Re: Need clarification about a bit of history from a family letter #general


This is pretty unusual and there is not much background information to clarify what the letter refers to.
Do you know anything about the letter writer? Was it written in Europe or the US and does it seem to actually be from the 1870s or does that seem unlikely to you? Also do you have anything to at all confirm anything else the letter writer claims? Is there black ancestry in the family? Did you or any family members do DNA tests?
Around that time there were black groups forming in the US who called themselves Hebrew Israelite but they obviously would not be connected to any German ethnicity. It could be there was some other group in Europe that was being refered to. This sounds suspiciously like things I've heard from the more radical current Black Hebrew Israelites but I would have thought certain theories were popularized much more recently, which is why I ask if this is possibly newer than the 1870s.
In short there's no reason to assume from this that there is any ancestry that would usually be considered Jewish since the writer clearly says not Jewish. The question of what is considered a Jew is not a topic for this forum but I think it's safe to say that the Black Hebrew Israelites would not be considered Jewish. This is completely different from Black Jews who have converted at some point in their ancestry, or the Ethiopian Beta Israel community. Until we know which Hebrew Israelite group is intended it won't be possible to reach conclusions based on the letter.

Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

SPIELER Lodz, Zloczew, Belchatow

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