North London’s Hasidic Jewish Community: A Gallery
Photographer, Tori Ferenc, shares her photographs of North London’s Hasidic Jewish community.
London is one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet. One of its proudest qualities is the different experiences and perspectives and ways of life that abound within its city limits. London is home to vast communities of people from all over the world, bringing traditions and practices that may not have originated on these isles, but are none the less well at home. London has practitioners of all religions, but one of the most enigmatic is the Jewish community. Localised around North London, west and east, the Hasidic communities of Stamford Hill and Golders Green are famously tight knit.
The new film, Disobedience, from Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman, Gloria) tells a story set amongst the Jewish community of Hendon. Adapted from the novel of the same name, written by Naomi Alderman of ‘The Power’ superstardom, it tells a tragic tale of forbidden love and the influence that community, faith and obligation can have over our personal desires. Starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as lapsed and frum Jewish women, respectively, whose love and lust for one another shows no sign of fading despite their efforts to forget their attraction to one another and observe the beliefs of their community.
Tori Ferenc is a photographer living and working in London. Her collection titled Tradition saw her take to the streets of Stamford Hill where she captured a portfolio of remarkably candid images of the Hasidic Jewish community living there. Shot on a Rolleiflex camera in black and white, Ferenc’s images lend their subjects a certain timelessness that chimes with this committed and traditional community.
While it is important to acknowledge that there are distinguishing differences between the specific identities of the various Hasidic communities across North London, what Ferenc’s photographs and Lelio’s film share is a common curiosity for this somewhat mysterious congregation, and each reveal something universal in their way of life. The photographs in Ferenc’s collection were taken during the Purim festival, an event celebrated annually in Stamford Hill, Golders Green and Hendon alike, a giant party where children dress in fancy costumes and adults drink and socialise in celebration of the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia.
You can see Ferenc’s charming and vibrant collection of photographs below, while Lelio’s Disobedience is playing now in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema. You can find out more about Ferenc’s work by visiting her website, www.toriferenc.com. Curzon would like to thank Tori for allowing us to use her photographs for this article.