Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC

Literary Festival/JLL--The Rebbe
Washington DCJCC

Samuel Heilman, The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson
The Bernard Wexler Lecture on Jewish History

Thursday, October 21 
7:30 pm | Ina and Jack Kay Community Hall
Tickets: Free, RSVP requested

RebbeA powerful biography filled with mystery and intrigue, this book tells how one man revitalized a Hasidic community on the verge of collapse and was swept away by his beliefs and expectations, thinking that death could be denied and history altered. The authors, while avoiding hagiography, track Shneerson's life from Russia, through Europe, to New York, and reveal how his messianic convictions ripened. They examine what happened after the Rebbe’s death in 1994, by which time many of his followers in Chabad had come to think of him as the Messiah himself.

HeilmanSamuel Heilman is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College and holds the Harold Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His books include Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Jewish Orthodoxy.

“[A]n outstanding biography of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher rebbe. . . . This well-written presentation, based on exhaustive scholarship, will stand as the definitive statement about the life and times of a highly influential religious leader.”Publishers Weekly

The Rebbe … fills a considerable void in the biography of one of the towering religious figures of the 20th century…. I am grateful to the authors for a profoundly human biography that will hopefully spur a whole new literature on the rebbe as man rather than angel and as person rather than saint.” —Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, New York Jewish Week

The Bernard Wexler Fund for Jewish History, established in 1996, supports an annual lecture that brings outstanding speakers, scholarly research and contemporary issues to the forefront of learning at the 16th Street J.

Presented in partnership with the 16th Street J’s Leo & Anna Smilow Center for Jewish Living and Learning.

This program is co-sponsored by Kesher Israel: The Georgetown Synagogue.


See the full line up at


Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

We're sorry, the deadline for registering for this event has passed.


Related Links


Purchase a Festival Pass and Save!


Return to the LitFest Home Page