Today, Gimmel Tammuz, marks the 16th anniversary of passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. For many it’s a day of reflection and a day in which remember the Rebbe and his tremendous dedication to the Jewish people.
In honor of this special day the Avner Institute www.portraitofaleader.org would like to present selective photos that are being released for the very first time, from famed photographer Mr. Gadi Hoz of Toronto Canada.
How did Mr. Hoz capture these stunning photos? What was his background? Below we have included a brief bio, including details of how he found his way to the Rebbe and to 770. To learn more about Mr. Hoz’s work or to order prints please visit: http://web.me.com/gadihoz/Site/intro.html
The History Behind these Pictures:
Mr. Hoz Relates:
I was born in Israel. At age 24 I moved to Canada, where I studied photography at Ryerson University. Upon graduation I specialized in portraits, photojournalism and human interest subjects, and during the course of my career some of the clients had buildings they needed photographed for their portfolios, magazines, and so forth.
One of my clients was a Lubavitcher Chassid, who attended every gathering of the Rebbe. He described the atmosphere there, the holiness and enthusiasm.
“Why don’t you come down?” he said. “Come visit 770 in Crown Heights. You can feel the experience.”
So I did. And boy, did I get hooked.
My first time was February, 5738/1978. A sea of people surrounded the Rebbe, who spoke from the center of a table placed alongside the wall. During the gathering I had 2 cameras, 3 lenses and NO flash. So I had to get a vital position. Fortunately, the crowd was cooperative. They let me stand on tables, where I hopped from one place to another like a mouse.
The following month, on Purim, I went again. During these two visits I shot and amassed quite an album of photos—the Rebbe in prayer, farbrengens, conversations. I present three of the photos here, with the hope others can feel my experience.