In celebration of Tes Adar, the day the Frierdiker Rebbe arrived in America, Rabbi Sholom Ber Schapiro’s Historic Treasures program will reveal some unusual facts, stories and features about the beginning years of Chabad in America.
The program will also commemorate the yartzeit on the 10th of Adar, of Mrs. Chana Schapiro, mother of Rabbi Shalom Ber Schapiro, with some interesting highlights of her life. She was the daughter of the well-known Chossid, Rabbi Schneur Zalman Wilenkin, teacher of the Rebbe during his young years.
The special day of Tes Adar commemorates the arrival to America of the Frierdiker Rebbe in 1940.
It marked the beginning of a new era and renewed life in Jewish history. In the midst of the horrors and destruction of World War Two – having been miraculously rescued – the Frierdiker Rebbe was starting to build.
He did not let the personal torture and setbacks he suffered under communism deter him from his one and only goal – yidden and Yiddishkeit, and preparing the world for Moshiach.
To that end, he set about establishing the foundations of Chabad in America upon which to build his groundbreaking ideas. To spread chassidus to the entire world.
Our past three programs focused on the early years of Chabad in America – during which, in 1944, the Frierdiker Rebbe, presided over a couple of important meetings that saw the establishment of MERKOS L’INYONEI CHINUCH. Present at these groundbreaking meetings were 1. the RAMASH 2. Nissan Mindel 3. Julius Stulman and 4. Alexander Cowen
The main focus of these meetings, clearly, was on chinuch/education – especially on establishing education for girls and Released Time.
Rabbi Mindel, on behalf of Merkos, requested from the young Rabbi J.J. Hecht that he take charge of Release Time, which he did and continued to do for many decades thereafter (under the NCFJE).
Rabbi Shalom Ber Schapiro, who was affiliated with the NCFJE/Release Time – requested from Rabbi J.J. Hecht to accompany Julius Stulman on one occasion to the Rebbe, for Sunday dollars (1986)- given his initial and longstanding support of the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe and their holy projects.
Rabbi Schapiro mentioned that the principal of Bais Rivkah in the early years was Rabbi Levy – to be clear, this is Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, of Long Beach, N.Y. – who merited to have the Rebbe give him a bracha under the chupa at his wedding in 1949.
In case you missed it – PART 2:
In case you missed it – Part 1 Video: – A unique audiotape of a farbrengen with the Frierdiker Rebbe – with parts of his sicha and a niggun.