Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois is pleased to celebrate the life and work of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, “the Rebbe” as he was affectionately known. Born in Nikolayev, Russia, on April 18, 1902, or 11 Nissan 5662, the Rebbe survived the Nazi regime and fled to the United States in 1941.
He was definitely one the most influential Jewish figures of the 20th century. The Rebbe was no doubt among those who fostered the awakening of the Jewish collective consciousness following the Holocaust. In 1950, he assumed the leadership of the Chabad movement and guided it toward international outreach. He has been described as an accomplished scholar, statesman, administrator and teacher. His deep commitment to humanity and his dedication represent a unique legacy.
The Rebbe died in 1994, at the age of 92, but to this day he is still an inspiration to thousands of disciples and millions of admirers the world over. There are currently 37 Chabad centres in Quebec, which shows that his influence is felt even in our part of the world.