The Jewish community in London is a vibrant and welcoming one, open to all regardless of religious, cultural or political affiliations. The Charedi Orthodox community of Hackney is particularly observant, with limited access to digital technology and the main media. This posed a challenge for the council to get public health messages to the community without using digital communications. Political activism is an important part of Judaism, with many Jews identifying with or leaning towards the Republican Party (28%) and Jewish Democrats and those who lean towards the Republican Party (31%).
The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) is open to Jews, while non-Jewish followers can apply for Allied membership. However, members of parties that oppose the Labor Party in elections are not eligible for membership. In February, more than 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labor Party signed an open letter from the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) in which they described the party led by Corbin as a crucial ally in the fight against intolerance and reaction, and highlighted Corbin's constant campaign in support of initiatives against anti-Semitism. Charedi communities in New York and Israel had already experienced disproportionately higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, and there was a risk of a similar outcome in Hackney.
More than half of Jews say they “just don't care” or that they express their Judaism in other ways. And six out of ten say that, at least sometimes, they share Jewish culture and holidays with non-Jewish friends, that they celebrated or attended a Seder last Passover, or that they observed a Jewish ritual to mark a milestone in their life cycle (such as a bar or bat mitzvah) last year. It is important to study the participation of religious groups in political activities and volunteering, including attitudes toward political beliefs and community cohesion. One in five Jewish adults (21%) say they rarely participate in activities or services with Chabad, and 62% say they never do.
Some Jewish community leaders have questioned if Jews married to each other, Jews from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and Jews who have family members from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds could avoid synagogues because they don't feel welcome. A slightly smaller majority cites lack of interest as a reason for not attending more often, and more than half of those who don't attend say they express their Judaism in other ways. However, younger Jewish adults (under 30) are more likely than older Jewish adults to have fasted on Yom Kippur. Nearly two-thirds own a mezuzah, which is a scroll containing passages from the Scriptures that are normally placed on door frames in Jewish homes. Jews who are married to Jewish spouses are more likely than Jews married to each other to own these examples of Judaica.
To provide another window into some of the changes taking place in the lives of American Jews, the Pew Research Center conducted a series of in-depth interviews with rabbis and other Jewish leaders. In addition to synagogues, many other organizations are trying to attract young Jewish adults, families with children, married couples, and other hard-to-reach segments of the population. And Jews with spouses who are also Jewish are more likely than respondents to have participated in a Seder, fasted on Yom Kippur, and attended a ritual such as a bar or bat mitzvah over the past year. For non-Jewish political affiliations looking to engage with the Jewish community in London, it is important to understand their values and culture. It is also important to be aware of how different religious groups participate in political activities and volunteering. Finally, it is essential to recognize that there are many different ways that Jews express their Judaism.