Survey: 30 percent of British Jews worse off due to pandemic
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Survey: 30 percent of British Jews worse off due to pandemic

New poll by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) measures the impact of the pandemic on the UK community, as 22 percent of respondents say they're better off

Almost 30 percent of British Jews say the pandemic has left them worse off but 22 percent say they are better off as a result, a nationwide survey has shown.

Demonstrating how the coronavirus and its restrictions has had sometimes hugely different impacts, 20 percent said they were “a little better off” financially, indicating savings on transport, while almost two percent said they were “a lot better off”.

Yet while fortunes have diverged, 7.4 percent of Jews have borrowed money on credit cards, struggled to pay the bills, shrunk meal sizes to feed the family, or turned to food banks to get by, in a shocking reminder of the effects of Covid-19 on some.

The data, which only measures the pandemic’s effects until July, was published this week by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), in a short report on the effects of the virus on Jewish people’s health, jobs, finances, relationships and lives.

It shows that those “living comfortably” before lockdown were far less likely to have been adversely affected by the restrictions than those struggling to get by, in a further sign that the coronavirus has hit the poorest hardest.

“Jewish households that were already economically disadvantaged before the pandemic have been hardest hit by its detrimental effects,” the authors say, with up to 50 percent in this bracket reporting a worsening financial situation since March.

“Almost four in five acutely disadvantaged households reported that they were worse off, compared with just one in four other Jewish households.”

The paper sought to identify “where in the Jewish population we see clear signs of economic stress”, in part to better inform resource allocation, with the Jewish Leadership Council having made £2 million available to families affected.

Researchers found that 52 percent of Jews who were less wealthy reported losing their job, being furloughed, or having their salary or work hours reduced, compared to 20 percent of all other Jewish households. “About half of those who were acutely disadvantaged in July 2020 were likely to be newly so,” the authors say.

Strictly Orthodox’ households were more likely to be acutely disadvantaged, with about one in seven affected, up to three times “the national Jewish average”, but Charedi families – which are typically large – were already known to experience above-average levels of poverty and deprivation.

Jewish householders in their 40s were deemed most likely to have been hard hit, while those aged 60 or over less likely. The researchers said people in their 40s were more likely to have higher outgoings, or to have built up less savings.

Ominously, JPR said that – beyond the 7.4 percent of “acutely disadvantaged” households – there are “an additional 9.5 percent who are highly vulnerable to acute disadvantage, as they are already using up savings to cover their living costs”.

Co-author and JPR director Dr Jonathan Boyd said there was good news and bad news to emerge from the work.

“The good news is that the Jewish population entered into the pandemic in relatively robust economic health, and as of July… most Jewish households were navigating their way through any economic challenges rather well.

“But about one in fourteen Jewish households were already showing signs of acute economic stress, about half of whom appear to have been in that position as a direct cause of the pandemic.

“Beyond them, about one in six is vulnerable to serious hardship. The fear for them is that one negative work experience over the autumn or winter – a redundancy or pay cut – could tip them into the realm of the acutely disadvantaged.”

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