I was fascinated to read your article on the Institute of Policy Research’s report “Strictly Orthodox Rising” ( JC, Oct 16). Is this the same organisation, along with the Community Research Unit of the Board of Deputies, who when I stated in 2005 at the conclusion of five years’ pioneering doctoral research on ‘‘charedi England’’ that the kehillot were expanding by five per cent per annum, poured scorn on me from a great height?
Now, a decade (and many thousands of pounds of communal money spent) later, they claim that the charedim are expanding by an astonishing “4.8 per cent.” Not only that but they go on to claim, with absolutely no evidence to support this, that the sharp rise in children and young people will inevitable cause a concomitant rise in criminality and anti-social behaviour. They seem to envisage hordes of yeshiva boys and sem girls rampaging through the streets of Stamford Hill, Golders Green, Broughton and Prestwich.
If I were a non-Jewish resident of Bensham in Gateshead I should pack my bags now and move to safer territory! How can such nonsense demand respect from any intelligent member of Anglo-Jewry, not to mention the non-Jewish politicians,