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Friday, February 11, 2011
Our Encounter with Montreal




The My Encounter with the Rebbe team spent a whirlwind 10 days in Montreal interviewing members of the community who had personal encounters with the Rebbe. Though the trip is over and the team is back in Crown Heights, the interviews and experiences of these special Yidden are now recorded for posterity.

Some highlights from the trip, from the diaries of Yechiel, Mendy & Zalmy:

- COLD The first thing we learned when we arrived:

Icicles form in your mustache (from your breathing) just from walking from the house to the car!

We’re not in Crown Heights!

-Montreal’s Beis Rivkah girls had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Mrs. Sarah Feigelstock, a former teacher at the school.

- COLDER We bought an external hard drive to record the high-definition interviews we’d be filming on the trip. We left it in the car the night that we arrived, and it was so cold that the next day it wouldn’t turn on! We had to exchange it.

- This trip was health-heavy. Countless stories were told about the Rebbe’s blessings for health, despite the doctors’ worst prognosis’ and how the people rebounded miraculously.

- Where’s the camera?! When we were setting up for the presentation at Yeshiva, Zalmy had to run back and get his camera. (not funny..)

-We caught personal stories of how the Rebbe knew each person personally and guided each individual with deep insight, although each one came from a completely different walk of life.

- EVEN COLDER! And then there was that Monday that we had a school presentation at 10 AM, an interview at 1 PM, and another interview at 8 PM. Well at 6:30 PM we loaded the car with all the equipment, and the car didn’t turn on – it was just too cold!

- We interviewed Rabbi Simcha Zirkind, who told us about his various Shlichusen in Tunisia, and Rabbi Moshe Chaim Sapochkinsky, who was in the Rebbe’s room on the day of Yud Shvat when the Chassidim presented the “Ksav Hiskashrus.” The description of those fateful events was dramatic.

- We need to read books with sales tips or go to a sales training seminar. There are so many people who have tremendous material to share but for whatever reason are not yet willing to do an interview. By the Kiddush on Shabbos, a few younger members of Anash opened up about their personal stories with the Rebbe. Only because we didn’t have the cameras rolling! Why don’t they think about their own children and go on camera?! We have our work cut out…

- Rabbi and Mrs. Chaim Meyer and Feigel Minkowitz gave us a glimpse of what it was like to live as Chassidim in pre-war (and war-torn) Soviet Russia. They barely escaped the battlefront with their lives. On the way out of Russia, Mrs. Minkowitz actually accompanied the Rebbe’s mother, Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson with a trainload of Polish citizens who were passing across the Iron Curtain.

- COOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD! Um, did we mention how cold it was?

- There was a total of 28 interviews and more than 40 hours of footage all together. Many thanks to our devoted camera man Zalmy Glassner for his tireless work in keeping up with our off-the-wall schedule!


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