Young Jews ‘more engaged’ in EU vote than other ethnic minorities


Young Jews are more likely to register to vote in the EU referendum than young people from other ethnic minority communities, according to a leading campaigner.

A YouGov poll of 1,300 young adults aged 18 to 30 found that young people from black and ethnic minority communities (BME) were less likely to vote than people from a white background.

The survey, commissioned by lobby groups Hope Not Hate and Bite the Ballot, revealed that while 55 per cent of white participants said they were “certainly to vote”, only 34 per cent from BME communities said the same. It also found that almost twice as many people from black and ethnic minority communities said they did not know how they would vote, compared to young white voters.

But Jemma Levene, deputy director of Hope Not Hate, who is responsible for the group’s work with faith communities, said that while young people from ethnic minority backgrounds were overall less likely to vote – the same could did not apply to the majority of the UK Jewish community, except the strictly Orthodox.

Mrs Levene, a member of Edgware Adath Yisroel Congregation in north-west London, explained: “It is likely that young Jews will be more engaged than other young Britons, but without more awareness-raising is it still very possible that they are not correctly registered to vote.

“Issues with voter registration affects all communities, but the Jewish community particularly values their democratic voice.

“The voter engagement amongst many Jewish communities is higher than other black and ethnic minority communities, but there is generally less engagement in the most strictly Charedi communities in areas like Stamford Hill.

“But I would not consider any community a lost cause. It’s more about finding appropriate channels to get messages across.

“For example, our reach on social media will be less relevant in Stamford Hill, so we will be using our existing contacts within the Stamford Hill community and distributing leaflets to local shuls.”

As a result, the groups have launched a campaign to encourage young people from ethnic minority communities to vote ahead of the referendum on June 23. The deadline for registering to vote is June 7.

Mrs Levene said they were looking to work with organisations across the religious spectrum, as well as the Union of Jewish Students and University Jewish Chaplaincy in a bid to encourage young members of the community to vote next month.

She said: “We hope to reach any Jewish students who are either not registered to vote or are unaware that they need to register wherever they will be on June 23, whether that is at university or their home.”

The results, which were released on Thursday, also showed that young adults were discouraged by sparring politicians, with 45 per cent saying they saw the campaign as “two groups of old men shouting at each other”.

This week, Vote Leave figurehead Boris Johnson appeared to compare the European Union to “Hitler”, while David Cameron, who is rumoured to have backed the Vote Remain campaign before negotiations even commenced, said terrorist group Daesh would be “happy” if Britain left Europe.

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