One West Camp

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The One West Camp is a subdivision of Black Hebrew Israelite groups that believe in the Old Testament, the New Testament and the exclusive identification of the Twelve Tribes of Israel with ethnic communities of African or Native descent in the Americas.[1] The movement is named after its first grouping, which was located at One West 125th Street in Harlem in New York City, then known as the 'Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge'. The movement has since splintered into numerous "camps", including the New York-based Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, and the Pennsylvania-based Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge. Hebrew Israelite Camps related to the One West Camp do not consider themselves Christians and deny both the trinity and the divinity of Jesus.[2]

The founder of the first grouping and the movement was Eber Ben Yomin, also known as Abba Bivens, who quit the Judaism-related Commandment Keepers of Harlem in 1969, to start a group based on the "12 tribes" doctrine that had a more negative view of normative Judaism.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has stated that "the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement" is black supremacist,[3] and has labeled numerous One West Camp groups as hate groups, as well as the Nation of Islam-related Nation of Yahweh.[4] One West Camp groups are known for open-air preaching and protests, and attracted media attention with the January 2019 Lincoln Memorial confrontation which included a small New York-based group.[5][1] The great majority of Black Hebrew Israelite groups outside of One West Camp and Nation of Yahweh do not share these beliefs.[6]


  1. ^ a b Kestenbaum, Sam (2019-01-22). "Who are the Black Israelites at the center of the viral standoff at the Lincoln Memorial?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  2. ^ "The Israelites: The Untruthful Trinity!!!". Israel United in Christ. 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  3. ^ "Racist Black Hebrew Israelites Becoming More Militant". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2008. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  4. ^ "Black Nationalist". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  5. ^ Eligon, John (2019-01-23). "Hebrew Israelites See Divine Intervention in Lincoln Memorial Confrontation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  6. ^ "Jews of African descent 'unnerved' by comparisons to viral video group". Religion News Service. 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-05-29.