Schneerson, Menachem 
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Time Period
4/5/1902  - 6/12/1994
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson -- "the Rebbe" to followers -- led the Lubavitch movement of Hasidic Jews for 44 years, building it from obscurity to a force within Orthodox Judaism of 200,000 adherents (Lubavitchers argue that figure is much higher).

Begun in Lithuania in 1773, the movement relocated to Crown Heights in Brooklyn during the Holocaust. The Russian-born Schneerson took over after the death of his father-in-law in 1950.

Schneerson aggressively evangelized non-practicing and assimilated Jews, urging them to live a more pious, Orthodox life. He also opened hundreds of Chabad centers internationally.

Dressed in his iconic black hat and black robe, the white-bearded, charismatic leader would walk the streets of Crown Heights, handing out dollar bills to children and blessing them. After his death in 1994, there was a split among Lubavitchers over whether Schneerson was -- or is yet to be -- the messiah.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
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Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
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Menachem Mendel Schneerson- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Mordecai baron (CC BY 3.0)

Menachem Mendel Schneerson- Flickr- from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley, photo by Neil Folberg (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Tomb of Menachem Schneerson- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Reubenzadeh
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 2009. Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, Eighth Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.
Web Source(s)
Chabad website, "The Rebbe: A Brief Biography"
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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