Courtesy of F. Vishinsky/lubavitch.com
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson-known by his followers as The Rebbe - was the seventh and last leader of Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hassidic movement dedicated to uniting the modern world with traditional and mystical teachings of Judaism. Born in Russia, Schneerson fled Europe for America with his family in 1941. He became the leader of Chabad-Lubavitch in 1950, upon the death of his father-in-law, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. From his base in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Rebbe spent the next 44 years overseeing the remarkable growth of the Chabad movement and training of thousands of young Chabad rabbis and their wives for service around the globe as shluchim, or emissaries. After his death, the U.S. Congress awarded Schneerson a Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions as a moral leader.