Sep 14, 2010
Uncovering an Untold Story

Rosa Melamed, whose family hosted the Rebbe Rayatz during his exile in Kostroma, was found by JEM in Israel at the age of 95.

By COLlive reporter

Spanning three continents, the untold story of Russian Jewry's heroic triumph over years of Communism is now being meticulously documented by Jewish Educational Media (JEM).

Refusniks, U.S. and Israeli government agents, heads of Jewish organizations involved in the struggle for Soviet Jewry, and Chassidim who traveled incognito as "tourists" are providing testimony of a time which ended barely two decades ago, but is quickly turning into "ancient history."

JEM's 'My Encounter with the Rebbe' oral history project has set out on an ambitious project to interview key players in the struggle for Soviet Jewry.

Yechiel Cagen and others have already interviewed Chassidim, government and Jewish officials who worked behind the Iron Curtain, such as Malcolm Hoenlein of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and Israeli diplomats Meir Rosen and Dovid Rivlin.

Other interviewees were those "nameless" individuals who were part of the dangerous struggle to keep the flame of Judaism alive.

"Many of their compatriots in the struggle cannot tell their stories, having been sent to Siberia never-to-return," Cagen, the project's director, notes.

The project staff have researched dozens of tips sent their way, including many that were given by Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchim across the former Soviet Union.

One of the more unique interviews already conducted was with Mrs. Rosa Melamed, a 95 year-old Jewish woman who remembers 10 days the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn spent as a guest in their home.

As known, the Rebbe Rayatz was arrested and imprisoned in 1927 in the Spalerno prison in Leningrad, accused of counter-revolutionary activities, and sentenced to death.

Following a storm of outrage and pressure from Western governments and the International Red Cross, the communist regime was forced to commute the death sentence and instead (on 3 Tammuz) it banished him to Kostroma in the Urals for a sentence of 3 years (later changed too).

Melamed, who was interviewed by JEM from the home of her daughter in Beer Sheva, Israel, said her father was Kostroma's schochet and the Rebbe was comfortable enough to stay in their home for a short while.

The 'My Encounter with the Rebbe' team is asking for help in locating more stories. If you have any ideas of important interviews to be recorded, please contact ycagen@jemedia.org.



Most Read Most Comments
Israeli Diplomat Meir Rosen talks about his yechidus with the Rebbe about Soviet Jewry
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Boris Paley of Yekatrinslav recounts his memories of the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson
Dovid Rivlin, member of the Israeli Consulate, recounts his yechidus with the Rebbe about Soviet Jewry
Dovid Rivlin, member of the Israeli Consulate, recounts his yechidus with the Rebbe about Soviet Jewry
Malcolm Hoenlein of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, discusses the Rebbe's role in perserving Soviet Jewry under the Iron Curtai
Malcolm Hoenlein of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, discusses the Rebbe's role in perserving Soviet Jewry under the Iron Curtai
Yisroel Adamski retells his memories of the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson
Yisroel Adamski retells his memories of the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson
Devorah Brovman describing Jewish life under the Iron Curtain
Devorah Brovman describing Jewish life under the Iron Curtain
Nechama Lifshitz talks about her yechidus with the Rebbe regarding public demonstrations on behalf of Soviet Jewry
Nechama Lifshitz talks about her yechidus with the Rebbe regarding public demonstrations on behalf of Soviet Jewry
Roza Melamed talks about the Previous Rebbe staying at her father's home in Kastroma in 1927
Roza Melamed talks about the Previous Rebbe staying at her father's home in Kastroma in 1927
Rabbi Abba Dovid Gurevitch describes the letters he recieved from 'Zaide' - the Rebbe - while in Russia
Rabbi Abba Dovid Gurevitch describes the letters he recieved from 'Zaide' - the Rebbe - while in Russia
R' Ben-Zion Vishedsky talks about the brochos he received from the Rebbe while in Russia
R' Ben-Zion Vishedsky talks about the brochos he received from the Rebbe while in Russia
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Betzalel Shiff tells of life as a young Lubavitcher Chossid in Soviet Russia


Opinions and Comments
1
what amazing zchusim!
(9/14/2010 8:23:38 PM)
2
it would be nice
to discuss the rebbes connection with the people who actually brought down the communist government thatcher john paul moynihan bush and regan
(9/14/2010 11:10:17 PM)
3
omg
wow!!!!!
(9/15/2010 12:26:03 AM)
4
thank you to Jem
moshiach now
(9/15/2010 1:34:15 AM)
5
comment on comment #2
if you know a little history (it might be easy to sweep it under the rug) but the people who brought communism down were the thousands of (mostly)chabad chassidim who didn't stop driving them NUTS! simply because those "mesirus nefesh yidden" never stoped fighting and never gave up
(9/15/2010 5:11:32 AM)
6
Attn: JEM
The work you do is invaulable. Its cherished by many around the world.

I cant wait to see an interview with Rabbi L. Groner.

Gmar Chasima Tova to all!
(9/15/2010 9:21:15 AM)
7
Rabbi L. Groner
As far as i hear Rabbi Groner has been approached many times by JEM asking to interview him, but he is reluctant to sit down to do the interview.
(9/15/2010 10:12:26 AM)
8
Attention Jem
correction Mrs. Bravman is Tzivia and not Dvora
(9/15/2010 12:53:45 PM)
9
so nice
(9/15/2010 5:56:02 PM)
10
my 4 yechidus with Rebbe
My 1st yechidus took place in 1954. Just after 19th Kislev. I was 18 years old; a talmid of TTL in Montreal. The 4th in 1962 before I got married. Will never forget these encounters. As fresh in my memory as if they happened yesterday.
(2/4/2015 1:22:57 AM)
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