While JEM’s My Encounter with the Rebbe team was in Southern California filming interviews, both the boy’s school (Cheder Menachem) and the girls school (Bais Rebbe) had the privilege of participating in a behind-the-scenes presentation and filming of an interview themselves!
At Cheder Menachem, Rabbi Zalman Schmukler shared his memories of his early years as a bochur in 770 and his yechidusen (private audiences) with the Rebbe. He then went on to talk about a few miracles he experiences as a direct brocha from the Rebbe. He talked with such excitement as the boys looked on.
At Bais Rebbe, Mrs. Raizy Schmukler described in detail how at the age of twelve she would travel with her friends to spend Simchas Torah with the Rebbe. There were tears in her eyes as she explained what an incredible experience it was. The all night Farbrengens, joyous Hakofos and Niggunum were absolutely incredible.
Mrs. Schmukler then continued by describing the love that the Rebbe had for every single Jew and how each person was treated like an only child. “When you were by the Rebbe, the world around you stopped and nothing else mattered. The Rebbe’s clear blue eyes would pierce through straight to your neshoma.”
Both Rabbi and Rebbetzin Schmukler were also fortunate enough to meet Rebbetzein Chana. They both vividly recalled her standing at the corner and greeting everyone with a smile and a brocha. How proud she was of her son- the Rebbe.
At both schools, the students asked many meaningful questions trying to envision what it was like to live with the Rebbe. One student inquired of Rabbi Schmukler what it was like to prepare for a yechidus and actually stand in front of the Rebbe?
At Bais Rebbe, Mrs. Schmukler spoke with such emotion and passion, inspiring everyone in the room. When asked how she still felt such strong emotions even after all these years- she said: “How could I not? This is the Rebbe we are talking about!”
Mrs. Malka Seewald, principal of Bais Rebbe, said this experience deeply touched the girls.
“The students never got to experience Sunday dollars, yechidus, live Farbrengens or any other personal encounter with the Rebbe. It is so crucial for us to inspire the next generation by recording these precious memories of the Rebbe. It is only a glimpse into what it was like- but, it is the best we can do. The Rebbe’s impact is unfathomable and even one such experience can change a young girl’s life forever. Bais Rebbe strongly encourages this program for all Lubavitch schools.”
After the presentation one girl said: “I wish I could have experienced the Rebbe in the way that Mrs. Schmukler did.” Another student exclaimed how connected to the Rebbe she felt. All of the students in both of the schools truly felt blessed to be chassidim of the Rebbe.
Thank you to Rabbi and Mrs. Schmukler for giving the children a glimpse into what it was like to be with the Rebbe.
And a special thank you to Glatt Mart and Cambridge farms for sponsoring the presentation for the girls and to Rabbi Levi Raichik, Yossi Mayberg, Baruch Greenbaum and Dovid Kagan for sponsoring the presentation for the boys. Thanks to them, the students were afforded a very memorable experience.
And last but not least, a special thank you to Rabbi Mendy Alevsky and Yankee Teitelbaum of JEM for bringing this truly incredible program to the schools. Their professionalism and love for this project has made this event an experience no one will forget.