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Agudas Chassidei Chabad is the umbrella organization for the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement. The chairman of the executive committee is Rabbi Abraham Shemtov.
Agudas Chasidei Chabad was established by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn in 1923. In the letter the Rebbe Rayatz wrote to Rabbi Eliyahu Yochil Simpson, a Lubavitcher Rav in New York about this new Aguda in a letter dated 6 Kislev, 5686/1925. He wrote that Divine Providence had caused Chassidim who had learned in Lubavitch to go to America in order to inspire Chassidim and mekuravim in that country who never saw the Rebbeim: "I have asked twice and three times that the talmidim, rabbanim, shochtim the balabatim correspond with one another, to inspire each other with a proper arousal. With the same feeling and pleasure that they merited to enjoy from the light which is good, when they stood in the holy chamber of [the Rebbe Rashab], who toiled and worked exceedingly hard to endow them with bountiful good and the dew of resurrection through numerous sayings [which are] holy of holies; so that they would shine forth like stars in the sky in all their beings, for good and blessing."
"You dear students … upon whom Hashgacha Elyona decreed that you go to a distant land, a place where they did not see the light of tzaddikim, our fathers the holy Rebbeim. Even for the elders, may they live long, it is many years that they have not been in the chambers of holiness, and the young ones never saw anything. Therefore, upon you and only upon you, devolves the obligation and mitzva to fulfill the great mission to inspire them and draw them to the light which is good."
Then the Rebbe calls upon the Tmimim to unite: "Unite, our dear talmidim, unite. Awaken, awaken and rise up and illuminate with the light which is good and the merit of our fathers, the holy Rebbeim, should cast a tent upon you and the members of your households, on those who learn and support, on them, their households and children, and all they have should be blessed with unlimited blessings from spirit to flesh."
The founding meeting of the Aguda (association) took place at Rabbi Simpson's house on Motzaei Shabbos, Parshas Shmini, the eve of 27 Nissan, and was attended by about ten Lubavitcher Chassidim who had learned in Tomchei Tmimim in Lubavitch. The following are the minutes of the meeting: “The purpose of the Aguda is for all the Tmimim in the United States to unite in one bond, heart and soul, physically and spiritually, to arouse the spark of love and spirit that they had when they were together in Lubavitch.”
A book was chosen to record the minutes of the Aguda. At the beginning there was a paper on which they signed their agreement of the founding of the Agudas HaT’mimim, which read as follows: “Boruch Hashem, Motzaei Shabbos kodesh Parshas Shmini, 5686, New York.
"We the undersigned have gathered together for a meeting of Tmimim at the home of Rabbi Simpson and we have decided with a resolute decision to unite together in one association, heart and soul, and to meet once a month, bli neder, at the home of one of the Tmimim, to learn Chassidus and to farbreng. It is the obligation of each member to involve himself in all matters of commitment to the association materially and spiritually, bli neder, and also to involve himself in the welfare of our mosdos and the welfare of the Rebbe shlita, bli neder. “Eliyahu Simpson, Gershon Simpson, Alter Beilin, Yisroel Jacobson, Zev Wolf Koznitz, Avner Shifrin, Yosef Nelson, Yitzchok Schneiderman, Gershon Chanoch Hecharin .”
In 1940, upon his arrival in the United States, he assumed the role of President and in 1941, upon the arrival of his son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, he appointed him as executive chairman. Its initial purpose was to "unify the Chasidim (adherents) of Chabad; to establish ordinances in every Chabad synagogue concerning the communal study of Chasidus... To establish Cheders for children and with God-fearing teachers. To establish Yeshivot for students to learn, from whom Torah may spread forth... and to support the organizations founded by the previous (Chabad) Rebbes."
After the passing of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn in 1950, his son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson succeeded him as President of Agudas Chassidei Chabad. Since then, Agudas Chassidei Chabad has served as the umbrella organization for the Chabad Lubavitch movement.
In 1984, Rabbi Schneerson selected several new people to serve on the board. After their appointments, the board consisted of the following:
In March 1990, the documents were once again modified and Rabbi Schneerson selected a total of twenty-two individuals to serve as members on the board of the umbrella organization:
In 2010, a New York judge ruled in favor of Agudas Chasidei Chabad, deciding over an ownership dispute between the organization and the Gabbayim of the synagogue housed at 770 Eastern Parkway. The court ordered the Gabbayim to deliver possession of the premises of 770 Eastern Parkway to Agudas Chasidei Chabad.
Main article: Chabad library
During World War II, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak was forced to flee from the USSR and went to Poland. He was given permission by the Soviet government to take many of his religious texts from his library with him. In March 1940, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak managed to escape Europe for the United States, but was forced to leave his library behind. In the 1970s, many of the texts were recovered in Poland and were returned to Chabad. Today, the chief librarian is Rabbi Shalom Dovber Levine and contains over 250,000 books.
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