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28 October 2014

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You are in: London > Faith > Religion > Religion I-Z > Jewish Communities in London

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Hassidic Jews

Jewish Communities in London

The Jewish community have made a considerable impact on Britain and have been part of London life for centuries

The Jewish community have made a considerable impact on Britain and have been part of London life for centuries.

London has always been home to many Jewish settlers and this is particularly true in the East End. Jewish people have sought refuge in London for many reasons, such as migration, persecution or expulsion from countries such as Russia, and Germany.

A diverse community which embraces many cultures and races. London consists of Jewish descendants from Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe.

Those from Eastern Europe are known as Ashkenazi and those from the Middle East or North Africa called Sephardi.

The Jewish community is now well established all across the capital, there are many businesses, synagogues and community centres.

The East End is home to many architectural buildings, which represent the history of Jewish London. A number of synagogues are still standing although some have now been converted and used for other purposes.

There are also cemeteries and Brick Lane is still home to two of London’s best Jewish bagel shops.

The Jewish community of the East End has decreased considerably, many moved north to places such as Golders Green and Stamford Hill.

In North London’s Stamford Hill, there is a strong and united Jewish community.

Men and teenage boys are proudly seen wearing a Yiddish Kippah, Yarmulke or skullcap.

This external display of absolute commitment and devotion is the very essence of Jewish faith.

Judaism is not just about making regular visits to a place of worship, it is a way of life.

Halakah is the Jewish way of life based on the Talmud, which instructs a Jewish person on such things as what to eat, how to pray, burials and observance of the Sabbath.

Star of David

The Star of David

The early Jewish immigrants to London faced many more difficulties. They encountered discrimination which included laws preventing them from obtaining a degree or voting.

It wasn’t until the 1656, that a Jewish man or woman was recognised in the eyes of the law and could live as a normal citizen.

There are many festivals that are celebrated, one of the most important is Pesach or Passover. It marks the time that Jewish people were led by Moses out of slavery, guided by God.

Moses then went to Mount Sinai where God gave him the Ten Commandments and a Covenant was made.

God told Moses that they would always be looked after and the people of Israel promised only to have one God.

Judaism has experienced many changes since the time of Moses. There are now many branches within the Jewish faith, including Orthodox and Liberal Judaism.

There are many similarities between them, like the observance of the Sabbath, but differences exist.

An orthodox synagogue does not allow female participation in leading services, but in conservative and reform Temples some women have become Rabbis.

last updated: 19/02/2008 at 12:32
created: 11/08/2004

You are in: London > Faith > Religion > Religion I-Z > Jewish Communities in London

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Diane Louise Jordan


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