May 25, 2015

Coming to Israel: Meet the Black Hebrew Israelites

**giveaway below!**


Hola Chicas!

So...you see all the ornately and beautifully dressed Africans in the picture above? Fun fact-- they ain't from Africa (at least not directly) and many of them have Chicago accents! #SouthSide

Meet the Black Hebrew Israelites.

Would you believe me if I told you that there are more than 3,000 African-Americans living in the Negev desert in Israel that claim a Jewish identity and heritage?  And that they left the United States nearly fifty years ago and have been living as an autonomous community in three different settlements in Israel for nearly as long? Well believe it, boo. Black Hebrew Israeli Nationals, and I ain’t talking about burnt Kosher hotdogs. You might want to sit down…or perhaps angle your computer monitor away from your boss’ watchful eyes for this one…

Peep the view--
So, if you recall, on Wednesday night last week,  Hillary (F.A.N.G.A.) said to me-

"You all have good timing, I have something you absolutely have to see... but it's almost 3 hours away.  Are you up for a road trip in the morning?" #TomorrowTho

Y’all know we #DoIt (still not sure if that’s good or bad) so at around lunch time on Thursday, she and Resa picked us up for the amazing adventure, which came complete with a soca soundtrack #TheyTrini.  We had zero prep, other than that we were going to meet some Black Jews, and due to my experiences in Israel thus far, I assumed they'd be Ethiopian (or Drake-like) #AintNooooTelling

We ended up in the desert, 40 miles from the Gaza strip, which due to location, happens to be the first place to get hit by felonious rockets… Resa told us that if we hear the air raid sirens, we have 5 seconds to get to one of many bomb shelters. #5SecondsTho #ThatsIt? #GetLisaNem

So we pull up in Dimona, Israel. We parked and walked down on what looked like one big family reunion, complete with music, matching clothes, fellowship, card tables and kids running around. We were one electric slide away from being in a Rick Famuyiwa movie.

my first steps in Dimona, walking through semi-permanent housing structures  #WeOutHere

We were immediately approached by members of the community and my jaw dropped when they began talking... without African accents.  I couldn't wrap my head around it.  It was Black America in Israel.  And apparently my response came as no surprise to them-- this is not something you see everyday and their visitors are always taken aback.  #LearnedSomethingNew

They all graciously welcomed us (literally, saying, ‘welcome home’) and Bahtel and her husband Horacheal, from Chicago and Texas respectively quickly became our hosts, showing us around and introducing us to all the dignitaries.  She was like my long lost aunty!

They were celebrating 48 years since the exodus of the Hebrew Israelites from America. It was probably the most awesome and mind blowing experience we’ve had to date.  They have an amazing community, full of beautiful people that definitely have more in common with us than you can imagine.

#HeyFam

With more than 3000 residents from Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, Philly, Washington D.C., the Caribbean, London, Ghana and Kenya, their community is amazingly diverse.  I even met a dentist from Ferguson!

Hillary and Resa! #SoCrown
My skirt is from diyanu.com 



and they're off... #ToddlerRaces



Meeting some women from Baltimore.  Folks in the religion come from far and wide to celebrate the New Passover.  She's an attorney and was only in town for the event! 

Each family wears unique clothing decorated in matching colors and patterns...kind of like a Black Hebrew Israelite Coat of Arms. Check out the family above...mama, papa, and kiddo dressed in blue. 

Meet Menukha Gent.  She makes hair care products for the community.  Her secret ingredient? Cayenne pepper!  Her goal is to have it available to the general public soon!

Fun fact- the Black Hebrew Israelites are vegan.  But get this, they basically had all the fixings from a traditional #OurPeople Bar-b-que, without the requisite brats or hotdogs.  I'm talking potato salad and string beans... with no ribs.  So the crew dipped out and drove to the mall where we enjoyed schwarma and orange soda :)

I also bought a blanket because apparently, it gets very cold at night in the desert- 

and then this happened! #Concert #TurnUp #AllTheMarleySongs



Pictured above are two of Bahtel's daughters (left and center) and a friend (right).  Notice that one daughter wears the military uniform of the Israel Defense Forces.



Later Gators,
Nik



I'm giving away a year's supply of Henna Sooq's Red Raj Henna (12, 100g boxes)! All you have to do is comment on all the Israel related posts that have the 'CurlyNikki WorldWide' logo at the bottom.  On May 30th (at 5pm EST), one lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to receive #AllTheHenna! Good luck!

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