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s by the greater Jewish community, and many Black Hebrews consider themselves — and not mainstream Jews — to be the only authentic Jews. Schade |encyclopedia=Encyclopedia of World Religions |title=Black Hebrews |year=2006 |publisher=Foreign Media Group |location=Franklin Park, N. |isbn=1601360002 cite web |url= for black Jews claims 200,000 in U. |accessdate=2008-02-12 |author=Michael Gelbwasser |date= During the following decades, many more Black Hebrew congregations were established.Many choose to self-identify as Hebrew Israelites or Black Hebrews rather than as Jews. These groups claimed descent from the ancient Israelites.They selected elements of Judaism and adapted them within a structure similar to that of the The beliefs and practices of Black Hebrew groups vary considerably.
Groups During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, dozens of Black Hebrew organizations were established. Shortly before his death Matthew named his grandson, David Matthew Doré, the new spiritual leader. In 1975, the synagogue's board elected Rabbi Willie White to be its leader.
Rabbi Doré occasionally conducted services at the synagogue until the early 1980s, when White had Doré and some other members locked out of the building.
Membership declined throughout the 1990s and by 2004 only a few dozen people belonged to the synagogue.
In 2007 the Commandment Keepers sold the building that housed their synagogue while various factions among former members sued one web |url= Commandment |title=The Destruction of Commandment Keepers, Inc.
1919-2007 |accessdate=2008-02-10 |last=Ben Levy |first=Sholomo |work=Black |publisher=International Israelite Board of Rabbis , which gives eligible Jews immediate citizenship. 73–74.] The Israeli government ruled in 1973 that the group did not qualify for automatic citizenship, and the Black Hebrews were denied ] No official action was taken to return the Black Hebrews to the United States, but some individual members were deported for working illegally.
Some Black Hebrews renounced their American citizenship to try to prevent more deportations.
In 1990, Illinois legislators helped negotiate an agreement that resolved the Black Hebrews' legal status in Israel.
29.] Nevertheless, Black Hebrew organizations have certain common characteristics. Landing, author of "Black Judaism", distinguishes the Black Hebrew movement, which he refers to as Black Judaism, from normative Judaism practiced by people who are Black (black Judaism): Black Judaism is ...
a form of institutionalized (congregational) religious expression in which black persons identify themselves as Jews, Israelites, or Hebrews..a manner that seems unacceptable to the the "whites" of the world's Jewish community, primarily because Jews take issue with the various justifications set forth by Black Jews in establishing this identity.