Golders Green: A Jewish Epicenter in North London

Golders Green is a north-west London suburb in the Borough of Barnet in England. A suburban settlement originally begun by American developers in the early 1900’s, Golders Green has, since its inception, been known as a center for  the suburban middle-class English Jewish population. Golders Green is located near several farms and public grazing areas with roots originating in the medieval days. Aside from the Conservative Jewish population the town is also home to a sizeable very Orthodox Jewish community. The name Golders comes from a family named Godyere who lived in the area in the 14th century, and Green refers to the area was built on. Golders Green has been an English town since  the 13th century!

The majority of residents of this town first moved in after the first World War from more crowded areas, and this is when the first synagogues was built. The first Jewish service was held in this area in 1913 in West Heath Drive. During the 1930’s more Jews came from urban London in an attempt to escape the Nazi persecution that was beginning in the city. It was during this time that the original Golders Green Estate was built in the South-West on the site that had been the famed Cricklewood Aerodrome, a famous airfield, in earlier years. It was also in the 1930’s that many of the elegant mansions that are characteristic of this town were erected. By 1959, fully one quarter of Golders Green population was Jewish.

Golders Green is a cultural and religious center with shops and eateries spread along Golders Green Road. Hampstead Garden Suburb is a popular area, and is a mix of quiet streets with houses and green spaces.

Shops in Golders Green currently include over 50 kosher restaurants, butchers, supermarkets (many of Polish origin) and bakeries, plus many coffee chains. Golders Green Road has Carmelli, renowned for bagels, Soyo for frozen yoghurt and Solly’s for shish kebab. Bloom’s, which excelled in traditional Jewish fare such as chicken soup, chopped liver and salt beef used to be a popular restaurant in Golders Green. There are several sushi restaurants as well.  In addition, Golders Green is a leading center in England for Jewish medical care, and boasts many local community welfare projects to aid people of various needs.

As for Jewish places of worship, (there are over 30 Jewish schools besides!), 40 synagogues call Golders Green home; the original synagogue of Dunstan Road boasts the most famous of English rabbis, Rabbi Sacks,currently the Chief Rabbi of England. Shuls of all denominations can be found;  some of the larger congregations are:

  1. Beth Abraham (Goschalks) Synagogue
    2. Beth Shmuel Synagogue
    3. Beth Yisochor Dov Beth Hamedrash
    4. Bridge Lane Beth Hamedrash
    5. Chasidey Gur Beth Hamedrash
    6. Chasidey Ryzin-Sadigur Or Yisroel Beth Hamedrash
    7. Divrei Chaim Beth Hamedrash
    8. Etz Chaim Yeshiva
    9. Finchley Road Synagogue
    10. Golders Green Beth Hamedrash Congregation
    11. Golders Green Synagogue
    12. Kehal Chareidim Beth Hamedrash
    13. Kehillos Yaakov Beth Hamedrash
    14. Knesset Yehezkel Beth Hamedrash
    15. Machzike Hadath Synagogue
    16. Netzach Israel Synagogue
    17. North Western Reform Synagogue
    18. Ohel David Eastern Synagogue
    19. Sasover Finchley Road Synagogue
    20. Sinai Synagogue

In more recent years, Asian populations, specifically Korean and Japanese have populated Golders Green, although the predominant ethnic group remains Ashkenazi Jewish, second to Christians of different backgrounds. In addition, Haredis and Israelis have begun to call the town home as well. According to the most recent census, there has been over a 34% increase in the Jewish population of this North London suburb in the years since the turn of the millenium.

Golders Green has had many famous resident locals as well, including Marie LLoyd, an English music hall singer, comedian, and screen actress, Desmond Tutu, a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, known for his work on apartheid and civil rights, and Oliver Postgate, a children’s program maker and former student of Golders Green.

Housing in Golders Green, as one would suspect, is expensive. Since 2015, the average price for a house in this neighborhood is about 1.2 million British pounds (close to $1,585,000 U.S. Dollars) – 80.5% above the London average price; rental prices are, on average, about 3,800 British pounds (about $5,015 U.S.dollars) per month for a 5-bedroom house.

Golders Green is accessible on the Tube, the stop called Golders Green Station. Travel time from London is between 34 ane 45 minutes.

Golders Green Train Station

Golders Green Main Center

Golders Green Synagogue

Rimon Jewish Primary School

As for the current demographical analysis of Golders Green, England:

In the 2011 census the population of Golders Green was 18,818 and is made up of approximately 51% females and 49% males.

The average age of people in Golders Green is 34, while the median age is lower at 30.

53.0% of people living in Golders Green were born in England. Other top answers for country of birth were 2.9% India, 2.3% Iran, 1.2% South Africa, 1.1% Nigeria, 1.1% United States, 1.1% Ireland, 1.0% North Africa, 1.0% Somalia, 1.0% South America.

73.6% of people living in Golders Green speak English. The other top languages spoken are 3.7% Polish, 2.4% Persian/Farsi, 2.2% Arabic, 1.1% Hebrew, 1.0% Gujarati, 0.9% Portuguese, 0.9% French, 0.8% Hungarian, 0.8% Somali.

The religious make up of Golders Green is 37.1% Jewish, 26.1% Christian, 12.2% Muslim, 9.9% No religion, 3.8% Hindu, 0.9% Buddhist, 0.2% Sikh, 0.1% Agnostic. 1,685 people did not state a religion. 16 people identified as a Jedi Knight and 3 people said they believe in Heavy Metal.

44.1% of people are married, 5.4% cohabit with a member of the opposite sex, 1.1% live with a partner of the same sex, 33.1% are single and have never married or been in a registered same sex partnership, 7.4% are separated or divorced. There are 656 widowed people living in Golders Green.

The top occupations listed by people in Golders Green are Professional 24.3%, Managers, directors and senior officials 14.4%, Associate professional and technical 12.8%, Administrative and secretarial 12.1%, Elementary 9.3%, Business, media and public service professionals 8.9%, Elementary administration and service 8.6%, Skilled trades 8.1%, Caring, leisure and other service 8.0%, Corporate managers and directors 7.9%.


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