The number of Jewish deaths in the United Kingdom has more than doubled in comparison to last year's numbers, according to data collected by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and published by The Guardian.
During the time span between March and May of this year, a time span assessed specifically for the outbreak of the coronavirus, the largest Jewish burial boards carried out 811 funerals, compared to the 358 deaths carried out during the same time period in 2019, marking an increase of 127%.
The Office for National Statistics in the UK (ONS) stated in June that Jews were among demographics of people with reportedly higher mortality rate. Jews, along with Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, had a higher mortality rate than Christians or people with no religious affiliation, which the ONS theorized could be in part due to the socioeconomic status of those particular demographics.
"[This may be because] of different circumstances in which members of these groups are known to live; for example, living in areas with higher levels of socioeconomic deprivation and differences in ethnic makeup”, said an ONS representative.
Muslim men and women were reported to have the highest mortality rate due to the coronavirus, with 199 deaths per 100,000 for men and 98 per 100,00 for women. Jewish men came in second, however, with 187.9 deaths per 100,000 compared to 92.6 deaths per 100,000 for Christian males.
The mortality rate associated with the coronavirus for Jewish females was even higher than that of Christian males and females alike, at a rate of 94.3 deaths per 100,000 in comparison to that of Christian males, and 54.6 per 100,000 for Christian females.
Many experts believe that the higher mortality rate for the Jewish demographic may owe to a couple different scenarios. One main reason includes the timing of the Jewish festival of Purim which occurred during early outbreak stages in March during which Jews gathered together in synagogues and at other celebratory events.
President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Marie van der Zyl said last month before Britain allowed synagogues to reopen amid the pandemic that, “The reopening of some synagogues will come as a relief to many of us, as some aspects of our Jewish way of life return to normal.
“But as these figures show, we have disproportionately lost loved ones, friends and family as a community. It is critical we follow government guidance and caution going forward to save lives.”
Additionally, for those who said they had no religion in Britain's 2011 census, the figure was 80.7 deaths per 100,000 males and 47.9 deaths per 100,000 females.
The findings coincide with more statistics that show that black and Asian people in England and Wales were at higher risk from the novel coronavirus.
Figures showed that the highest mortality rate was among black men at 255.7 per 100,000 compared to a rate of 87 deaths per 100,000 white males. The death rate was 119.8 per 100,000 for black women and 52 per 100,000 for white women.Reuters contributed to this report.