The release of the 2021 Census data reveals that Islington now boasts the 10th largest Jewish community of London with a 41% rise (2714) since the 2011 Census (1915).
The history of Jewish people living in Islington goes back to the early 1700s which included a number of famous people and the grand North London Synagogue. However by the mid-1960s the community dwindled to the point of both the North London and Poets Road Synagogues closing down. The local Jewish population has consistently been around two thousand people since the 1970s.
In 2011 Rabbi Mendy and Hadasa Korer moved to Islington to establish a Chabad House. A Chabad House is a Jewish community centre that is welcoming, inclusive and meaningful. One of the first events that Chabad Islington organised was the Islington Menorah Lighting, which has now become a mainstay at Islington Green. What started with 90 people has grown to 700 people in attendance, 2nd only to Central London's Trafalgar Square Chanukah celebration.
In anticipation to this year’s 11th annual lighting on December 18th, Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of Islington Council, said: “The Menorah lighting celebration organised by Chabad Islington is now a firm fixture in the borough’s calendar and a lovely way to bring communities together at the start of the Jewish festival of light.”
In 2022 Chabad Islington conducted a community wide survey with 87.5% of respondents sharing that they feel more connected to their Judaism because of Chabad Islington, and 75% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they felt more part of the community because of Chabad Islington.
Rabbi Mendy Korer said: “Chabad Islington values working with each and every individual, no matter their background or familiarity in order to help people feel confident in their Jewish identity. We believe that this factor has been a key driving element, contributing to the significant growth reported in the Census.”