The litvish community of golders green: The formation of nested residential patterns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the relations between the social structure and the spatial patterns of Golders Green. By using mechanism-based explanations of a socio-spatial phenomenon, this chapter describes the entities and the activities (e.g. social norms and tendencies) both by themselves and in concert with organisational regularities and spatial patterns being observed (Machamer et al. 2000). The self-organising spontaneous enclave represented by the individual–community relations typifies Golders Green. As often occurs, the urban reality induces a gap between individual and group preferences and their implementation. Unlike other social enclaves, the Litvish community of Golders Green exhibits a relatively low level of segregation from the mixed hosting/charter general population (Flint Ashery 2012). The spontaneous enclave cannot create complete segregation from other groups. It is exposing the social currents typifying the community, with relatively high concentrations of various subgroups in certain “nests” of the neighbourhood. Similarly, spontaneous enclaves maintained by social-organisational and spatial mechanisms are likely to emerge in other religious enclaves. Collective behaviour, in this sense, is expressed by the very existence of few neighbours belonging to the Litvish community, which can create an isolated living environment and minimise the sense of unfamiliarity related to living among “others”. From the perspective of urban dynamics, the Litvish community exemplifies the influence of the social relations within a micro-cosmos of a small community on the spatial organisation of dense urban fabric. The acceptance of the Litvish leadership by a broad swathe of the Haredi population is facilitating the accumulation of control over individuals’ lives through social, organisational, and spatial mechanisms. In line with the theory, this research confirms that even a low level of social organisation can affect the segregated pattern of residential space. This case study, therefore, provides an opportunity to examine the relations between nuances of social organisation and the resulting voluntary congregations in “nested” places at various urban scales characterised by more intense social interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Book Series
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameUrban Book Series


  • Collective behaviour
  • Golders green
  • Population distributions
  • Residential relations
  • Voluntary congregations
  • “nested” places

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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