The New York borough of Brooklyn is the most Jewish place on Earth outside of Israel, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park. Yet in the middle of this Jewish universe is a tiny Mexican church called La Iglesia de Dios Israelita—in English, the Israelite Church of God. The church is an offshoot of the Church of God (Seventh Day), which draws much of its doctrine and symbolism from the Old Testament, the central scriptures of Judaism. The church displays Stars of David, members can sing the Israeli national anthem in Spanish and the adults even refer to themselves as “Israelites.” For the children growing up inside this church, who and what defines terms like “Israelite” and “Jew” can be confusing—leading to a slew of questions from these kids about their Jewish neighbors who seem so distant.
Featured image via Debbie Nathan
13 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Israelites”
Thank you Debbie Nathan…i was very surprise to heard that …(you report)..you know what is my Church, im a member since i born…Wow. !! I know David Mentado he’s on Charge of the Church in Brooklyn NY….thanks again…
this is actually true. I was born and raised in the Church of God Seventh Day and back in the 70s the church stopped teaching that we were obligated to celebrate the Feasts and that is when they started Iglesia De Dios Israelita
Ms. Debbie Nathan thank you for taking your time and interest in writing this article. I have been a member of this church all my life and my Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather have followed this doctrine all their lives as well. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if beyond my Great Grandfather this way of belief was passed on by his father. I reside in the state of TX. and I take great pride of who we are and what we represent. The only thing I wanted to clarify is that we are not an offshoot/branch of the Church of God (Seventh Day). I would also like to add that I love the title you chose for this article, it is perfect. I know that for the jewish community it must be strange the sight of “mexicans” following their customes and laws. We are not that diffrent you know and I believe that one day this tale will have a beautiful ending. Thank you again Ms. Nathan for your article.
sorry to disagree but the church started in Mexico and yes it came off COG7
Yes ss ss ss stil wonderfull SHABBAT SHALOM SHALOM HASHEM BARUCH ÀDONAI SHALOM HASHEM . ISRAEL SHALOM UBRAJOT SANTIFICADO SEA TU SANTO NOMBRE ALTICIMO CREADOR.DIOS DE TODO ÈL UNIVERSO AMÉN. ..BARNEY611 ÝOU BROTHER, FROM LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA. SHABBAT SHALOM HMNOS.
Mexican church? So is for Mexican only, That explain a lot of thing
the church started for discrepancies amount the main church, which is Church of God Seventh Day. IDI decided to keep the feast so they branched off COG7 in Mexico and they started to expand to other countries. I was born in the COG7
Peace to you, ms. Debbie Nathan, i eppreciate the time put into this article, I am a member of Church of god (isrealite) since i was born. I attend in the location of brooklyn, and I wanted to add that this church is compose of more than my mexican brothers, for i am from El Salvador where you can also find our church, as well as the other countries if central america, once again thank you for your time.
Thank you Debbie Nathan
Been a member of the real doctrine and would never change for anything !
Thank you Ms dabbie Nathan
Debbie you and your ideas are great!
paz a vosotros!! Peace be unto you brethren. I am a member of the Church Of God Seventh Day. basically the main difference is the seven feats, everything else is the same. the COG7 started in Mexico back in 1920 and the IDI started around the 70s when the main church decided that celebrating the feast wasnt a requirement but nonetheless Im happy to chat with you guys, I do visit a IDI in the city where I live and the hermanos are welcoming.