Several short weeks before Purim, a series of unique Purim photos that had been hidden from public view for nearly 60 years were brought to JEM. The images, offering a glimpse into events with the Rebbe during the 1960s and 70s, have been quickly restored and made available to the public for the first time.
The photos are part of a collection of over 100,000 photos acquired by JEM many years ago from Mr. Yossi Melamed, who took pictures of the Rebbe from 1974 until 1992. Unfortunately, at the time, many of his original photo negatives were missing, having gotten lost over the years.
However, just two weeks ago, JEM was notified that several previously missing sets of photographic negatives from the Melamed collection had been found. Upon examination, the archive team was excited to discover that some of the photos documented a Purim Farbrengen.
The event captured in the photos was held in 5738 – 1978, just five months after the Rebbe suffered a heart attack. Despite this, the photos show the Rebbe energetically clapping and encouraging the Niggunim, ensuring that Chassidim were B’Simcha.
In addition to the Melamed collection, JEM received a donation from the Blesofsky family of photos captured by the late Reuvain Polis. The black and white negatives comprise stunning scenes from Purim 5724 – 1964, including close-ups of the Rebbe listening to the Megillah and beautiful Farbrengen photos, where many individuals can be seen talking to the Rebbe between the Sichos.
Through tireless efforts by Rabbis Mendel Gourarie, Motti Hazan, and Memkeh Schmukler, the vintage film strips were scanned and restored, and the timely Purim photos were made available online, with the rest to be published in the coming weeks.
Browse through the photos for a unique perspective on Purim celebrations in the 60s and 70s in the Rebbe’s presence.
לרפואה שלמה למעלה מדרך הטבע לשניאור זלמן הכהן בן אלישבע
If you are in possession of any media content of the Rebbe, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have them restored and published.