Barack Mandela
Attorney, Veteran, and Philosopher

The Jewish world needs a Black Hasidic Rebbe

The word “Rebbe” is a Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word “rabbi”. Rebbe means master and teacher. In Hasidic Judaism, the Rebbe is the leader of the community.

During my time living in B’nai Brak and Jerusalem, I have met and prayed with dozens of Hasidic Jewish rebbes. In fact, my journey to Judaism began when I met Grand Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Chabad Lubavitch when I was merely sixteen years old.

Barack Mandela, and Israeli-American Jew, wearing a Vizhnitz Hasidic Jewish Hat purchased in Meah Sharim, Jerusalem.

I have personally met Grand Rebbe Aharon Teitelbaum of Satmar and Grand Rebbe Zalman Teitelbaum of Satmar. Both of these rebbes are following in the footsteps of Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar who passed away in 1979. Today’s Satmar rebbes bring unity, strength, order, and power to their Hasidic communities.

In my lifetime I have visited Jewish communities in nearly one dozen countries. During this time, I have never seen nor heard of a Black Hasidic rebbe. Does any Hasidic Jewish group have a Black rebbe?

It is important for the Jewish world to create a new Hasidic group with a Black rebbe. Such a rebbe would successfully attract more Ethiopian Jewish Hasidim. We need a Black rebbe to establish a Black Hasidic dynasty within the Jewish world.

Barack Mandela, wearing Vizhnitz Hasidic Hat, wants to create Black Hasidut

In 1995, I traveled to B’nai Brak where I met personally with Grand Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach. Rabbi Shach gave me a blessing “that I would become a Jewish leader”.

I therefore call upon Jewish leaders within the frum world to take steps to establish a Black Hasidic Jewish dynasty or a Hasidic Jewish dynasty for Black people.

At the grave site of my personal rabbi: Elazar Menachem Shach

As I am a Black Jewish person, it is vital for me to witness the creation of a Black Hasidic dynasty. Hasidic Judaism is a universal and infinite faith that worships the Creator of all things. Hasidic Judaism is all-embracing and therefore must embrace Black peoples.

As the Prophet Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let My People Go!”

About the Author
Licensed Attorney. I earned a Doctor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1997). I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside (1994). I was an international student at the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law (1991-1992) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law (Summer 1996). I am a military veteran of the United States Air Force, United States Army, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). I am a laureate of the National Defense Service Medal from the Pentagon (2006). I am a financial donor to following: Harvard Law, Yale Law, Stanford Law, Berkeley Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, UC Davis Law, Columbine High School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, Sidwell Friends School, Viewpoint School, Beverly Hills High School, Eton College in the United Kingdom, Special Olympics, Children's Defense Fund, Obama Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, Princeton University, Florida A&M, Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the British Red Cross. I am former special assistant and staff attorney to Governor Pete Wilson of California. I was public affairs assistant to US Senator Barbara Boxer and Mayor Ehud Olmert of Jerusalem and Jerusalem spokesperson Haggai Elias. I am a member of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and I am a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition.