In 5687 (1927), Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn – the Rebbe Rayatz – was arrested and sentenced to death by the Communist regime. A worldwide pressure forced the soviet authorities to re-qualify the sentence to exile from which he was subsequently released. Nethertheless, after the Tishrei holidays of 5687-5678 the Rebbe Rayatz leaves the USSR. Two years later, on the 12th of Elul of 5679, he arrives in New York for a ten-month tour of the United States.
In the course of his stay the Rebbe visits the Jewish communities in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, S. Louis and Boston among others. In Tammuz 5680 he meets President Hoover at the White House.
The Rebbe’s visit helps to raise awareness of the difficult situation of Russian Jewry and at the same time – to strengthen the American Jewish community. Although his famous residence at 770 Brooklyn New York will become the headquarters of Chabad only after his move to the US in 1940, the foundations for this revolutionary change are laid during his first trip to America.