxfordshire. Bizarrely, Gateshead recorded no homes speaking Yiddish, despite its significant Charedi population.

Last updated: 11:45am, February 1 2013