Rabbi Menachem Schmidt graduated from Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University in 1976, and received rabbinic ordination in 1980 at Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch in Montreal. He and his wife Chava were appointed as shluchim (emissaries) under the auspices and sponsorship of Rabbi Avraham Shemtov. They founded Lubavitch House at the University of Pennsylvania, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He has also aided in founding many of the Chabad-Lubavitch centers in the Delaware Valley.
Rabbi Schmidt co-founded Jewish Heritage Programs (JHP) in 1993 and has guided its activities and expansion to several regional college campuses. JHP was a pioneer in peer-to-peer campus outreach and mentoring of college students by community professionals. Under his direction, JHP became an umbrella group for the Jewish Business Network (JBN), Young Professionals Network (YPN), Old City Jewish Art Center (OCJAC), and the JHP Mentoring program while continuing its programming on the university level.
Rabbi Schmidt was instrumental in founding Philadelphia’s Jewish Relief Agency (JRA), which distributes food to more than 3000 impoverished families each month, as well as the Chabad on Campus International Foundation, where he currently serves as President. Rabbi Schmidt also serves as the Rabbi of the Historic Vilna Congregation in Center City Philadelphia.