It’s an annual nonpartisan tradition that spans party lines and all levels of government.

It all began in 1978, when the U.S. Congress formally petitioned President Jimmy Carter to designate the 11th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan—which marked the 76th anniversary of birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—as the national “Education and Sharing Day” to recognize and pay tribute to the Rebbe’s untiring efforts to promote better education for Americans of every age.

The day has been proclaimed annually by every subsequent president. The practice soon spread to state, regional and municipal levels as well, including a 1983 proclamation from Sen. Bernie Sanders, then mayor of Burlington, Vt.


More than 30 years later, in Illinois alone, as many as a dozen different mayors are expected to sign “Education and Sharing Day” proclamations this year, as will the state’s Gov. Bruce Rauner.

He will be joined by dozens of governors from across the nation.

On a municipal level, mayors from Binghamton to Boise have set their pens to paper, pointing to, as noted in the proclamation from Santa Fe, N.M.: “the shining example of what education represents,” provided by the Rebbe, who is remembered as “a spiritual leader who dedicated his life to the betterment of mankind and who was a tireless advocate for youth around the world.”

The proclamation ends with a call to action, encouraging “government officials, educators, volunteers, and citizens to reach out to young people and work to create a better, brighter, and more hopeful future for all.”

The proclamation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois
The proclamation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois

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