Uncovered: Reb Mati Weingarten’s personal collection of photos of the Rebbe
Reb Mati A”H Weingarten had a special affinity for the Rebbe, and could often be found in the Rebbe’s presence. He had his own unique times to be found around 770 — every year he’d appear at the Rebbe’s door at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, as seen in the photos and videos documenting the scene throughout the years.
Traces of his love for all things related to the Rebbe has once again surfaced with the discovery of his personal photo album, lovingly collected over the decades. His family — which, upon discovering the old and frail binder reached out to JEM — was excited about the opportunity to share their father’s treasures with world Jewry. The album, as it turns out, contained over one hundred beautiful never-before-seen photos of the Rebbe — something Weingarten evidently had an eye for.
Rabbi Ari Weingarten, son of Mati who first reached out to JEM, emphasized the Hashgacha Pratis that brought this collection to publication. “I happened to be visiting New York with my family,” he said. “I met a friend who encouraged me to bring my father’s photo collection to publication, and I obliged. It all happened in the right place at the right time.”
The JEM team set up a portable scanning station in the Weingarten home to digitize the photos. A new online gallery on JEM’s photosite showcases a selection of these unique photos. The scenes span the first two decades of the Rebbe’s leadership — the 1950s and 60s, a period with far fewer extant photos, relative to scenes from the later years.
Thanks to the Weingarten family, as well as to Rabbis Mendel Gourarie, Shneur Itzinger and Memkeh Schmukler of JEM for making this happen.
May this be a benefit for the Neshama of מתתי׳ ארי׳ לייב בן אברהם, as well as be a merit for – יבלח”ט – his wife, Gitty תחי’ Weingarten.