Black Jews (Explained)

Black Jews have a rich history and incredible journey on their path of Truth

With many countries, movements and hardships Black Jews are a beautiful part of The Jewish Race

Let us share with you the story of Black Jews...

History of Black Jews

The Jewish Race has it's roots originating from The Middle East.

Looking at The Torah, when Jews were taken out of Egypt, not all Jews left Egypt.

Not all Jews believed that Moshe Rabbenu was going to lead them out of slavery.

Therefore, Black Jews may well have dated back to the times when Jews were in Egypt.

And with a large majority of Black Jews having roots in Ethiopia, it would make geographical sense that when Black Jews were sent into the diaspora, they were coming from Egypt.

Today, Black Jews are all over the globe. With a large number being in America, and also other western countries.

There are also a number of Black Jews coming back To Their Home Land, Israel.

And the population of Black Jews in 2022, makes up around 1% of the total Jewish Population at around 140,000 Black Jews.

Black Jews in Ethiopia

As alluded to previously, the rich history of Black Jews goes back millennia.

A large number of Black Jews have Ethiopia heritage.

In Ethiopia, there are Black Jewish Communities living in Gondar.

Gondar is a city in the North-Western reigon of Ethiopia.

Around 4000 Black Jews are living in Gondar, Ethiopia and are known as 'Beta Israel'

Falasha Village in Gondar, Ethiopia, is a place in the Simien mountains where a few hundred Jews used to live for generations.

However, today there are not Black Jews living in Falasha Village as they mostly made Aliyah to Israel in the 1980's / 1990's

In Falasha Village, it is incredible to see the Jewish History still remaining and local Ethiopian's are incredibly tour and explain where The Jewish History existed. There is also a Jewish cemetery with graves dating back to the 1800's!

There is a beautiful Jewish Synagogue in Gondar, Ethiopia that has hundreds of Black Ethiopian Jews studying The Torah. Men would wear Tefillin and a Tallis.

Black Jews in Israel

Sadly, there are many Black Jews from Ethiopia who are seperated and isolated from Black Jews in Israel.

There have been issues with The Israeli Government recognising their Jewish Heritage and as a result, they are unable to move to Israel under the Law of Return and be reunited with their family members who were able to move to Israel back in the 1900's

On the other side of the world, Black Jews from America have had their Proof of Judaism accepted by The Israeli Government and this has allowed for thousands of them to come back to Their Home (Israel)

Famous Black Jews

Nissim Black

Nissim Black is a Black Jew, originally from Seattle, USA and has an incredible story about his journey from being in a gang, to becoming an Orthodox Jew.

As well as being a gang member, Nissim used to be a gangsta rapper. What is so amazing is that he took his passion for rap music and transformed his gangsta rap music into rap that spreads the beautiful message of Judaism.

Nissim came to Israel for the first time in 2013 and from the moment he touched down, he has been a star in The Holy Land. He moved for spiritual reasons and he explains that Judaism enhanced his relationship with music.

Judaism teaches that one of the highest ways to connect to G-d is through music.

Nissim grew up as an inner-city kid in Seattle and was exposed to a lot of violence growing up. Both of his parents were drug dealers.

When he started making his journey towards Judaism, he focussed on running towards Judaism, as opposed to running away from his previous gang life.

Now, Nissim is a true inspiration to not just Black Jews, but to all of us, that you always have the ability to change and become a better person.

Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar'e Stoudemire grew up in Lake West, Florida and is known for being an incredible, professional NBA Basketball Player for many years.

His parents were both raised as christians.

When he moved to New York at aged 12, his mother told him, "We are from the diaspora, we lost our connection during the slave trade, so we have to reconnect back to The Laws of Moses"

So, throughout his teenage years, Amar'e Stoudemire would start to dive into his Jewish Roots in his spare time to make sense of everything.

During his NBA Career, he had one foot in and one foot out while he was living the life of a professional NBA Basketball Player.

When Amar'e Stoudemire moved to the New York Knicks Basketball Team in 2010, he started to unleash his Jewish Learnings. And when he started to speak about Judaism more publicly, someone reached out to him who was also learning and they ended up forming a Chavrusa to study Torah.

From that point on, throughout his career, he would become more religious and start to host Shabbat Dinners and Jewish Learning Sessions. So, his team-mates saw his progress in Judaism and it was not a sudden reveal where he said that he is now religious.

Today, Amar'e Stoudemire is a religious Jew who has his own wine company 'Stoudemire Wines' and continues to be a positive inspiration for black Jews, and all Jews.


Injera is an Ethiopian Flatbread.

The reason we have included this in the article is because black Jews in Ethiopia would make Injera as a bread substitute.

On Friday Night Dinner, Injera would be used as Challah for Shabbat Dinner.

Injera would not be eaten on Passover, as it is essentially leavened bread.

There you have it!

The rich, beautiful history of Black Jews.

We hope that Ethiopian Jews are able to come back to The Holy Land and for all us to be back in Israel when Moshiach arrives.

Till next time!


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