We arrived in New York by Greyhound Bus, departing from Boston, in middle of the Sukkot holiday in the early 1940s.

On Simchat Torah, there was a kids gathering in the backyard of Lubavitch World Headquarters with approximately forty local children in attendance.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who would later become the seventh Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, was there. He stood on a bench and spoke to the children in Yiddish while someone translated into English. I was told that if you look at the second-floor window, the then Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (Rayatz), was watching the gathering. I peered up, and saw the Rayatz sitting by the window, wearing a shtreimel, a large fur hat. He rarely appeared in public (due to health considerations), and it was my first time seeing him. I will never forget that moment.

The Rebbe's custom of speaking to children continued even after he became the Rebbe, following the passing of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak in 1950. The Rebbe, of righteous memory, often spoke to children before or after the afternoon services for about fifteen or twenty minutes, and as the years went by this phenomenon actually became more frequent. The Rebbe would address kids of all ages, from babies with their mothers up until bar and bat mitzvah.

The Rebbe also spoke to kids at large parades outside of Lubavitch World Headquarters. By these parades, not only did the Rebbe speak, but he'd attentively watch as the kids filed by.