Presented here is a correspondence between the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory, and President Gerald Ford.

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

January 17, 1975


January 27, 1975

Dear Rabbi Schneerson:

On your twenty-fifth anniversary as Lubavitcher Rebbe, I want to join with those who applaud the dedication and wisdom that have characterized your leadership of this inspiring religious movement.

Your efforts on behalf of education and your countless humanitarian endeavors have greatly benefited and strengthened our society. By giving direction to the movement's commitment to preserve Jewish tradition, you have perpetuated a legacy that is a source of comfort and courage to many of our citizens.

I wholeheartedly commend your quarter-century of distinguished achievement and wish you continued satisfaction from your work in the years ahead.

Sincerely,

Gerald R. Ford


January 27, 1975

Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Lubavitch
770 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11213

By the Grace of G‑d
15th of Shevat, 5735
Jan. 27, 1975
Brooklyn, N.Y.

President Gerald R. Ford
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Greeting and Blessing:

It was both gracious and thoughtful of you, my dear Mr. President, to send personal greetings and felicitations on the occasion of our 25th Anniversary.

Your warm sentiments and good wishes are all the more meaningful in view of the fact that the United States has been host to the headquarters of our movement since 1940, after the [onset of the] holocaust. Under the conducive conditions of religious freedom in this great country, whose motto is “In G‑d We Trust,” our 200 years old movement, which I have been privileged to head and lead for the past 25 years, has been able to flourish with renewed dedication and vitality, and to make a lasting contribution, particularly in the area of education and youth activity, so vital in the present day and age.

In behalf of our movement, therefore, no less than in my own behalf, I greatly acknowledge your warm felicitations and good wishes. I can best reciprocate your good wishes by reiterating the Divine blessing given to our Patriarch Abraham, “I will bless them that bless thee.” Accordingly, may you enjoy G‑d’s generous blessings in carrying out your tremendous responsibilities to lead this nation on the path of material and spiritual prosperity and lasting peace.

With blessing,

Cordially yours,

M. Schneerson

April 8, 1975
April 8, 1975

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

April 8, 1975

Dear Rabbi Schneerson:

Although belated, I did want to thank you for your thoughtful letter of January 27. Having your support and especially your prayers means a great deal to me.

As I have said publicly, I do indeed need the prayers of all our citizens. With God’s help I will continue to serve our great country to the best of my ability.

Sincerely,

Gerald R. Ford

In May 1975, addressing a Jewish organization for the first time since becoming President of the United States, Gerald Ford charmed his audience by correctly pronouncing 'Shalom' and 'Lubavitch'; by putting the wrong accent on 'Mazel Tov' and by struggling with, or having "trouble" with the word 'Tzoras' (trouble).

President Gerald Ford is greeted by Rabbi Abraham Shemtov (left), national director of American Friends of Lubavitch; Rabbi Moshe Feller (right), Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Minnesota; and Senator Rudy Boschwitz; at the American Friends of Lubavitch Philadelphia dinner, May 1975.
President Gerald Ford is greeted by Rabbi Abraham Shemtov (left), national director of American Friends of Lubavitch; Rabbi Moshe Feller (right), Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Minnesota; and Senator Rudy Boschwitz; at the American Friends of Lubavitch Philadelphia dinner, May 1975.
The occasion was the first National Conference Dinner of the American Friends of Lubavitch, and the audience included some 500 Jewish community leaders of every Jewish organization in Greater Philadelphia. They gathered at the Marriott Motor Hotel in Philadelphia to honor Senator Hugh Scott (R. Pa.) for his contributions to the Jewish community, both here and in Israel.

Ford, who has known Sen. Scott for 27 years, said he is grateful for the many instances where Scott has given him good counsel. "Hugh is one of the first I turn to when I have 'tzoras,'" the President quipped. "And in the last few weeks, I have, indeed, had 'tzoras'...

"Nothing could characterize better Hugh's own life, nor reflect more accurately the philosophy of [the Chabad] movement," the President continued. "You are committed to preserving the deep and abiding faith of the Jewish tradition for young and succeeding generations. Your devotion has won the respect and admiration of thousands in this country and around the world."

Ford concluded: "My wish for you tonight was best said and written by President George Washington in 1790: 'May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants... May the Father of all mercy scatter light, not darkness, in our paths and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way, everlastingly happy...' The spirit of what he said is as alive today as it was then."

Following the dinner the President wrote to Rabbi Shemtov:

President Ford poses with Rabbi Abraham Shemtov and Philanthropist Mr. Ronny Perlman.
President Ford poses with Rabbi Abraham Shemtov and Philanthropist Mr. Ronny Perlman.

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

June 23, 1975

Dear Rabbi Shemtov:

It was a genuine pleasure to meet you when I was in Philadelphia on May 18. I was especially happy that I was able to attend the Friends of Lubavitch reception in honor of Senator Hugh Scott, and your warm greeting on that occasion made me feel especially welcome. The handsome brown velvet yarmulke which you presented to me will serve as a reminder of this occasion and of the spirit of friendship which prompted this special gift.

With my deep appreciation and warm best wishes to you and your colleagues,

Gerald R. Ford