In honor of the 20th anniversary of the death of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Chabad Centers of Greater Tampa Bay will present an event, "The Rebbe's Vision: A Better Me, A Better We, A Better World," June 22 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
Schneerson, the seventh and final Rebbe, led the Chabad Ludavitch movement from 1951 until his death at age 92 in 1994.
He is responsible for expanding the Chabad, a philosophy centered on comprehending and applying the Torah to daily life, to include more than 3,000 synagogues, schools and community centers throughout the world.
The Rebbe's teachings inspired and continue to inspire Jewish-Americans to reconnect with their heritage, said Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin, founder of the Jewish Discovery Center of Brandon.
"The Rebbe taught us if you have something positive in your life, your first reaction should be to ask, 'Who can I share this with?' " Rubashkin said. "The Rebbe made us better people, and we want to share his teachings with others. That is why we are having this event."
Rabbi Dov Greenberg, director of Chabad at Stanford University, will speak at the Hyatt about the Rebbe's call for Jewish men and women to realize their full potential.
"The Rebbe was always pushing people to be their best," Rubashkin said. "He looked at the world as God's garden. He always looked to find the good and the true godly nature in everything and everyone. He didn't care who you were, if you were orthodox or unorthodox, Jewish or non-Jewish, he cared and wanted to help."
Rubashkin said the Rebbe's influence is evident in the work of Jewish leaders today.
The open-door policy at the Jewish Discovery Center reflects the Rebbe's desire to educate communities about Judaism. Classes and services at the JDC, including a monthly Shabbat dinner, are open to all. No membership is required.
The Rebbe event is open to the public. An assortment of wine and cheeses will be served. Tickets are $10 each or $15 per couple. Sponsorships are also available. To purchase tickets, visit rebbe20.com.
For more information on the Jewish Discovery Center, visit jewishbrandon.com.