Mr. Speaker, the Chabad movement was born in Russia more than 200 years ago. Chabad worked to keep Judaism alive under oppression during the czarist and communist regimes. When the Soviet Union crumbled, Chabad emerged from underground. Its work continues throughout the former Soviet Union where it has established some 200 institutions for Jewish outreach and humanitarian aid.
There are 72 Chabad centres in Canada. There are 37 centres in Quebec, 21 in Ontario, eight in British Columbia, two in Alberta and Manitoba and one in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. These centres serve the needs of Jews no matter what their level of knowledge or observance.
Only a few weeks ago for the first time ever, Chabad organized a reception here at the House of Commons commemorating the Jewish festival of Purim.
The vision and leadership for this vast network of activities and services was and is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn of blessed memory.