Emphasizing that education is the key “to achieving greater opportunity, prosperity, stability, and equality both here and around the world,” the White House released a proclamation designating April 12, 2022, as “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A,” in honor of the 120th anniversary of the birth of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

“The Rebbe’s devotion to educating people worldwide and his profound respect for diversity, inclusiveness, and equal justice have set a strong example for generations of Americans and people across the globe,” said U.S. President Joseph R. Biden in the proclamation. “Having survived one of history’s cruelest chapters, the Rebbe emerged determined to help heal the soul of humanity.”

President Biden went on to say that the “Rebbe’s work reminds us, in the words of the Prophet Amos, to ‘hate evil [and] love good, and establish justice in the gate.’ We each share a responsibility to live up to those words—in and out of the classroom—and to plant the seeds of love, kindness, and empathy in the hearts and minds of every child in America.”


“ ... Today—on what would have been the Rebbe’s 120th birthday—let us celebrate all the educators, advocates, and pioneers who teach young people the lessons that create caring neighbors and closer communities,” he wrote. “ Let us commit to learning together, sharing the best we have to offer, and working in unity for the common good.”

The president also wrote of the need for quality preschool programs for every 3- and 4-year-old child, as well as the need to address the toll that the coronavirus pandemic took on the mental health of children.

It is the 44th year since the Rebbe’s Hebrew date of birth was first designated as a time to reflect upon the state of education in society, a bipartisan tradition that began in 1978 with U.S. President Jimmy Carter and has been carried out by every subsequent president since.

Referring to the Rebbe as “a thinker, leader and teacher who recognized the limitless potential of every human being regardless of their background,” President Biden said, “His outreach is still felt today in countless houses of worship, centers of education, cultural exchanges and service communities worldwide.”

“On this Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.,” concluded the president, “I call upon all government officials, educators, volunteers and all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.”

In reacting to the very first designation of “Education Day,” the Rebbe expressed that while the timing was a tribute to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, “which sees in education the cornerstone not only of Jewish life, but of humanity at large, and has been dedicated to this vital cause ever since its inception more than 200 years ago—it is a fitting and timely tribute to the cause of education in general, focusing attention on what is surely one of the nation’s top priorities.”

The Rebbe spoke often about education as the bedrock of society, underscoring that it should not be limited to preparation for a career or even the acquisition of knowledge. “I am, of course, referring to education in a broader and deeper sense,” he wrote to President Carter in 1979, “not merely as a process of imparting knowledge and training for a ‘better living,’ but for a ‘better life,’ ” with due emphasis on character building and moral and ethical values.

In President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 Education Day proclamation, he echoed the Rebbe’s teachings when he noted that “throughout our history ... our educational system has always done far more than simply train people for a given job or profession; it has equipped generation upon generation of young men and women for lives of responsible citizenship, by helping to teach them the basic ethical values and principles that are both our heritage as a free people and the foundation of civilized life.”

The Rebbe spoke about his hope that “Education Day” would become a permanent institution, one which due to the universal nature of education would lend further significance to other days, such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

“It is fitting indeed that the U.S.A. has shown, through a forceful example to the world, that it places education among its foremost priorities ... ,” the Rebbe said. “The proclamation of ‘Education Day USA’ is of extraordinary significance in impressing upon citizens the importance of education, both in their own lives as well as, and even more so, for the young generation in the formative years—particularly, in the present day and age.”