Dear Friend,

It was the summer of 1983, and my parents wanted to take a vacation. But, as a bohemian couple living in Greenwich Village, they had few resources to spare. A friend who was then becoming interested in Judaism suggested they look at Crown Heights. The rent was affordable, and the tree-lined streets seemed rural compared with Manhattan.

That September, my father heard the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—blow the shofar in a packed 770. It was the first time he had heard a shofar. My parents’ stay in Crown Heights was the first step in a journey that led, eventually, to a fully observant life. Almost 20 years later, I completed the circle and returned to Crown Heights to attend seminary.

My family’s contact with the Rebbe was brief and indirect, yet his presence in our lives seemed to grow stronger as the years passed. Looking at the Jewish world today, I see that our experience was not unique.

Next Tuesday, the 3rd of Tammuz, will mark 20 years since the Rebbe’s passing. All over the world, communities will gather to study his teachings and celebrate his legacy.

Search our event directory for a gathering near you, or attend one of our three online gatherings, and you may well discover the Rebbe’s presence in your life.

Sarah Ogince,
on behalf of the Editorial Team