NEW YORK (Jan. 31)
Stuart Eizenstat, President Carter’s Assistant for Domestic Affairs, told a special tribute dinner honoring Rabbi Menachem Schneerson on this 30th anniversary as the Lubavitcher rebbe, that the President “appreciates” what Schneerson has accomplished as an “inspiring” example of what could be done to stabilize urban communities.
“As one of the principal architects of the President’s urban policy,” Eizenstat told the 400 men and women guests at the dinner last Monday night, “I am familiar with what the rebbe has done in stabilizing your community,” in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. “You did not run. You have served as a shining example for urban America throughout the United States. You have shown that our cities can and will be save.”
Stressing that he was speaking for the President, from whom he brought a congratulatory letter to Schneerson, Eizenstat said Schneerson deserved congratulations for “fostering the moral and ethical values of education, which transcends the Jewish community.” Eizenstat also said “the rebbe is concerned not only with the Jews of his own community but with all Jews,” and added that “the whole day school movement would not be what it is today if not for your movement.”
A Lubavitch spokesman said a highlight of the event was the first public meeting between Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, the noted authority on Jewish Law, and Schneerson.
Eizenstat also read to the dinner guests a letter from Carter congratulating Schneerson on the anniversary, declaring that the rebbe had “greatly strengthened your religious movement and the societies it has served. Men, women and children in this country and abroad are richer for the programs you have instituted and for the precepts of Judaism you have upheld. Both Jews and non-Jews rejoice with you at this milestone and all of us join in tribute to the social and humanitarian achievements you have inspired and implemented during these three decades.”
After the dinner, the 400 men and women joined a waiting throng, estimated by police as between 8000 and 10,000 waiting to hear the rebbe’s Fahbregnen address. Schneerson spoke from 9:15 to 2:30 a.m. and was heard by telephone hookup to Lubavitch gatherings in 118 cities throughout the world, the spokesman said.