Hollywood Stars visiting Dimona’s Black Hebrews

A group of Hollywood stars from hit American TV shows The Walking Dead, Dexter, Lost and Hawaii Five-0 traveled across Israel, visiting different sites and communities during a one-week mission trip from December 27 to January 2.

Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy sponsored the visit in cooperation with America’s Voices in Israel and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who arranged the trip.

During the trip, the celebrities met with Israeli policy makers and locals, and toured strategic, religious, and historical sites including Old Jaffa, Masada, Tiberias, Nazareth, ancient Caesarea, the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the Old City of Jerusalem.

One of the highlights of the trip for Martin-Green, was the visit to the desert town of Dimona in the Negev and meeting with the renowned Black Hebrew Israelites who arrived mostly from Chicago to Israel in 1969.

“After this trip, I will bring back home the necessity of embracing other cultures and how we are enlarged as a result of that,” she said.

Youth on the Move Seminar

YOM-LogoAt the conclusion of the 2014 International Youth Conference held at Dimona, Israel H.E. Ben Ammi commissioned those youth that had gathered with a Divine Assignment.

They were to study and learn by heart , as well as be able to recite the five Sacred Truth Scrolls that he had written and published and present them at the 2016 Youth Conference.

Those who attended as well as those not in attendance were to absorb the content to the extent that they would be able to speak to other communities, at seminars and forums on their meaning and significance.

These presentations made by members of the Youth On The Move represented a major statement as to the third generations’ ability to articulate and comprehend foundational teachings of the Kingdom of Yah.

As a continuation of the theme of remembering how Ben Ammi has led the community collective conclusion was indeed “ there is nothing more sacred than Truth “.

New – The Sacred Seeds Archive

We are proud to give to the world truth from the mouth of Ben Ammi. Be inspired from the words of Yah’s Anointed Servant! These are classes from Ben Ammi and other teachers from the community. Ye may freely eat! See the link above

Rules of Engagement

“In waging the battle against death, Ben Ammi, our eternal anointed spiritual leader, armed us with instructions which are practical, and comprehensible. They are in effect, rules of engagement. Principles of life and living for those who desire to protect and preserve their lives…

African Hebrew Israelite Movement Blesses the Holy Land

“In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.” (Isaiah 11:11)

The founder of the movement, Ben Carter, a metal worker from Chicago, believed that Africans were the descendants of Biblical Hebrews. He changed his name to Ben Ammi and in 1966, after claiming to have had an epiphany from the Angel Gabriel telling him to lead African Americans to Israel, he led 350 followers from Chicago to Liberia, where they stayed for two-and-a-half years, suffering great hardship. Finally, after great effort, the African Hebrew Israelites arrived at their destination in Israel.

Ben Ammi passed away in 2014 but the community is unified and continues to thrive.

Founded in America at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Hebrew Israelites connect their arrival in Israel to the realization of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision, when he said, “I just want to do God’s will…He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain…I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know…that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.”

In Israel, a legal battle ensued over the group’s citizenship. The Chief Rabbinate did not recognize them as Jews, blocking their citizenship under the Law of Return. In 2003, the group was granted permanent residence status.

Hebrew Israelites do not claim to be Jewish or part of any particular religion, however, they claim to have a common ancestry with the nation of Israel via King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Israel’s geographic proximity to Africa has led to claims that migration and mingling of bloodlines was likely. In his book “God, the Black Man, and Truth”, Ben Ammi points out, “We know that many West Africans, especially the Ashantis, are direct descendants of the ancient Hebrews.” Other African groups claim this connection, such as the Ethiopian Jews and the recently discovered Lemba tribe.

Ahmadiel Ben Yehuda, Minister of Information and National Spokesman for the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, explains that the roots of the group are traced back to the tribe of Judah.

“We are Jews in that we relate to being of the tribe of Judah. When Judah laid out the attributes of the last days, we are a part of that,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We are not religious. Religions have brought a lot of problems into world. Spirituality is where we need to go.”

The Hebrew Israelites observe many Biblical commandments kept by Jews, including the Sabbath and Holy Days. The men attach fringes to their garments, though not in the same manner as the Jews. They maintain a vegan diet, according to their understanding of Genesis 1:29. The Hebrew Israelites wear only natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool, linen and silk (Leviticus 12:12), and do not wear leather shoes. Males are circumcised when they reach eight days old (Leviticus 12:3) and women observe family purity laws (Leviticus 12:2-5).

A strong emphasis is placed on healthy living as a form of serving God. Ben Yehuda has no doubts about how this would look in a Biblical context.

“If Moses were here today, he would say, ‘Thou shalt not smoke’. We need that kind of platform to serve God. We need to change our diet. We need to distinguish ourselves by music. We are going back to the Bereshit idea, of eating every herb bearing seed,” he explained to Breaking Israel News.

The Hebrew Israelite community is strictly vegan and actively promote this on the internet and by running a Vegan restaurant in Tel Aviv. They do not drink alcohol, except naturally fermented wines they produce themselves, exercise a minimum of three times a week and have one full-body massage each month. There are periodic communal salt-free or sugar-free weeks.

Residents of Dimona speak to visitors about the Hebrew Israelite community on September 5, 2005. (Photo: Dror Eiger / Wiki Commons)

Residents of Dimona speak to visitors about the Hebrew Israelite community on September 5, 2005. (Photo: Dror Eiger / Wiki Commons)

Music is another direction their devotion takes, and the Hebrew Israelites gospel choir is popular throughout Israel and America, representing Israel twice in the EuroVision, the international music contest. Ben Yehuda is proud of his community’s accomplishments.

“I don’t think the prophets would have wanted us to be the start-up nation. Technology is not going to deliver people from the darkness, and we need to provide that light. We need a radical change as to where the human family is heading; in how we relate to community, neighbors, children,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We need to change how we relate to these things to bring us closer to God, so that God has reason to protect us.”

The Hebrew Israelites are now in their second and third generation in Israel. Their children are Sabras (native Israelis) and are drafted into the army. Though not Jews, their destiny is intertwined with the nation of Israel.

About the Author


Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz is a features writer for Breaking Israel News. He made Aliyah to Israel in 1991 and served in the IDF as a combat medic. Berkowitz studied Jewish law and received rabbinical ordination in Israel. He has worked as a freelance writer and his novel, The Hope Merchant, is available on Amazon. He lives in the Golan Heights with his wife and their four children.

The Village of Peace Trailer

The film, which was produced and directed by Ben Schuder and Niko Philipdies, with executive producers Jack Madigan, Aaron McCreary and Amar’e Stoudemire, chronicles the African Hebrew Israelites, a community who migrated from Chicago to Israel in the late 1960s, and intertwines the story of four villagers to provide an in-depth and moving view into the community. The film made its world premiere Jan. 31,2014 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival before continuing to other film festivals, and, eventually, a TV or cable broadcast premiere.