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Appalled at what they regarded as the laxity of the local synagogue, they established their own on the other side of the river.
They built Britain’s first yeshiva (an institution for Torah and Talmudic study), a women’s seminary, and a kollel - a centre of rabbinical studies for married men.
It’s literal meaning is 'fearful’ - in this context 'trembling in the face of God’.
The Haredi see themselves as defenders of the faith - engaged in struggle which dates back to the rise of the Jewish Reform movement in early 19th century Germany, when liberal thinking started to challenge the traditional religious teachings and practices.
If current trends continue, the strictly-Orthodox will constitute the majority of British Jews by 2050.
The Haredi – strictly-Orthodox Jews who trace their ancestry to 18th-century Eastern Euope – are one of the most close-knit, insular and private communities in Britain.
A report by the Board of Deputies of British Jews in 2008 estimated the size of Britain’s strictly Orthodox community at close to 30,000 people, around 10 per cent of the nation’s Jewish population.
Within the Jewish community at large, the Haredi have traditionally been regarded as , eccentric, inward-looking - some would say religious extremists.
Following the Biblical commandment to 'be fruitful and multiply’, families of seven or eight children are common; relations between the sexes are stringently policed, and arranged marriages are the norm.
It is a community where a lack of secular education means that economic hardship is rife, and dependence on benefits is high.
With all of the great centres of Orthodox Jewish scholarship in Europe having been destroyed during the Holocaust, Gateshead became the largest such centre outside the United States and Israel.