R’ Yossi Melamed, OBM, was the photographer who spent thousands of hours photographing the Rebbe. He would regularly be seen attending Farbrengens and photographing life with the Rebbe at 770 Eastern Parkway- sometimes the only cameraman allowed in.
During a Shiva call to his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Goldblatt, the idea arose of making an exhibit about Yossi and his collection. The exhibit would display some of the tens of thousands of photos of the Rebbe, 770, and Lubavitcher Chassidim that Yossi photographed.
Mrs. Goldblatt was incredibly excited about the idea. “When the video about my father came out, I must have watched it 100 times,” she explained. “During his illness, every doctor and nurse in the hospital was shown that video before I would let them treat him. An exhibition of his photos would be a beautiful tribute to the special man that my father was.”
After discussing the idea for a while, the archivists at The Living Archive told Mrs. Goldblatt and her husband Pinchas that they would aim to launch the exhibition in time for Yossi’s Shloshim on the 10th of Sivan. While extremely ambitious, this timeframe would enable visitors to New York for Gimmel Tamuz the opportunity to enjoy the special images.
Although they began working on Melamed’s collection over a year ago, archivists are still hard at work; scanning and processing the materials, researching dates, adding them to a content management system, preserving the original negatives, and placing them in archival holders. The ultimate plan is to open the entire collection for public access.
Stay tuned for further updates about the planned exhibition.
This week’s raffle for JEM’s “Join the Living Torah Team” campaign is this heartwarming 22”x32” Rebbe photo from Yossi’s collection. For more details and to enter, please visit livingtorah.org/jointheteam.