Israelis in the United Kingdom

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"British Israeli" redirects here. For the belief that the British people are direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, see British Israelism.
Israelis in the United Kingdom
Uri Geller in Russia2.jpgAvram Grant (2008).jpgYossibenayounch.jpg
Total population
Israeli-born residents
11,892 (2001 Census)
Total Israelis
Regions with significant populations
British English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian
Judaism, Islam, Christianity[citation needed]

Israelis in the United Kingdom, also known as British Israelis, are citizens or residents of the United Kingdom originally from Israel or with Israeli ancestry.


In 2001 Israel was the 68th most common birthplace for British residents; some 11,892 Israeli natives called the UK home.[3] It is unknown how many British-born people are of Israeli descent, as this was not listed as a separate ethnic group in the 2001 Census.[2] The majority of Israelis in the UK live in London and, in particular, the densely populated Jewish area of Golders Green.[2] The vast majority of Israeli Britons follow the Jewish faith. The most common languages amongst the Israeli British community are Hebrew, Arabic and British English.

Contemporary Issues[edit]

Some Israelis expatriates in Europe complain of being excluded from the rest of the Jewish community. Only two percent of expats in Britain and France who responded to a survey said that they feel like part of the local Jewish community. Despite many Israelis claiming not to feel connected to other Jewish groups in the country, around 33% of those interviewed feel more attached to their faith than to the identity of Israeli, compared to 11% who identify less as Jews.[4] A survey by JTA reported that the Israeli community in the UK had little involvement in the local Jewish community, even though they chose to live in predominantly Jewish areas. Israeli immigrants in the UK often complain of being discouraged by the "frosty" attitude of British Jews toward them. Yet at the same time, many Israelis in Britain are indifferent to the local Jewish community and reluctant to become part of it.[2]


Alondon is London's main Hebrew-language magazine that caters primarily to the Israeli British community.[5]


One of the most notable British people of Israeli descent is Sacha Baron Cohen, a comedian, writer and Golden Globe-winning actor. His mother came from Israel.[6] Others include entertainer Uri Geller, former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, and footballer Yossi Benayoun.

In 2008, six Israelis were counted amongst the top 50 richest people in the UK, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, equal to the number of people born in the UK who made the top 50.[7] They include Sammy and Eyal Ofer, who were listed as 15th with a total worth of £3.4 billion; Lev Leviev (worth £2.5 billion); Benny Steinmetz; and brothers Eddie and Saul Zakai.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ HAVIV RETTIG GUR (04/06/2008). "Officials to US to bring Israelis home". Jpost. Retrieved 19 October 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "Israelis in London prefer their own". Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  3. ^ "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  4. ^ Expat and excluded, Israelis in the UK
  5. ^ Alondon Official Website
  6. ^ Kirsty Scott (29 September 2006). "'He becomes the character, certainly with Ali G and Borat. He has a mix of Sellers's acting and Rod Hull's bottle'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  7. ^ a b Harpaz, Moran (2008-04-24). "Six Israelis make list of 50 richest people in Britain". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 

External links[edit]