September 21, 2015

Kosher Europe Very Much Alive on the Eve of the Holidays

London - Although the kosher stores here are not yet on the caliber of stores in places like New York, Jerusalem or even Sao Paulo, the activity very much resembled those busy kosher markets on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. At Kosher Kingdom, shoppers were filling wagons with honey, cakes, and ingredients for the holiday. The same was true in major kosher neighborhoods like Golder’s Green, Hendon and Stamford Hill as well as in Manchester. Ironically, while the Jewish community has declined from a high of 500,000 to approximately 250,000, community leaders say that there is real growth again, not only amongst an estimated 50,000 Orthodox Jews, but amongst younger secular young Jews who are maintaining their Jewish identity. Some food experts here estimated that there were well over 100,000 people in the UK who eat kosher either on a regular basis or for the Jewish holidays. Ironically, at a time when there is so much talk of Jews leaving Europe, the key markets such as Paris, Antwerp, and Amsterdam report rising sales of kosher. There is also activity in cities like Berlin, Milan, St. Petersburg and Moscow.  According to the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, some 30,000 Jews made Aliya in the past year, many of them from Europe.