Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The ISUPK High Holy Day in Harlem, N.Y., Passover 2012.
The ISUPK performing in Washington, D.C., on October 10, 2014, at the corner of H and 7th Street N.W.

Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) is a non-profit organization based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States. The group is part of the Hebrew Israelism movement,[1] which regards American blacks as descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.[2] The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the ISUPK a hate group, citing its "extremist" ideology and black supremacist rhetoric.[1]

Volume controversy[edit]

ISUPK has demonstrated many times at the corner of Seventh and H streets in Washington, D.C., since 2004,[3] but residents complain that the group amplifies its open-air preaching to more than 90 decibels and that its message is offensive.[4] Some homeowners say the group accuses white and gay people of destroying historically black neighborhoods, and at least one resident has complained of being called "cracker, slave owner, [and] white devil," but they reiterate that volume, rather than the group's speech content, is the problem.[5]

ISUPK and other groups' volume prompted Washington's municipal government to consider an ordinance to "resolve the issue."[6] The measure would have limited the volume of daytime noncommercial speech to 70 decibels, but it died because of free-speech concerns.[7] ISUPK's regional director, General Yahanna, defended the group, saying residents' real issue was not sound, but the group's message.[6] The group identifies its message as saving local residents' souls and discouraging people from drugs and crime; it regards its separatist teachings as the real objection residents have.[5]


  1. ^ a b "God and the General. Leader Discusses Black Supremacist Group". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Fall 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  2. ^ "History of Hebrew Israelism". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  3. ^ Seregi, Marianne. "How Loud is Loud? Across the District, Residents Are Seeking Relief From Jarring, Vexing, Headache-Inducing Noise". The Washington Post. Saturday, September 22, 2007. pp. B01. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  4. ^ Segraves, Mark (February 21, 2008). "Bring The Noise". WTOP News. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  5. ^ a b Sabar, Ariel (March 12, 2008). "In a Changing Neighborhood, the Gospel Falls on Achy Ears". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  6. ^ a b "Faith group hit for being too loud". The Washington Times. February 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  7. ^ Stewart, Nikita (February 20, 2008). "Measure Tabled Over Unions' Free-Speech Concerns". The Washington Post. pp. B02. Retrieved 2008-09-08.

External links[edit]