A Reunion of Biblical Proportions

By Mordechai Shinefield

Published August 19, 2005, issue of August 19, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Think you are a direct descendant of King David? Then make sure you have an invitation to his family reunion.

The Eshet Chayil Foundation is planning the first Eternal House of David Family Reunion, to be held in 2007. It’s a three-day event in Jerusalem for people who believe they are descendants of King David.

Davidic Dynasty — a project of the Eshet Chayil Foundation, a fund to support communal events in Israel and the United States — has reserved Jerusalem’s International Convention Center (Binyanei HaOoma) for the festivities. In addition to the reunion, they plan an “Everything David” merchandise fair, which will be open to the general public.

The timing of the event coincides with the 40-year anniversary of Israel’s capturing of East Jerusalem and corresponds to the 40-year reign of King David. Davidic Dynasty is currently researching families throughout the world that are descendants and informing them of the reunion.

The idea for the reunion was inspired by the co-chairman and founder of the foundation, Susan Roth, who said that when she started to look into her own ancestry, she found she could trace it back to King David.

In addition, some sources assert that recent advances in genetic testing can identify descendants of the Cohanim, or priestly class, who were from the House of David. Joseph Meyersdorf, the project coordinator, teamed up with Family Tree DNA’s founder, Bennett Greenspan. Their mission is to find a common DNA signature among those who claim to have an oral tradition linking them to King David.

Still, Meyersdorf added, those not blessed with the genetic marker will not be turned away — because biology is not the only determination of David-ism.

“Since we are talking so many years ago, we are looking for people who have the historical data to back them up,” he said. “Like many other things in Judaism, it is family tradition. We are going to be looking into verifying further.”

One group that is not invited, despite tradition or even genetic lineage, is the gentiles. “Throughout the generations there has been intermarriage, but this is a Jewish event,” Meyersdorf explained. “This is for the Jewish descendants of King David. This is to promote Jewish unity and Jewish continuity.

Though one wonders how the group accounts for the fact that David’s first ancestor, Solomon, allegedly had 700 wives and 300 concubines — many of whom decidedly were not Jewish — Meyersdorf’s position is firm.

“I’m not saying that Queen Elizabeth is not a descendant, which she claims to be,” he said, “but it is not what we are about.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.