ORTHODOX JEWISH FAMILIES are leaving the noisy busy north London suburb of Stamford Hill for the tranquil haven of Canvey Island in Essex.
At least one family has taken up residence, six or seven hope to move there by the end of this month August 2016 and others are approaching islanders with above-market-price offers.
The Haredi (also spelt as Charedi), an ultra-orthodox branch of hasidic Judaism, are finding it difficult to afford to buy or rent homes in Stamford Hill, many of which cost more than £1 million.
The district is said to have Europe’s biggest concentration of orthodox Jews.
Residents of Canvey Island, described by The Guardian as “monocultural”, are publicly responding positively to the new migrants, although some have been surprised by the doorknock requests to buy their houses.
Dave Blackwell, leader of Canvey Independent Party — motto “Your Island, Your Party” — told Essex newspaper the Daily Gazette that he was happy for Castle View to become a school again rather than a building site for 50 new homes.
Blackwell said that a property developer had withdrawn because of worries about flooding, which on 31 January 1953 killed 58 people and they [the Haredi] are looking to create a large community here.
“I think it’s a good thing.”
Haredi rabbi Avroham Pinter said the rapid population rise in the north London suburb gave young families no choice but too look elsewhere.
He said: “By next year we’ll have another 1,200 [Haredi], and another 1,200 the year after.”
Let us hope they are satisfied with Canvey’s flood defences. And with the island’s distance from London: 56km.
Hamish Scott 090816
* Rabbi Pinter died in 2020
* Backstory: Muslim-Jewish musical
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