Articles from the ACJR Newsletter (2004)

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List of articles in this page:
The 2001 UK census
Apple Cake with History
Viennese Jewry

The following article appeared in the Newsletter for March 2004

The 2001 UK Census

For my amusement and edification, I had a look at the data on the 2001 Census web site (at, and I hope you may be similary interested by some of what I found. You may remember this was the first census that included a question on one’s religion. The question was optional. but only a minority of people failed to answer it. The "religion not stated" numbers totalled 4 million (7.7% of England and Wales), ranging from 12.1% in Haringey, through 8.2% in Dover, Penwith, Lewes, Welwyn, Stevenage, North Cornwall, Northampton and Torfaen to 5.4% in the Ribble valley.

The basic figures for numbers of people of the "great monotheistic religions", Christians, Jews and Muslims (including my own selection of local authority areas), are the following. Some of them are approximate (italics) as I calculated them from other data on the Web site. In all the figures I give, those ending with 2 or more zeros are approximate.


All people




Total (England and Wales)



259,927 (0.5%)

1,546,626 (3%)




46,686 (14.8%)

19,373 (6.2%)




13,112 (6.3%)

14,915 (7.2%)

Tower Hamlets



1,831 (0.9%)

71,389 (36.4%)




161 (0.2%)

867 (1.1%)

Greater Manchester



21,700 (1.7%)

125,000 (5%)




8,267 (1.2%)

21,394 (3%)




763 (0.15%)

23,819 (4.6%)




459 (0.3%)

766 (0.5%)

The striking (though not surprising) figures here are the high proportions of Jews in Barnet and Harrow (which includes Edgware and Stanmore) and of Muslims in Tower Hamlets. Of all 376 local authorities, those with under 0.1% of Jewish population number 193 including the Isles of Scilly, the only one with no Jews and no Muslims. Those authorities account for 23 million (44%) of the UK’s population. The top 12 local authorities in terms of proportion of Jews are all in the greater London area and have, in total, 2¼ million population, of which 140,000 (6.3%) are Jewish.

Of the 260000 Jews in England and Wales, 125000 are male and 135000 female, which could be a happy situation for the men! The numbers are proportionally closer to equality in the age range 25-49, with 40400 men and 41900 women, and diverge again in the range 50-64, with 24000 men and 25600 women.

Oxford has absolutely and proportionately more Jews (1091, 0.81%) than Cambridge (850, 0.78%).

I thought the countries of birth of the Jews would be of interest and expected that most Jews not born in this country would be from western and eastern Europe. The figures are these: 216000 of the UK’s Jews were born in the UK, 9300 in Western Europe and 4700 in Eastern Europe (including European parts of the former USSR). However, 8100 UK Jews were born in Africa, 5600 of them in South Africa. 9100 were born in the "Middle East", but the information doesn’t distinguish Israel from other countries. The next biggest "supplier" was the USA, where 5800 of UK Jews were born.

What about longevity? In the whole population, 1.95% are aged 85 and over, but if you are Jewish it seems you are more than twice as likely to reach this age range (4.22%). Of the other religion groups only Christians (2.29%) have over 1% in this age range. I wondered whether this might be due to Christians and Jews being wealthier or looking after their old folk better, but I doubt it. I imagine that a higher than average proportion of the older people of the other religious groups (e.g. Muslims, Hindus) were born in other countries into more difficult circumstances than in the UK, and this would adversly affect their longevity. I could not find data in the published tables to support this, as they do not give a breakdown in terms of both age, religion and country of birth.

Of course, all these figures depend on truthful answers in the census forms, and on who were those who did not state their religion. We are assured that no individuals can be identified from the published census data and the forms themselves will be locked away for 100 years. If you are inclined to be sceptical and not believe that, do you know of any premature leak of information from earlier censuses?

I noticed some information I don’t believe or don’t understand (perhaps erroneous form-filling): In the age range 0-5 there were 7 people who were "married or re-married", 4 divorced and 3 widowed.

Oliver Walter

The following article appeared in the Newsletter for July 2004

Apple cake with history

My mother’s cousin Ernst Jordan worked as a chef for a shipping line until Hitler’s Germany put an end to his career at sea and he went on to settle in Israel with his Dutch wife. After working as a waiter he had enough money to open a restaurant. A few years later he opened a hotel and became a government adviser on training hotel staff.

When the 1967 war broke out, Ernst and his wife went to live with their children in Holland. He wasn’t allowed to take any money out of Israel, but he borrowed enough to open a restaurant in Hilversum and it did so well that after eight years he could retire.

This is his recipe for apple cake, which became quite famous at his restaurant, and which he passed on to my mother. It’s quite complicated but it’s always a success.

FILLING (make this a day before baking):

2 lb (900 g) fine dessert apples (e.g. Cox’s orange pippins), cored, peeled and finely sliced.
2 oz (55 g) currants
2 oz (55 g) sultanas
3 oz (85 g) almonds, peeled and finely chopped
finely grated peel of a large lemon (scrubbed first) and the juice
2 tbsp cane or demerara sugar
1 rounded tbsp ground cinnamon
1 good cupful breadcrumbs or medium matzo meal

PASTRY (make on the day):

9 oz (255 g) self-raising flour
6 oz (170 g) softened butter
3 oz (85 g) sugar
1 large or 2 small eggs
1 tbsp apricot jam mixed with a little milk

1. The day before, mix all the filling ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, together well and leave to stand overnight.
2. Next day, mix the flour, butter, sugar and eggs with a little cold water to form a firm dough, then leave it to rest for two hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6).
4. Grease and flour a 9 inch (23 cm) loose-bottomed pastry tin. Keep a little pastry aside for a lattice decoration. Roll out the rest about ¼ inch thick and line the tin with it, pressing it up the sides so that it is ½ inch higher than the top of the tin.
5. Cover the pastry with the breadcrumbs or matzo meal, then put in the filling. Cover with lattice strips of pastry, paint them with the milk and jam mix and bake for one hour. Serve hot or cold with whipped cream.

Oliver Walter

The following article appeared in the Newsletter for October 2004

Viennese Jewry

The first mention of a Viennese Jew by name was in 1194: Schlom, a Jewish mint master in the service of Duke Leopold V. He was probably hired to mint some coins from the ransom for England’s Richard I. Two years after arriving in Vienna, pilgrims passing through beat his family and him to death. Duke Frederick I had those responsible for the attack executed. Mainly Jewish moneylenders were the Jews who settled in Vienna after his death.

The first synagogue was built at number 2 Seitenstettengasse in 1204. In 1238, the Duke Frederick II decided to regulate the life of the Jews in the city and bestowed some privileges on them. Six years later, Duke Fred the Belligerent had an official edict issued for Jews living in the Archduchy of Austria. They were serfs of the sovereign. He took their tax payments in exchange for his protecting them. In the 3rd quarter of the 13th century Jews settled mainly in what is now Judenplatz (then the Schulhof area), Seitenstettengasse and today’s Wipplingerstrasse.

A new synagogue was built at Judenplatz in 1294 and the medieval Jewish cemetery was located outside the city walls near today’s Goethegasse. Jews were obliged to confine themselves to moneylending on being driven out of almost every trade by Christians. This was further accentuated by church regulations during the 13th century, forbidding Christians to profit from financial transactions. 1420 saw the first large-scale expulsion of the Jews, which was church-inspired. Most Jews were banished and put on boats to drift down the Danube. Eventually even the wealthy Jews who remained were captured and had their money taken. On March 12, 1421 about 300 remaining Jews of Vienna were burned at a meadow in Erdberg, the Gänseweide, in today’s 3rd district and location of the Austrian State Archives. Though expulsion of the Jews had dire economic consequences, aryan anti-semitism was such that rulers only intermittently allowed Jews to settle in Vienna. Only at the end of the 16th century was a large number allowed to settle in the city.

On December 6th, 1624, Emperor Ferdinand III published an Edict of Privileges for Jews, granting them some rights and the right to live beyond the city walls, near Taborstrasse. There was a large synagogue at 15 Pfarrgasse. The Jewish population in 1624 was around 300, and 1300 in 1660. They were small tradesmen, owning shops in the city. Expulsion of all Viennese Jews was ordered by Emperor Leopold I on February 28, 1670 at the behest of the Catholic church. In 1670 the large synagogue was renamed as a church. On lacking the Jewish taxes in the state coffers, with trade suffering, some merchants and bankers of the Jewish persuasion were asked back. Emperor Leopold gave them some special privileges but they paid heavily for them. The Jews financed wars, the building of baroque Vienna, today’s National Library and palatial renovation. The Edict of Tolerance, issued by Emperor Joseph II on January 2, 1782, became the base for a gradual Jewish emancipation. The benefits of this were, however, valid only for the wealthy “tolerated” Jews whose taxes and economic achievements as merchants and bankers were crucial for the wealthy monarchy.

During the revolution of 1848 many Jewish intellectuals served in the front lines and the Jewish community finally became established. The constitution of 1867 fully integrated the Jews into Austrian society. The Jewish community evolved rapidly: 6,200 in 1860, 40,200 in 1870. At the turn of the century, 147,000 Jews were seeking their fortune in this imperial city. The town became a true avant-garde centre at the turn of the century, largely due to the contribution from Jewish citizens. The Jewish bourgeoisie committed itself extensively. Jewish patrons and sponsors supported avant-garde movements, science and art being the recipients. Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, lived and worked in Vienna. A Jewish state would mean less living with anti-semitism. More than 130,000 Jews left Austria after May 1938, more than 30,000 to the USA. Of the 60,000 Viennese Jews deported to concentration camps, 2,000 survived. The Jewish community in Vienna numbered about 185,000 in 1938, and 7,000 in 1991.

Martin Ellman

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