In 1978, President Jimmy Carter wrote, "Congress of the United States concluded its deliberations on a joint resolution which recognized the need for this Nation to set aside a special day devoted to recognizing the importance of education in the lives of our citizens.... I am honored to join with the House of Representatives and the Senate in recognizing this need and privileged to comply with their request."
Heed the call made by every U.S. President since, calling upon "all Americans to observe that day in such manner as reflects their commitment to education and their recognition of its importance to the welfare of this Nation." In one such proclamation, President George W. Bush explained, "On Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., we renew our commitment to providing quality education and to teaching our children the values of kindness and sharing that prepare them for lives as good neighbors and citizens."
President Barack Obama expressed a similar sentiment in a proclamation he issued for the day, "We also know that learning does not stop when students leave the classroom. Whether at the dinner table or on the field, it is our task as parents, teachers, and mentors to make sure our children grow up practicing the values we preach. We have an obligation to instill in them the virtues that define our national character — honesty and independence, drive and discipline, courage and compassion."
This day also honors Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902 - 1994), whom many call the Lubavitcher Rebbe, an activist awarded both the National Scroll of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his enduring contributions toward world education. He spearheaded an international movement known as Chabad Lubavitch which has established thousands of educational centers around the globe.
Rabbi Schneerson's efforts underscore the importance of a quality education that encourages a spirit of loving kindness and generosity in building a better future together. That is why this day is proclaimed every year on the anniversary of his birthday. He celebrated his birthday on the 11th day of the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, which falls out on different days of the civil calendar each year. It will be March 24 in 2021, April 12 in 2022, and April 2 in 2023.
How will you celebrate Education and Sharing Day this year? Share your plans and ideas using the hashtag #EducationAndSharingDay or start a conversation with these social media accounts!