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On this date, we celebrate the return of African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem to Israel in 1969.
The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem are a growing community of about 2,000 Jewish men, women, and children. In southern Israel, they live in three development towns, Dimona, Arad, and Mitzpe Ramon. Their culture of communal lifestyle, strict diet, preventive health care, and high moral standards remains. They uphold a holistic approach to life based on righteousness, intending to live according to the laws and prophecies of God. Since arriving in Dimona, they have been a foundation for establishing God’s Kingdom on Earth.
Their accomplishments of the past years strengthened their faith in the words of the prophets. Some find it hard to see former African Americans as the source of this inspiration, readily leaving the pleasures of ultra-modern America for life in the desert wilderness. Their presence (in previous years) raised opposition, controversy, and political clamor, yet they continue to nurture an inspiring and refreshing lifestyle. In 1966 their spiritual leader, Ben Ammi, had a vision that it was time for the Children of Israel who remained in America (the land of their captivity) to return to the Holy Land (the land of their origin).
In 1967, four hundred Hebrew Israelites made an exodus from America. According to a plan, they settled in Liberia’s interior to purge themselves of the negative attributes they had acquired in America. After spending two and one-half years in Liberia, The African Hebrew Israelites returned to Israel in 1969.
In their almost 30 years in the Holy Land, the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem have managed an inarguable string of achievements: men who are capable, responsible, and caring; women who are valued as equals and encouraged to achieve; children who are protected, nurtured and encouraged to grow and appreciate the Creation and respect their role in it; elders who are healthy, vital, revered for their wisdom and knowledge and expected to continue as integral, functioning parts of the community.
These are the tenants that once were the hallmarks of successful, progressive societies. The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem are recognized as a tangible, viable, righteous alternative for those who long to see peace, justice, mercy, truth, and love.