Rochele Fogelman, is a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Worcester, Massachusetts, for more than 60 years. She was sent in 1947, together with her husband Rabbi Herschel, by the then Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory, to disseminate the teachings of the Torah.

The Fogelmans founded a Jewish day school and Rebbetzin Fogelman organized and taught classes to the women in Worcester.

Rochele Fogelman gives a lecture
Rochele Fogelman gives a lecture

In 1953, Rebbetzin Fogelman requested from the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, to grant a private audience with a group of women who attended her classes. The Rebbe agreed to meet with them and on a sunny June day they drove from Worcester to Brooklyn, a trip of about six hours in those days, to meet the Rebbe.

The Rebbe spoke to them in Yiddish, as most of the women were raised by immigrant parents and understood the language. However, the Rebbe requested that Rebbetzin Fogelman translate his words into English and transcribe them and send him the transcript. She did so.

The transcript remained in the Rebbe's room until some years later when it was sent by the Rebbe – together with many other talks – to the archives of the central Agudas Chassidei Chabad Library, at Lubavitch World Headquarters.

The English transcript (which was since translated into Hebrew and published) was discovered in the library by a team of scholars working on obtaining the talks of the Rebbe and preparing them for print. On the top of the page, in the Rebbe's handwriting, it stated, "Talk before the women of Worcester, 1953."

The Jewish community in Worcester has since exponentially grown. To the Fogelmans, this transcript is a reminder of the Rebbe's encouragement to a group of women to get involved in Jewish life in their community. And while at the time some of the locals understood Yiddish, today, when the English translation was finally discovered, the locals who gathered in the Fogelman home to hear the talk would have never understood the Yiddish.

Click here for the text of the Rebbe's talk, as recorded in English by Rebbetzin Fogelman fifty-seven years ago.