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This is a response to the brief article entitled “Environmental Film Festival” that appeared in the March 7, 2008, issue. Event organizers and participants undoubtedly appreciated the publicity. While we understand that the Washington City Paper employs a satirical style of news reporting, we found the quip about the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) film and District drinking water to be gratuitous and unprofessional journalism. None of the other films discussed was accompanied by this type of inane commentary.

The WASA feature covers an important topic—water conservation in an urban environment. Our planned discussion and a theme of the film are the water cycle and the critical need in densely populated cities to conserve water. The film gives valuable information on how to do just that.

Water conservation also saves money for residents and businesses.

Michele Quander-CollinsDirector, Public AffairsD.C. Water and Sewer AuthorityWashington, D.C.

Reader responses to “The Real Jews,” Angela Valdez’s cover story last week about Black Hebrew Israelites in D.C.

I may not agree with all these brothers may think and/or believe, they are not totally wrong. This should promote dialogue and not more of the same misinformation and ignorance.

This article incorrectly stated, “Black Hebrew ideology has its roots, most likely, with slaves’ first encounters with Christianity. Early sermons led by slaves and freemen often focused on the books of the Old Testament, particularly accounts of Jewish oppression in Egypt.” This is historically inaccurate as Hebrews of African descent did not begin with slavery or a church sermon, we go back thousands of years.

Judaism, Christianity and even Islam all have their origins in Africa and ancient Mesopotamia, and the original Hebrews were of African descent and were not “European.” There is no doubt these were people of color, going back to Abraham and many more including Jesus himself.

This is not racist, or anti-semitic (even this word is a misnomer in itself). In fact, some of the oldest groups of Jews, Hebrews, etc, can be found in Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana) and throughout the world (India, China and all over this planet). Judaism is not a race. Ancient and present-day Israel is not the same as most people may think, and this continues to be a problem. Just like with Muslims, Christians, and many other spiritual/religious groups, there are many, many groups, denominations and sections of African Hebrews, Black Jews, Israelites, etc. All of us should not be lumped into one big “so-called” cult category. Jews are not all white or European, and this has been so for thousands of years, not since slavery.

Please do your research, beyond what you may think in terms of religion, history… I ask all who read this to open your mind beyond the so-called history (or lie agreed upon) that has been proven to be the result of imperialism, colonialism, racism and white supremacy.

Shalom. Peace.

Comment by Melchishua, March 21, 2008, at 11:48 a.m.

I read your article. Allow me to enlighten you with a few things.

First, I am an Isrealite. Not by religion, nor group, nor brainwashed believer as you so slantedly wrote this article.

Yes there are inconsistencies in this particular groups, dealings and explanations.

Let me also point out at the outset, I learned and taught in the Israelite school of Universal and Practical Knowledge that was in Philadelphia. (I.S.U.P.K) I know of some of teh people with which you spoke personally in this article (Hamaqal) The fundamental baseis with which its based is True. The porpblem arises when people, like in religions, bring their own personal desires into things. IE greed, money, power, agenda’s, etc… I left the group because I began to see inconsistencies in the organization, but I never left the truth (as its called). You can easily point out the flaws of men, young men, obviously not as schooled in the scriptures and disgruntled people who were mistreated in some way. But the main thing about teh truth is learning and applying it to your life every day. Not for some power or reward per se, but because your mind and spirit in its truest origin, seeks and desires to be righteous. Just because you find out your an israelite, doesn’t mean you will be saved. Unfortunately for some of these men and women, they will have to learn these foacts for themselves. They come into this group, some of them, seeking something other than the truth about God. The same reasons people attend church and don’t find the truth there either. I will say this, Jesus said its best when asked what is the whole duty of man. He responded, “fear the Lord and keep his commandments)

Now I ask you, what was the point of your story? to say and show from your already established viewpoint that you already believe these men to be fraudulent?, or was it to see if what they say is true?

There are undisputable fact that exist. The book of Deut. says that the children of Israel will go in slavery by way of slave ships, yet still white people claiming to be jews, or (jewish) have never suffered this indignity. Why is that?

As I said earlier, I have left the group, mainly because I saw teh splits as damaging to the message of the bible, but I never left the knowledge of what the bible actually says. And thess facts again, are undeniable. Ultimately, believe what you want, and print the story on the Israelites the way you want. the truth is just that, the TRUTH.

Comment by A reader in DC, March 23, 2008, at 6:12 p.m.

I am deeply saddened that there could exist such ignorance and hatred in this world. It seems to me that this group’s methods are a historical analog to the anti-evolution movement: by simply denying the truth, they destroy any possibility of dialog or debate. This group is simply denying thousands of years of historical and archaeological evidence and tearing any passage out of the old testament that could possibly help their argument seem legitimate to other potential followers.

These people are not “The Real Jews” and I am afraid that by titling the article as such, the author has inadvertently sided with these people and their abuses of the Jewish religion. Anyone who accepts Jesus as the son of g-d is not a Jew. These people are masquerading under the guise of the twelve tribes in order to further their divisive and essentially racist agenda. I am severely disappointed in this publication for printing a story on this group and giving them a larger audience for fear that their ideas will reach a larger audience.

Comment by ethan, March 21, 2008, at 2:03 a.m.


In his review of Portia Coughlin (“Myth and Kin,” 3/21) , Glen Weldon commended Stacia Doyle’s “quietly sympathetic performance.” Stacia Doyle is a character in the play; Stephanie Roswell plays her.

Due to an error by Managing Editor Andrew Beaujon and Staff Photographer Darrow Montgomery, the photo caption on last week’s Cheap Seats column (“Hall Pass”) identified the young Charles Drew as standing on the far left. In fact, he was fourth from the right.

In “One Mission, Two Newsrooms,” (cover story, 2/15) Erik Wemple mistakenly implied that a kickoff announcement for the Washington Post’s online Recipe Finder was written by staff at washingtonpost.com. In fact, the announcement was written by Food section Editor Joe Yonan.