High Covid cases among Charedim due to ‘cultural factors’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

High Covid cases among Charedim due to ‘cultural factors’

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch clashed with Labour's Diane Abbott over high infection and death rates in strictly-orthodox communities

Kemi Badenoch and Diane Abbott
Kemi Badenoch and Diane Abbott

A government equalities minister said higher rates of Covid deaths in the Charedi community are due to “cultural factors”.

Kemi Badenoch, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities, made her comments in response to Hackney MP Diane Abbott, who raised concerns over infections in Orthodox communities.

Abbott accused Badenoch of being “insistent” that disproportionate rates of infections and death amongst black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities has “nothing to do” with being from that background.

She said BAME groups are “more likely to be in overcrowded, poor housing conditions” which makes them vulnerable to Covid. “These things aren’t random, they’re to do with race and ethnicity”, she said.

Abbott pressed the Government to ensure ethnicity is included on death certificates, asking for information on the Charedi communities, noting they had experienced higher levels of Covid deaths in the US.

Badenoch responded, saying recording ethnicity data on death certificates is “not something that can be done overnight, it will probably require legislation”.

She added research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine estimated 64 percent of the Orthodox Jewish community may have had Covid-19 in 2020.

“The researchers said the reasons behind this high rate of infection are not yet known. Strictly Orthodox families have significantly larger households than the UK average. They also live in areas of increased population density and, in pre-pandemic times, had regular attendance at communal events and gatherings.

“The reason why I use them as an example is that this is why it’s wrong for us to mix together lots of different groups.

“The Orthodox Jewish community has been more impacted than many of the ethnic minority groups that get a lot of the attention in the press, but we don’t say this is due to structural antisemitism.

“We look at what the underlying factors are. Multigenerational households, for instance, are not due to racism but often due to cultural factors.

This comes amid the latest report from the Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments