Ukraine marks home of rebbe’s father

KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — A plaque to mark the home of the last Lubavitcher rebbe’s father was dedicated in Dnepropetrovsk.

The memorial plaque, in Ukrainian and Hebrew, was affixed Sunday to the wall of the house where Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944) lived, in what is now the eastern Ukrainian industrial city of Dnepropetrovsk. Schneerson was the father of the seventh rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

 An exhibit devoted to the life and activities of Levi-Yitzchak Schneerson was dedicated in the hall of the ground floor of the house where the rabbi lived from 1934 to 1939.

“For the first time in the history of Dnepropetrovsk, a memorial plaque to a Jewish spiritual leader was affixed and dedicated." said Oleg Rostovtzev, a spokesman for the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community. "This act rights and restores the Jewish continuity of generations.”

The local Jewish community expressed its thanks to the Stupeni business center for its financial donation to cover the restoration, memorial plaque and hall.

Schneerson lived in Nikolayev until 1909, when he was appointed to serve as rabbi of Yekaterinoslav, which is now Dnepropetrovsk. In 1939 he was arrested by the Communist regime for his stance against the party’s efforts to eradicate Jewish learning and practice in the Soviet Union. After more than a year of torture and interrogations in Stalin’s notorious prisons, he was sentenced to exile to the interior of Russia, where he died in 1944.

Schneerson was a distinguished kabbalist. Most of his writings were burned or confiscated by the Soviet authorities and have yet to be returned to the Chabad movement, which has waged a long battle to retrieve them.

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