A report by the Board of Deputies of British Jews in 2008 estimated the size of Britain’s strictly Orthodox community at close to 30,000 people, around 10 per cent of the nation’s Jewish population.
In many ways they are a community frozen in aspic - a repository of life as it was lived in 19th century Eastern Europe, where tradition is held sacrosanct and modernity is largely scorned.
It is a deeply conservative community that venerates religious learning above all else and in which Yiddish is the primary language.
It’s a very full life.’ Kornbluh is, by his own description 'a fitness fanatic’ who jogs five or six miles each day - not a type, it seems, much found in the Haredi community.
'I try telling my friends, you need to live healthy. I maintain, if a person wants something he’ll find the time.
He was dressed in a white shirt, the tzitzit, or ritual tassels - a reminder of God’s commandments - dangling over his black trousers.
'People in this community have lots of children, and they’re always busy. They’re going to the synagogue, going to study, to work, to see their family, back to the synagogue, social events in the evening.
Beneath their hats and locks they had a scholar’s pallor. It was once assumed that it was strain brought on by the long hours of study in the yeshive, or Torah schools, that affected the eyesight of so many Haredi men.
However, a study in Israel suggested that much of the blame lay with shockelling - the fervent rocking backward and forward motion that students make as they read the texts, and which causes an incessant change of focus in the eyes leading to myopia. He was a short stocky man of 61, grey bearded, curls protruding from his yarmulke.
Along with that came the increasing assimilation of Jews within mainstream society and a rise in secularism in which religious learning was exchanged for the scholarship of the university.