When selecting the name of our school, we had no doubt that it should carry the name of our greatest mentor. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, lovingly referred to around the world as simply “The Rebbe”, was a passionate advocate for children and spoke about the need for each child to be given an education that would offer them the opportunities to succeed. He spoke about the need for education to focus not only on academic achievements but also on character building. The Rebbe established a network of several thousand schools and educational centers in America and across the globe.
In 1978, the U.S. Congress asked President Carter to designate the Rebbe’s birthday as an annual national Education and Sharing Day to recognize and pay tribute to his efforts for a better education for all American citizens. He was the only rabbi ever to receive the Congressional Gold Medal and to have an American national day proclaimed in his honor.
The Rebbe often argued that the most important part of a child’s education is instilling in him or her awareness of a Supreme Being and a Law higher than man’s.
Check out what some our US Presidents have said about Menachem Mendel Schneerson:*
President Ronald Reagan wrote in his proclamation of 1982:
One shining example for people of all faiths of what education ought to be is that provided by the Lubavitch movement, headed by Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, a worldwide spiritual leader who will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 4, 1982. The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s work stands as a reminder that knowledge is an unworthy goal unless it is accompanied by moral and spiritual wisdom and understanding. He has provided a vivid example of the eternal validity of the Seven Noahide Laws, a moral code for all of us regardless of religious faith. May he go from strength to strength.
In recognition of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s 80th birthday, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled have issued House Joint Resolution 447 to set aside April 4, 1982, as a “National Day of Reflection.”
President George H. W. Bush wrote in his proclamation of 1989:
It is fitting that we honor Rabbi Schneerson and acknowledge his important contributions to society. Our great Nation takes just pride in its dedication to the principles of justice, equality, and truth. Americans also understand that we have a responsibility to inspire the same dedication in future generations. We owe a tremendous debt to Rabbi Schneerson and to all those who promote education that embraces moral and ethical values and emphasizes their importance.
In recognition of Rabbi Schneerson’s vital efforts, and in celebration of his 87th birthday, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 173, has designated April 16, 1989, and April 6, 1990, as “Education Day, U.S.A.
President Bill Clinton wrote in his proclamation of 1995:
“Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, well understood the importance of nurturing the heart along with the mind. Throughout his long and rich life, he believed that the education of our young people would only be successful if it sought to build character as well as intellect, if it taught the lessons of honesty, tolerance, and good citizenship, as well as language, math, and science.
This year, let us rededicate ourselves to teaching the love of learning that was championed by Rabbi Schneerson and is strengthened by caring leaders like him throughout our Nation. As we provide our students with the information and practical tools they need, let us also pass on to them the capacity for understanding that can help to give fuller meaning to their lives.”
President George W. Bush wrote in his proclamation on Education and Sharing Day 2007:
“Education and Sharing Day honors The Rebbe and emphasizes our commitment to teach the next generation of Americans the values that make our country strong. The Lubavitcher Rabbi believes that society should ‘make a new commitment to kindness,’ and he helped to establish education and outreach centers offering social service programs and humanitarian aid around the world.”
President Barack Obama wrote in his proclamation on Education & Sharing Day 2009:
“Few have better understood or more successfully promoted these ideas than Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who emphasized the importance of education and good character. Through the establishment of educational and social service institutions across the country and the world, Rabbi Schneerson sought to empower young people and inspire individuals of all ages. On this day, we raise his call anew.”
President Donald Trump wrote in his proclamation on Education & Sharing Day 2017:
“Education and Sharing Day recognizes the remarkable efforts of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to use values-based education to drive our Nation’s children toward the American Dream. As an educator, Rabbi Schneerson understands that education is incomplete if it is devoid of moral development. Working through a spirit of optimism, he strives to teach children to be honest, civil, respectful of differences, and self-disciplined, in addition to being intellectually rigorous.”
“A child’s character education should take priority over his academic education. All educational efforts are basically meaningless unless built on the solid foundation of good character”
– The Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson)