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1902: Childhood
The Schneerson home in Yekatrinislav (Dnepropetrovsk)
The Schneerson home in Yekatrinislav (Dnepropetrovsk)

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was born on Friday, April 18, 1902 (Nissan 11 on the Hebrew calendar) in the Ukrainian-Russian town of Nikolaev.

His father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, was a renowned Kabbalist and Talmudic scholar; his mother, Rebbetzin Chanah, an aristocratic woman from a prestigious rabbinical family.

At age seven, the Rebbe moved with his parents to Yekatrinislav (today, Dnepropetrovsk), where Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was appointed Chief Rabbi of the city.

The Rebbe prior to the age of three
The Rebbe prior to the age of three

Those were turbulent years for the Jews of Czarist Russia, who were subject to pogroms and persecutions. Rebbetzin Chanah told of one occasion, in 1905, in which many Jewish families huddled in a hiding place while a pogrom raged outside. The babies and young children were wailing in fright. Their parents' frantic efforts to silence them only increased their terror, and the danger of discovery was imminent. It was young Mendel, little more than a toddler himself, who saved the day by going from baby to baby and calming them with a softly laid hand or a soothing word.

Years later, the Rebbe would describe his early childhood as a time in which his worldview and life's goals were already being formed. Indeed, the Rebbe had a unique perspective on childhood, which he expounded upon in his teachings and put to practical use in his programs.

The Rebbe saw the child not merely as an adult in the making, but as a person with marked advantages of his or her own: the child's faith, trust, integrity, energy, enthusiasm, thirst for learning, conscientiousness, and sense of mission and importance, are qualities to be cultivated in the child and emulated by the adult.

The Rebbe salutes a child
The Rebbe salutes a child
The purpose of education is not just to prime the child for adulthood, but also to nurture and preserve the gifts of childhood and focus them on their proper and most positive expressions.

All this was not just theory to the Rebbe. In 1980 he established Tzivot Hashem, his "children's army" to bring redemption to the world. But the Rebbe had enlisted children in his work from the very start of his leadership; they, in turn, were his most enthusiastic and devoted "troops." Several times a year the Rebbe addressed children's rallies. He spoke to them in their language, but never condescendingly, issuing to them "orders of the day" that expressed his regard for them as full-fledged participants in man's mission in life.


Adaptations of the Rebbe's Teachings:
 Religion and the Constitution
 Do We Lie to Our Children?
 Want It All
 A Yeshivah in Egypt?
 The Third Millennium

 Judges and Kindergartens

 1915: Learning
 Utilizing Children's Energy

Books by the Rebbe:
 The Education of Jewish Children: Then and Now

Correspondence From the Rebbe:
 Educating A Child
 G-d in the Classroom
 Spiritual Vaccine
 Education and The Educator
 Educator's Wish to Leave Community
 The Purpose of Educational Institutions
 On Educating Small Children
 The Student Who Likes One Subject More Than Another
 A Jewish Educational Foundation
 Girls’ Education
 When Is a Person Considered "Educated"?
 Pay Attention to Your Children
 What the Circumcisions of Isaac and Ishmael Tell Us
 Importance of Early Childhood Education
 Neglecting the Education of the Very Young
 Is Education Only to Increase Knowledge?
 Instilling Faith in Your Children
 Why Not to Go to College
 Rebbe, Please Convince My Son to Go to College
 Yeshiva or College?
 How Important Is a College Education?
 The Joy of Learning
 The Need for Torah Education
 The Jewish Professor's Influence
 Becoming a Leader of a Girls' Group at Age Twelve
 Camp Reunion
 To Participants in New Jersey Yeshiva Dinner
 To Participants in Montreal Yeshiva Dinner

First Person:
 Jewish Education and the Holocaust
 Defeating the Nazis through Jewish Education

Scholar, Visionary and Leader:
 Birth and Upbringing: Childlike Vision
 Bar Mitzvah: Obligation, Education & Action
 A Scholar in Paris: Signs of Things to Come
 Arrival in America: Building from the Ground Up

Special Dates on the Calendar:
 Education is the Cornerstone of Humanity
 Clarity of Purpose: Freedom for What?
 Clarity of Purpose: Inner Unity, World Peace
 On Education
 G-d in the Classroom
 Foundations In Education
 Education: Sensitivity without Compromise
 Young and Old Enjoy Time Together in Yud Shevat Program
 Farbrengen: 11 Nissan 5741 (1981)

 The 3:00 am Audience Video:
 Foundations In Education
 Foundations In Education
 A Child’s True Role Models – His Parents
 Personal Direction
 “The Little Lantern”
 “The Little Lantern”
 No Child Left Behind
 Clarity of Purpose: Freedom for What?
 Clarity of Purpose: Inner Unity, World Peace
 “Armed” Forces
 No Child Left Behind
 Reflections on an Assassination Attempt
 Clarity of Purpose: Inner Unity, World Peace
 Education: Sensitivity without Compromise
 The Season of Freedom--Preaching and Practicing
 “For My Children? Only the Best!”
 "Why Am I Different?"
 Pre-Passover Farbrengen
 Fundraising Manifesto
 Spiritual Motherhood
 Education, an Honor and a Responsibility
 Holy Futures
 Returning the Hearts of the Fathers
 On Going Mainstream
 The Previous Rebbe's Dangerous Speech in Moscow, 1927
 Effective Education
 A Solid Foundation
 Making the Most of Vacation
 The Educator’s Secret
 Never Too Young
 Farbrengen with the Rebbe - Tammuz 12, 5741 (1981)
 The Root of the Problem
 Nature and Nurture
 A Sense of Entitlement
 Small, Yet Great
 To Every Single Child
 Children of Redemption
 Jewish Fundamentals - Part 1
 Founded on Faith
 The Work Must Go On
 Through the Eyes of Children
 The Strength of Our people
 Passover Preparations
 Above the Exile
 The Greatest Calling
 No Need to Wait
 Praying for Children
 Standing Up for Our Future

Transcripts of the Rebbe's Talks:
 Education is the Cornerstone of Humanity

 Being a Good Example
 Living and Growing

Video: Utilizing Children's Energy
The Rebbe speaks on utilizing the energy of children (August 7, 1985)
Play Video

Children have a strong sense of themselves as the center of the universe and are convinced that everything exists to serve them. There are, of course, negative aspects to such "self-centeredness", but the feeling itself--that the individual human being plays the central rule in the purpose of creation--is a positive one. Thus the Talmud states: "Every person is obligated to say: For my sake was the world created." The purpose of education is to direct this innate conviction toward its proper expression: that a person should appreciate that his every thought and deed is of real, even global, significance.

From an address by the Rebbe, January 1990 (free translation)

The Rebbe: Timeline Biography
1902: Childhood
1915: Learning
1916: World War I
1923: Soviet Jewry
1928: Marriage
1930s: Torah & Science
1941: Flight from Europe
1939-45: Holocaust & Rebuilding
1943: Author & Teacher
1950: Leadership
1953: Chassidic Feminism
1960: Technology
1963: Rebellion
1967: The Six-Day War
1972: Retirement?
1974: The Mitzvah Tank
1977: Illness & Challenge
1983: Mankind
1986: "Sunday Dollars"
1988: Passing of Rebbetzin
1989: The End of the Cold War
1991: Missiles & Miracles
3 Tammuz 1994: Transmission
1994: Discovery of the "Reshimot"
Today: The Goal