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Menachem Mendel Schneerson
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Religious Figure
    (April 18, 1902-June 12, 1994)
    Born in Mykolaiv, Ukraine
    Seventh and final Rebbe (Great Rabbi) of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Jews (1951-94)
    He discouraged his followers from attending secular schools.
    He claimed to be above politics, while announcing his opposition to any 'land for peace' solution to the Palestinian situation.
    He opposed the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel (1978).
    After a car in his motorcade struck and killed a child playing in the street, he did not express sympathy for the family of the dead child (1991).
    Some of his followers claimed he was the Messiah.
    He was married to Chaya Schneersohn for 60 years.
    When the Nazis took over in Germany, he spent three days hiding in a Berlin cellar before escaping to France.
    His brother Dov Ber was murdered by Nazi collaborators in the Ukraine.
    He was fluent in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, French, German, Russian and Italian.
    Until he suffered a stroke a few years before his death, he worked 18 hour days without taking days off.
    His teachings filled more than 300 published volumes.
    His outreach programs transformed Chabad from a sect that had been almost wiped out during the Holocaust into one of the fastest-growing and most influential forces in Judaism.
    He advocated the for the creation of the Department of Education, resulting in his birthday being declared 'Education Day, U.S.A.'
    When followers in Israel erected billboards declaring 'Prepare for the Coming of the Messiah,' he said, 'Woe to a Messiah who needs street advertising.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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