91% of Jewish community employs home help, new survey reveals

New research released by World Jewish Relief, the British Jewish community’s humanitarian agency, shows that 91% of the UK Jewish community employs some sort of help around the home.

The survey, conducted by research company Survation, found that the most popular home help is a cleaner, with two thirds (65%) of the community utilising the help to keep their home tidy. 54% of British Jews have a cleaner at least once a week with 20% relying on one several times a week.

59% of the community use a window cleaner during the year and 51% have gardeners. 41% of the community use a handyman during the year.

The least used forms of home help were chefs, au pairs and carers. Just 1% of the community employ a chef or have someone to prepare food and only 3% use an au pair. 4% of the community have a carer visit during the week. 6% of the community have a personal trainer at home at least once a week with men just as likely to use one as women.

The survey reveals that British Jewish men are not afraid of personal grooming, with 10% of male respondents saying they have a beautician visit them a number of times a year. The figure for women is 22%.

Women are more likely to employ home help than men by 93% to 88% and in particular, window cleaners, gardeners and cleaners.

The survey showed a number of interesting regional variations. London Jews are more likely to have a cleaner than the Jewish communities of Liverpool and Manchester. However, Jews in the North West of England are more likely to have a gardener visit every month than their counterparts in London. They also much more likely to employ a window cleaner than other Jews around the UK.

57% of British Jews said they would struggle without help in the home. Older Jews were more likely to struggle than younger Jews, with 22% of Jews above the age of 55 saying that they couldn’t cope without help in the home compared with just 10% of Jews aged between 18-34.

The survey also asked respondents why they needed home help. The most common reason given for having home help is a lack of time with 47% of respondents saying this was why they didn’t do the tasks themselves. Younger Jews in particular gave this reason: two thirds of Jews between the ages of 18-34 said they didn’t have time. 29% of all respondents said that they needed home help because they didn’t want to do the tasks or didn’t know how to – an answer more men gave than women. One in five respondents gave the reason that they weren’t physically able to carry out the activities in the home. This was the most popular response for Jews over 55 years old – 41% of respondents in that age bracket.

The survey was released by World Jewish Relief ahead of their Rosh Hashanah appeal to fund home care workers for older Jews in Eastern Europe. Across Ukraine, thousands of older Jews live in poverty, many housebound and completely alone. Home care workers are often their only source of company. Home care workers carry out a huge range of tasks in the homes of the people whom they support, including preparing food, tidying and helping older people to wash themselves. Just as importantly, they keep them company by reading together and chatting about times gone by.

Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s Chief Executive, said: “Being alone in your old age is frightening, particularly for vulnerable older people who have become housebound. Many older Jews across Ukraine and Eastern Europe will celebrate Rosh Hashanah alone as they have no immediate family. With the support of the UK Jewish community, we can change that. Home care workers are a lifeline, providing essential practical and emotional support. This Rosh Hashanah, please help us to be family to an older person who has no one.”

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