In recent months, members the Hebrew Israelites have taken up residency in the Lower East Side. Each weekend, two groups of robe-wearing ministers stand on opposing sides of Delancey, between Orchard and Ludlow Streets. One man films with a handheld video camera while the others preach their pointed gospel.
On one such occasion, we took it upon ourselves to document their neighborhood presence and were hastily rebuked.
And here is an excerpt from the House of David mission statement:
The House of David is a Hebrew Israelite congregation. Its purpose is to teach those individuals whose forefathers are of Negroid and Indian descent scattered through out North, South, and Central America, about their biblical roots and true nationality recorded in The Holy Bible. Its aim is to learn and practice the biblical traditions of the Hebrew Israelites, also known as the Jews of the Nation of Israel, to reclaim their heritage and fully understand their historical origin and purpose in humanity…
The House of David was established in 1995 by the late Elder Moshe Ben Chareem. Its Bible teachings and biblical beliefs emerge from Bible History, Archeology, Prophecies, and current World issues. The ceremonial practices originate from the teachings of the late Elder Peter Sherrod (Ya-I-Qab), who acquired teachings from the late Elder Bibbins and the late Elder W.A. Matthew in the 1960’s.