The History of Brit-Am
Many of us know that we descend from Israelites.
Or at least we would want to have done so and instinctively feel that we did.
These instinctive feelings are confirmed by Biblical verses and secular studies.
Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations, the Ten Tribes Movement, is engaged in these studies and in bringing knowledge of them to the
Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations is comprised of Jews and non-Jews and works for what it considers to be
the good of all the Israelite Peoples. This includes Judah (the present-day
Jews) and the Lost Ten Tribes.
This is the story of Brit-Am or rather part of the story as it has evolved unto the present.
We are writing this account since it answers questions we are frequently asked,
it is important in its own right, and since there is need for a more reliable picture of what Brit-Am was and now
We are working mainly from memory but documents and records do exist. The reader
should expect several of the dates and facts recalled below to undergo revision
as different points are clarified: We may well revise and alter this article
several times over in the near future. The account below will not interest
everybody but some of you who are familiar with the subject should find it of
Brit-Am sees itself as both as both a movement and an organization. The Brit-Am
movement came first and comes first. The Brit-Am Organization is meant to give
some kind of formal framework to the Brit-Am Movement and further its cause.
Brit-Am as both a movement and an organization has been around for some time.
How did Brit-Am start?
Antecedents and Early Life
To understand Brit-Am we need to speak a little about Yair Davidiy
since up until now much about Brit-Am resolves around Yair.
Yair Davidiy was born in 1950 in Sydney, Australia.
His father came from southwest Wales. He was born as William Hugh Russell-Davis but referred to himself as "Hugh
The father of Hugh was William Russell-Davis. He was the head-master and the
owner of a boarding school. The
father of William seems to have been born out of wedlock and his father is unknown. This has only became known to the family in the last few years due to inquiries by my aunty. My father ("Hugh Davis")
never mentioned it and may not have known about it.
A recent DNA test indicates that he
was indeed descended from the Tribe of Neal who had once ruled over all Ireland and
Western Scotland. Descendants of the Tribe of Neal are now concentrated in the
Northwest of Ireland. Historically they were known as Gaels and as Milesians.
Within the Tribe of Neal DNA markers for our family indicate the sub-clan of
Donal and the Irish area of Ireland just south of Protestant Ulster, i.e. concentrated in Ulster
but that part of it now belonging to Eire.
On the one hand, my father, Hugh Davis, was an avid believer in British Imperialism. On the other,
he loved Ireland. He may have known something of his ancestry or he may not.
This is of interest since a
good portion of a Brit-Am book we published (before having this information),
"Lost Israelite Identity. The Hebrew Ancestry of Celtic Races"
(1996) concerns the Milesians.
A revised edition of this book published under the title Ancestry. The Hebrew Identity of Celtic Races."
The mother of Hugh Davis (grandmother of Yair) was from a "Plymouth Brethren"
family who reputedly never allowed in their house any other book than the Bible. Not all her family were so pious however and it was believed that one of her physical
antecedents was one of the Hanover monarchs of Great Britain.
The "Plymouth Brethren" were a small group but historically important. They
believed that the Jews should be helped to return to the Holy Land and receive
their own State. They are credited with having influenced the Scofield Bible and
the later Evangelical Movement in the USA that supports Zionism and Israel. [Orde Wingate who helped
the Zionists prepare their future army was also of Plymouth Brethren stock and also believed in
grandmother believed in the Lost Tribes being in the British Isles and did research of her own on the
matter. According to Oren Davis (brother of Yair) she helped found an
independent branch of British Israel in Wales.
The mother of Yair was born in London of Jewish parents. Her father, Leo Jacoby
(also known as Joseph Levi), was a silk merchant (son of an accomplished violinist) who was born in Denmark but had
come to England at an early age. He served as a liason officer between the British and French Forces
in Gallipoli against the Turks in World War I. The mother of my mother came from
Strasbourg in Alsace, France. Both my parents served as officers in WW-II. One of the
sisters of my father was a nurse who was taken captive by the Japanese and died
in captivity. Relations of my mother in France and Germany were killed for being
Yair was born in New South Wales but grew up in the State of Victoria which
is further to the south. His parents owned a series of food shops and small
In Australia, Yair became acquainted with British Israel Literature and with the
writings of Herbert Armstrong and his group. Yair at one stage attempted to
conduct research of his own on the matter but did not get far.
Yair had been born Jewish according to Jewish Law. Yair believed in Judaism and began to study and practise it while still in
In 1974 Yair moved to Israel. He served in the IDF as well as
learning in various Yeshivot and Rabbinical programs. Yair studied both independently
and under direction. Rabbi Menachem Jacobsen of Beer Yaacov was an
important influence. Rabbi Jacobsen encouraged Yair to learn the sources and to interpret them.
We learned enough to acquire some acquaintance with that part of the Torah most obviously pertinent to Brit-Am
and to lay a foundation
that could be built on. This however was not our intention at the time but rather we were learning for the sake of it
as is the practice amongst Orthodox Religious Jews. We still learn today and find it helps us in many ways as well as being good for Brit-Am.
Yair was married for a period and six sons were born to
him. Yair had changed his name twice due to a combination of personal
issues and Israeli bureaucratic rulings. The surname "Davidy" (later spelt "Davidiy")
is close in sound and meaning to our original name, "Davis", and is Hebraic in
Yair had always maintained a strong interest in Biblical Knowledge, history and
contemporary affairs. During his Rabbinical Studies he came across sources
indicating that there may be something to the belief that the Lost Ten Tribes
were to be found amongst Western Peoples. Information from other sources and various incidents strengthened this impression.
Gradually an overwhelming urge
developed to resolve the issue once and for all.
Were the Lost Ten Tribes in the
West or not?
A preliminary investigation indicated that even if they were found
not to be amongst Western Peoples it might be worth writing a book on the subject since the issue had
had historical importance.
It did not take long however for our basic intuitive understanding to be
confirmed that the concept was indeed a true one and consistent with the Torah.
In 1984 whilst living in Shiloh (in the former territory of
Ephraim) Yair began intensive research on the matter. He wrote summaries of his
findings in Hebrew and discussed the subject with Rabbis and academics. Yair
also spoke to Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail who headed the Amishav organization. Rabbi
Avichail held that the Lost Tribes were to be found in eastern countries such as
Afghanistan, Burma, etc. The two did not agree.
In 1985 Yair moved to Jerusalem and continued his researches in the National
Library and elsewhere. The National Library is one of the best libraries in the
world. It has a Rare Books section that proved very useful. Davidiy became a
fixture in this Library and was treated with great consideration by the staff.
At that time Yair worked as a professional scribe. This is a very demanding and painstaking profession
requiring considerable expertise and a special aptitude.
He was not really suited to it. Nevertheless it had the advantage of providing
an independent source of income whose work was not restricted to set hours.
Yair changed addresses several times but mostly lived in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
Many intellectuals and Rabbinical students are to be found here. Frequent informal discussions concerning our researchs were
held. On the whole reactions were favorable.
In ca. 1990 (?) Yair through a mutual acquaintance of Yaacov Fogelman (Director of TOP: Torah Outreach Program) came in contact with John Hulley and moved to
Kiryat Arba besides Hebron in the south of Israel. John Hulley had done research
and had come to similar conclusions as Yair. John Hulley authored
various articles some of which were later published in Brit-Am
publications. Hulley later published "Comets Jews and Christians" (1996) in which he attributes true scientific
achievement on the whole to a combination of Israelite ancestry together with relative closeness to Biblical truth.
He uses recipients of Nobel Prizes as criteria.
John Hulley was also preparing other works which as far as we know remained unpublished.
John recognized the potential value of our researches. We had new information confirming the identity of the Lost Ten Tribes with Western peoples.
We used Biblical, Rabbinical, and Secular sources and showed how they all tied together.
We were capable of presenting our findings in a format religiously and nationalistically acceptable to Judah (the Jews)
while true to the Biblical Truth of Joseph, i.e. the Ten Tribes. John Hulley became our first supporter.
He also employed Yair (for a few days each month) as a part-time research assistant.
This continued, on and off, for about two years or more. It was important to us at the time.
In Kiryat Arba there then existed a coterie interested in
the Lost Tribes. Some of them were researching and writing about it. Some
members of this band were converts to Judaism but natural born Jews were also
Individuals whom we remember well in this connection include:
John Hulley, from the USA, a scholar and gentleman whose field is similar to that of Brit-Am
but with more of a non-Hebrew Biblical emphasis and a more restricted historical focus.
Aaron Minazzi, from Milano, Italy, saw Jewish and/or Israelite ancestry as an explanation for Hebraizing (or "Judaizing") tendencies
amongst "heretical" Christian groups,
especially in Italy.
Minazzi sought answers as to what practical conclusions members of the Ten Tribes should be expected to reach once the truth of their Israelites ancestry
became clear to them.
Mordecai Lapid was a veteran immigrant from Russia where he had been a famous "refusenick" or activist on behalf of the right of Jews to move to Israel which at that time was forbidden by the Russian authorities.
His interest was genetic studies as a means of tracing Israelite ancestry. On the whole he too traced the Lost Ten Tribes to Western nations.
This was before the era of DNA.
Mordecai and his firstborn son, Israel, were murdered by Arab terrorists in a driveby shooting, in ca.1994.
Calev Ardon, from Flanders in Belgium, considered Biblical belief and practices as indicative of Israelite origin.
Mair Horenstein, from the Walloon area of Belgium, applied principles from Jewish Thought and General Philosophy to Historical Phenomena.
Yehonatan David White from the USA is the son of a Rabbi. He believed that the Lost Ten Tribes were amongst Amerindians and had done original
research on the subject. Yehonatan was also an expert in Jewish Mysticism. He read at least one of the manuscripts that Yair had written
and became an early supporter of ours.
There were others. The names are perhaps less important than the overall outlook that developed.
The Jewish Inhabitants of Hebron in the Middle Ages are reported (see the book "Hebron") to have considered
the Sambation River
where the Lost Ten Tribes are to be found as just over the hill. Literally speaking this was not the case but it could be that a special quality conducive to tracing the Lost Tribes was indeed present.
We would hold frequent discussions about the
Lost Tribes being in the west. We analyzed the available evidence and spoke
between ourselves of its implications. Conclusions reached at that time and
impressions made were later to be important. During this time Yair prepared
the manuscripts of three different books along with several suitcases of written
notes. Hundreds of summaries of these works were sent to publishers. A
publishing company in the UK showed interest, examined a manuscript for about a
year and in the end decided that the work did not fit in with their line of
Yair tried at this stage to start an organization dedicated to the
subject but it did not take off.
the Hebron Hills
In ca. 1991-92 (?) Yair moved
to Sussia in the southern Hebron Hills between the Yatir Forest and the edge of the Judean Desert.
He lived on a sheep farm owned by Israel Feld. Israel Feld helped us a lot. Israel was the brother of Rabbi Avraham Feld.
Israel read one of our manuscripts and thus became acquainted with Brit-Am teaching concerning the Lost Ten Tribes and in turn
persuaded his brother Rabbi Avraham Feld.
Rabbi Brett Oxman, a friend of Avraham and
Israel Feld, lent Brit-Am the money to publish "The Tribes" in 1993. At first we tried to
interest numerous historical and ethnically-related societies in the work but
without success. Eventually Yair made contact with Shabat-keeping and similar
Christian groups in the USA. We sent a book to British Israel in the UK. Things started moving.
Craig White of Australia contacted us as did Steven Collins and others in the USA. Herman Hoeh (a great historian associated with H.W. Armstrong) spoke
with us on the phone and recommended our work to his pupils. Clifford Smyth of
Ulster also contacted us. We were invited to speak at the annual BIWF (British
Israel World Federation) in Britain. They would pay for our trip and Yair was
billed as the guest speaker. We understood from them that we could say what we
liked and that they were prepared to consider revising their somewhat
anti-Semitic anti-Zionist platform.
The BIWF however is not a homogeneous group. To this day we are not sure as to how genuine the people in charge really were.
Some of those who contacted us however seemed definitely sympathetic towards us.
At all events, it transpired that because Yair owed
money to the Israeli Government he could not leave the country.
Yair at a later date
In ca. 1995 Yair moved to Bet-el (i.e. "Bethel") north of Jerusalem. In that same year we had published
the first edition of "Ephraim", 1995.
Later in the 2nd edition (2001) this work was to be entitled "Ephraim. The Gentile Children of Israel".
"Ephraim" includes a chapter the sources for which and some of the opinions expressed therein were supplied by Israel Feld.
In the meantime
we had met Azriel ben Moshe a new immigrant from Britain though born in Rumania. Azriel had a youth
group of his own known as "Bnei Geulah" (The Children of Redemption)
which more or less merged with what we were doing. This was to be a
Movement rather than a formal organization.
We had already been using the term Brit-Am
almost from the beginning and continued to do so.
In ca. 1995 Azriel traveled to Europe and on behalf of Brit-Am made contacts in the
Netherlands, Britain, and Ulster.
Yair gave a series of talks in Jerusalem on the Brit-Am subject. During these talks
we met future Brit-Am supporters Cecil and Donna Davis and their son, Don. Cecil and Donna were of mixed Amerindian Scottish-British stock. Cecil was a former professional jet-fighter pilot.
Don works in web marketing.
The Brit-Am talks at
first were organized by Aryeh Galin from the Root and Branch Society. Aryeh was one of our earlier supporters.
Other individuals and organizations also helped us organize talks.
In 1996 Brit-Am published the first issue of our
In 1996 was published
"Lost Israelite Identity.
The Hebrew Ancestry of Celtic Races
This was a large and important work with new findings and vital information.
Return to Jerusalem.
The Brit-Am Organization as DISTINCT from the Brit-Am
In ca. 1996-1997 Yair moved back to Jerusalem. In ca. 1997-1998 we found
ourselves sharing an apartment with Rabbi Avraham Feld and a few others. Whilst still in
Bet-el we had begun our Internet activities and continued them in Jerusalem.
James Trimm set up an e-mail discussion group based on the work of John Hulley
and Yair Davidy. There was also a popular Bnei Noach e-mail list at the time one
of whose moderators was sympathatic. Through these and other
avenues we had begun to build a following.
In ca. 1998 Yair Davidiy announced the creation of Brit-Am as a formal organization. He named Rabbi Avraham Feld
as a co-founder.
The task of Rabbi Feld was primarily to help in the field of Public Relations in which he contributed a great deal.
At present Avraham Feld is no longer a part of Brit-Am.
An explanation for this development may be found in various "Brit-Am Now" postings or in an article on the subject that we might prepare.
Brit-Am Events and Activities
In ca. 2000 we moved out of the apartment with Avraham Feld and into one owned by Isaac Mozeson (author of "The Word")
and after that we moved again to a flat that we shared for several years with Chaim Hayman before he was married.
Chaim is an educational activist in Biblical Studies, a scholar, and an entrepreneur. He was and still is of assistance to Brit-Am.
In August 2000 Steven Collins, David Hofer, and Howard Davis came to Israel. They
were preparing a documentary about the Lost Tribes and requested that we assist in this.
Rabbi Feld and Yair traveled with them throughout the Land of Israel
during the course of about a week.
Steven Collins has written an article about his experiences on this trip.
Anonymous sponsors and UCG collaborate on video trip
by Steven M. Collins
The documentary unfortunately never materialized due to problems with its sponsor.
From around 2001 onwards we had began to organize regular meetings.
A Brit-Am World Congress was held in the Hilton Hotel, Jerusalem, attended by people such
as Clifford Smyth from Ulster, Bert Bryan from Jamaica, Binah from India, Steven Spykerman from
England and several others from overseas along with
inhabitants of the Holy Land. Later
Rick Richardson hosted on two occasions Brit-Am Conferences in Jerusalem that were very
well attended and highly successful.
Eddie Chumney of Hebrew Roots for a long time was a strong
supporter of Brit-Am and assisted us in publishing our works.
There were other contributors to our cause but we are not sure whether or not
they would want their names made public.
At the moment we have no "heavy" backers but rely on a handful of supporters who
make moderate offerings. This modest support together with sales of our publications in the past had enabled
us to get by most of the time.
At present income has fallen drastically apparently as a result of the current economic crisis. The future is uncertain.
Betty Rhodes had set up the first Brit-Am web site. This was in 2002. Betty assisted us
greatly and selflessly for several years. She also put her own geneaological researches and original
family coat-of-arm illustrations on our site. This doubled the traffic. Yair learned to use html text
and manage the web-site himself. Betty turned ownership of the site over to us.
When the lease ran out we renewed it in our own name.
[Betty later came out with opinions that obliged us to disociate ourselves from her. Prior to that, Betty had either not had such notions
or she had managed to keep them to herself since we were not aware of them. Towards us she had expressed herself differently and even provided us with research material
that was proof against her later viewpoints.]
We also through cyber space established quite a few autonomous chapters of Brit-Am throughout the USA as well as in other countries.
Due to lack of funds, executive manpower, and other factors most of these groups disintegrated and disappeared.
Even so, we have shown that the potential is there.
The Brit-Am branch in Texas had been especially impressive with tens of adherents and regular activities on behalf
of the State of Israel.
Yair Davidiy in Rechaviah, Jerusalem
In the years 2002 to 2014 we rented a two-and-a-half room apartment in an Ultra-Orthodox enclave in Rechavia, Jerusalem, in full view of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Building. This was to serve us as living quarters, office, and storage space. The rent was somewhat high but the geographic location
and other aspects justified it.
During ca. 2002-2003 through the agency of the Maccabee Institute (run by Rabbi Feld and his brothers) we had received the use of a bomb shelter in the center of the city
in which Brit-Am meetings were held fairly regularly. [For years past, this facility has no longer been available to us.]
Amongst the Jewish supporters of Brit-Am at the time was Shmuel ben Yaacov who
helped us a lot. Shmuel is well known as an activist for Jewish Nationalist
Ephraim Frank also attended most Brit-Am meetings.
At first attendees at the meetings were mainly Jewish or half-and-half, then
gradually Ephraimites became predominant.
The whole businesses of arranging meetings, speaking before an audience, dealing with
others, etc, was all new to us. We had had no previous
experience in the field. We conducted the operation differently than perhaps we should have.
In ca. 2004 some of the Ephraimites decided they wanted their own Ten
Tribes orientated organization in Jerusalem. We were against it not only because
we dislike competition -which we do even though it can often help more than
hinder: We also did not want any other group in the Land of Israel presenting
the same doctrine and we wanted it to emanate from a Jewishly-acceptable source, i.e. ourselves.
Anyway they went ahead
and did found their own association. Rabbi Feld was later informed that a Christian
philanthropist had promised large sums of money to establish an Ephraimite
circle in Israel on condition that no Jews be involved.
Rabbi Feld also left Brit-Am shortly afterwards.
We only became aware of this at a later date though it coincided with our own wishes.
We did however recently, as a public service, publish a work by Rabbi Feld, "Little Sister.
The Oral Law and the Need for it in Understanding Scripture."
Several groups emerged. All of these groups,
apart from Brit-Am, seemed to have been backed by outside Christian financial sources.
All of them owed something of what they believed to Brit-Am.
All Ephraimite assemblages anywhere in the world today have received input from Brit-Am.
Very few of them acknowledge this. They may not always be aware of it. Many items of information that have since become common
knowledge were first revealed by Brit-Am.
Closer examination of all other groups shows that none of them are dedicated, as Brit-Am is, exclusively to the point of view that the Lost Ten Tribes are physically today amongst western peoples.
None of them are able to present their viewpoints in a way acceptable to Judah and every one of them is associated in
some way or other with a Christian denomination or Christian theology of their own.
For a brief survey of present such organizations in Israel see:
Ephraimites from Where?
Raymond and Carmelita Lee were strong supporters of ours. Raymond is a building contractor and construction advisor. Carmelita is a Court
Transcriber, authoress, and columnist. She occasionally writes pieces for the
Jerusalem Post. In 2005 Raymond arranged that Rabbi Feld and Yair be interviewed
about Brit-Am on Revelation TV in the UK. This interview was successful and
resulted in several Britishers making contact.
At all events most of our activity at this stage has been in cyber space where we had other matters to concern ourselves with.
Tamar Yonah of Arutz-7
Tamar Yonah is a prominent newswoman and radio personality for Arutz-7.
On several occasions Tamar interviewed Yair Davidiy together with Avraham Feld or Yair (more often) on his own.
Most of these interviews received a very wide coverage and were
most helpful. Recordings of these broadcasts remain a popular feature on the Brit-Am site.
We were also interviewed by other Radio Programs and the interviews were succesful.
This included an ongoing series of talks hosted by Ray Maccabee of Kosher 101.9 Radio.
Some of the talks were recorded and may be found under the heading of New BAMBI (New Brit-Am Broadcasting Israel).
Dr. Gavin Finley
In 2008 Dr Gavin Finley video-taped a ca. 2 hour dialogue between himself and Yair at the Hyat Hotel in Jerusalem.
From the footage Gavin obtained about 13 short clips that were posted to U-Tube etc on the web.
tens of thousands of visitors have viewed these filmings.
For Gavin and myself this was something of a first-time experiment that proved itself.
One of the clips by Gavin at kalamata777
had received 103,992 views by September, 2014.
This has also had an effect in spreading our message.
We have continued our online YouTube Presence, see:
Yair Davidiy You Tube Station.
In July 2014 we moved to the city of Beitar Ilit. This is near Jerusalem to the west of Bethlehem and north of Efrat. It may in fact be in the area of the Beth-Lehem of Biblical Times.
In 2010 Eddie Chumney had prepared a series of 10 interviews with Yair Davidiy. These were intended for a TV program that closed down prematurely.
In September 2014 Eddie uploaded the Interviews to YouTube.
Eddie Chumney Interviews Yair Davidiy (2010)
Some Controversies that Brit-Am was Involved In.
We were criticized heavily due to our condemnation of
Conspiracy Theories in general and especially those of the type propagated by
Barry Chamish and his followers.
Our defense of Judah and the Jews also engendered a barrage of e-mails from
"Identity" freaks but when we systematically began expunging them from our list they
quietened down quickly.
We hold that descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes are not obliged to keep the
Torah Laws of Moses at present. Many object to this aspect of our beliefs. We do
however consider growing interest in Torah and its commandments a positive
We are reserved about "Ephraimites" coming to live in Israel at present and
demanding equal rights in the Land alongside Judah. For some Ephraimites this
attitude of ours has been considered somewhat disapointing.
We do not believe the Lost Tribes are in the East.
We are against Racism but for an awareness of Israelite uniqueness. Judah and "Joseph" have each in their own way been "chosen".
This involves both blessings and obligations.
Defence of Jews and Anglos
We have defended the British from the Criticism of Afrikaners, Irishmen, Jews, and Americans.
We ourselves are not always sure why we bother.
We have defended the Jews on occasion from almost everybody.
Here and there we also defended the Irish and others.
We criticized Nehemiah Gordon who attempts to revive the defunct Karaite Movement through spreading the message to Christians. This involved us peripherally due to our belief in Rabbinical Commentaries and for other reasons. Consequently we were attacked by Joseph Dummon who heads Sighted Moon
and therefore is loony. Dummon considers himself an adherent of Gordon. Dummon was not content with criticizing us but quoted from Willie Martin a known Aryan Nations ideologue close to the Nazis. A brief examination of the Dummon site showed similar references and attacks against Jews. See:
Touche! The Karaite Allies Threat to Brit-Am and the Brit-Am Answer
We spoke against Homosexuality because it needs to be spoken against.
Homosexuals are the Enemy
Beware of Perverts!