Leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today met with rabbis of the Chabad-Lubavitch community to mark the recovery of a sacred text from the Schneerson collection.
Since 1992, just eight volumes of the collection have been returned to Chabad. The sacred library and archive consists of 12,000 books and 30,000 pages.
Earlier this year, all 100 members of the U.S. Senate sent a letter to President Putin requesting the return of the Schneerson collection of sacred texts from the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military archive. While Russia has not yet returned these sacred texts to Chabad, one volume was recently discovered at Kedem Auction House in Israel and returned to Chabad.
Chabad representatives were joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and Assistant U.S. Attorney General Makan Delrahim.
Today, Senator Schumer, who celebrated the return of this book, alongside members of the Chabad community, said that he will do everything in his power to fight for the return of the rest of the Schneerson Collection.
“The discovery of this sacred text in Israel is a simcha for Chabad and the entire Jewish community and I am grateful to have been a part of this joyous occasion,” said Senator Schumer. “However, we will not rest until the entire Schneerson collection is returned to Chabad and I will continue to fight for its return from Russia.”
Those in attendance included: Rabbi Chaim Cunin – Chabad House Publications; Rabbi Yosef Cunin – Beverly Hills Jewish Community; Rabbi Mendel Cunin – Chabad of Larchmont; Rabbi Zushe Cunin – Chabad of Pacific Palisades; Rabbi Levi Cunin – Chabad of Malibu; Rabbi Tzemach Cunin – Chabad of Century City; Rabbi Avrohom Litvin – Chabad of Kentucky; Zev Cunin – Son of Rabbi Yosef Cunin (age 8); and Chabad pro bono legal advocates: Steve Lieberman, Bob Parker, Nat Lewin, Alyza Lewin, and Nechama Potasnick.
A copy of the letter sent to President Putin earlier this year is below:
The Honorable Vladimir Putin
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing respectfully to reaffirm our support and request for the return of the Schneerson collection of sacred texts from the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military Archive to its rightful owners, Agudas Chasidei Chabad of United States (“Chabad”).
On May 31, 1992, all one hundred members of the United States Senate appealed to then-President Boris Yeltsin to honor Russia’s commitment to return the collection to Chabad. On February 24, 2005, all one hundred members of the United States Senate again signed an appeal for your assistance in returning the collection. Copies of these letters are attached hereto. Since 1992, eight volumes of the collection have been returned to Chabad. We hereby respectfully request your assistance in seeing the return of the entire collection.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.