According to an article on the EJP website (European Jewish Press) discussing the composition of Jewish households in Britain since the 2001 census:
“More Jews than almost any other religious or ethnic group live in single-person households.
This fact, together with the large number of “Jewish households” in which not all members are actually Jewish, forces a rethink of the nature and boundaries of what is called the “Jewish community".
Jews live in every county and district in Great Britain. The identification of around 20,000 Jews in areas that were regarded as containing very few—for example, Northumbria, Cumbria, Derbyshire and Warwickshire—and where there are no formal communal facilities, is an issue that policymakers will need to take seriously”
Are these two questions potentially related?
The “Monthly updates” contain additional material on the same or related topics, sometimes including musical scores or illustrations from my own homemade prayerbook. The updates for July and August 2007 focus on dedicated and solitary contemplative lifestyles in Judaism. The updates for June, September, and October are concerned with living a Jewish life if you are far from a congregation.
The last of the monthly updates (November 2007) starts off as a short reflection on the Shammash, the Ninth Light of Hanukkah and continues with a transcript of "Dedicated Jewish Contemplatives" ....an article which summarises and consolidates much of the material posted on the site so far. It would be a good place to start if you are new to this web-site. (click HERE to view it.)
(The article was originally written for use in an adult education course led by Rabbi Lionel Blue at Leo Baeck College. It has subsequently appeared in print as part of the Spring 2008 edition of the Berghahn Journal "European Judaism".)
Having thus attempted to describe and promote a "Dedicated Jewish Contemplative" life-style… I am getting on with the doing of it. This means that I now return here to post much less frequently . These shorter and current posts are archived under the heading "Brief Updates" on the sidebar.
Since September 2008 a related online community has been in existence. Our "Congregation Beit El" is an internet-based congregation for Jewish solitaries, for Jews living far from accessible congregations, and for contemplative Jews who would like to pray along with them.
Its private website at Community of Jewish Contemplatives is simply a notice-board for this community - to facilitate group solidarity between members who live far apart. Members are invited to unite in prayer though they may never meet, and to use the notice-board to post prayers, reflections, and commentaries for the benefit of the group. It requires a password.
Your general comments and responses to this site are also welcomed.
You can contact me via the email address on my profile.