The Jewish community in London is the largest in England and is home to a variety of religious institutions. Synagogues are classified as Central Orthodox, Reform, Strictly Orthodox, Liberal, Sephardic, and Masorti, although in practice these distinctions are not always clear. The Central Orthodox branch still comprises the majority of affiliated British Jews. In addition to synagogues, there are also Jewish schools, societies, and organizations that provide support for the community.
The Charedi Orthodox community of Hackney leads a very observant religious community life, with no access to television, radio, the main media and little digital access. This has posed a challenge for public health messages to be communicated without using digital communications. Kosher meat and food are easily available in London through several shops, butchers, restaurants and kosher catering companies. Smaller communities have more limited facilities, but kosher food can be found in most parts of the country. The Community Security Trust (CST) works to protect British Jews and Jewish institutions in the United Kingdom from anti-Semitism and related threats.
The strike of 10,000 Jewish tailors in London in 1889, which lasted six weeks, attracted great attention and ended the period of unmitigated exploitation of Jewish immigrants. While no general body represents the interests of all Jewish schools in the United Kingdom, the Association for Jewish Schools and the related Network of Jewish Schools support and coordinate many non-Haredi schools. There are organizations that deal with sensitive issues within the community, such as Jewish Women's Aid, which supports Jewish women affected by domestic violence and abuse, and Mavar, which supports people who are considering leaving the Haredi community. There are also several adult learning centers, such as the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) and the Lyon Learning Project. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis holds the position of Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. He is a full professor at Leo Baeck College (the progressive Jewish rabbinic seminary in the United Kingdom), an associate professor at Birkbeck College and director of the European Archive of Jewish Research at the Institute for Jewish Political Research. Other representative Jewish organizations include the London Jewish Forum and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.
The original Jewish quarter, which contained several strong stone houses, was located in and near what is still known as the old Jewish quarter. Modern orthodoxy believes that it is possible to live an observant Jewish life while still participating fully in modern society. It federates democratically elected national Jewish community organizations in more than 40 European countries, uniting 2.5 million Jews across the continent. British Jews are also dependent on authorities that regulate kosher food, such as the Kashrut Division of London's Beth Din, as well as many Jewish restaurants and shops and Jewish clubs and sports teams, including Jewish football leagues run by Maccabi GB. There are also Jewish development charities such as Tzedek and World Jewish Relief, as well as social action organizations like ReneCassin and JCORE. Secular Jews who do not participate in Jewish organizations are imperfectly represented in this body and most synagogues and Haredi organizations are not members (although they do cooperate on selected issues). However, it also has a much stronger vision than orthodoxy regarding the possibilities of developing Jewish law in response to changing social conditions.
Masorti Judaism (known as conservative Judaism in other countries) is also bound by what it understands as authentic Jewish law (although there are a variety of views on what this means within the movement). The Jewish community in London is an important part of England's cultural landscape. With its variety of religious institutions ranging from Central Orthodox to Reform to Masorti Judaism, it provides a unique opportunity for people to explore their faith while engaging with modern society.