Tuesday, June 12, 2007

1970’s Farbrangen restored.

Brookly, NY - A fading, barely-perceptible, magnetic signal on a 35 year-old videotape is about to give a shot in the arm to Jewish communities around the world.
Filmed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Shevat in 1972, seven hour-long reels of a Farbrengen, public address, by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, spent three-and-a-half decades in a storage box. If not for a team of archivists and producers, it might have stayed there for another 35 years.

Instead, major parts of the address have been translated, subtitled and released on DVD in time for the thirteenth anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing.

Jewish Educational Media, the videos producer, is in the midst of a massive campaign to re-invent itself as a bona fide archive aiming to gather, restore and preserve a host of multimedia treasures – and then to share them with the world.

As part of this effort, a one-of-a-kind collection of public addresses by the Rebbe from the 1970’s is being restored.

This particular address, on the twenty-second anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe’s predecessor, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, of righteous memory, was recorded on now-antiquated half-inch video.

Like similar audio-visual treasures around the world, the tapes were degraded and totally unplayable. It required specialized equipment for cleaning, analysis, signal-processing and transfer to a more stable, durable format for production.
The results are astounding.

With remarkable audio and video clarity, the black and white scenes bring to life words spoken in a different era, but which resonate today as they did then. Reliving the life of his own father-in-law and mentor, the Rebbe analyzes the final address – or, in his words, “the last will and testament” of the previous Rebbe. Throughout three interwoven talks, the Rebbe explains that this world – despite its trials, tribulations, and seemingly endless difficulties, is “a beautiful garden” if we only learn how to nurture it and work it.

The DVD release features the first three talks of the public address interspersed with Chasidic Niggunim - and subtitles in English, Hebrew, Russian and French.
The restoration and release of this Farbrengen were made possible by a grant from Yaakov and Karen Cohen of Potomac, Maryland.

The Living Archive restoration, preservation and access effort was initiated through a grant from the Rohr Family Foundation.

More information about The Living Archive Restoration, Preservation, Access project is at www.TheLivingArchive.org