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UK Jewish Population Growing

It has long been my contention that far from being in decline, the Jewish population of the world is set to increase – significantly. While decline has been a result of assimilation, both before and after the Shoah which tolled it’s own death-knell, growth is inevitable because of the non-assimilating orthodox community’s rapid growth. The Orthodox community worldwide is both statistically and visibly becoming a larger component of the Jewish community as a whole. It’s higher birthrate means that it is continuing to grow numerically even in many places where the total Jewish population is in decline. Over time those who choose to assimilate will do so – and be lost to us forever. On the other hand, I expect the orthodox communities to continue growing.

The demographic and political implications are no less than explosive.

Here in the UK, where we are so resigned to a community in decline, we should take note of Dr Wise (Manchester Uni) and his comments:

“The birth rate has exceeded the mortality rate for the first time since the war in each year since 2005.

 “Secular Jewish women have on average 1.65 children whereas the ultra-orthodox have on average 6.9 – a huge difference.

“ultra-orthodox Jews are set to outnumber their more secular counterparts by the second half of this century.

 “In Greater Manchester, for example, the ultra-orthodox number over 8,500 which is almost a third of the 28,000 Jews in the region. This is up from around one quarter only ten years ago.

 “And in Greater London the ultra-orthodox now account for 18% of the Jewish population, up from less than 10% in the early 1990s”

Good news? I would say so. But for the generation after me – I would suggest getting more used to the norms of traditional Judaism!

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