Buffalo & Erie County to Mark Education Day, Recognizing the Crucial Role of Moral and Ethical Education Amid the Pandemic’s Devastating Toll on Local Education
Erie County to Recognize the Rebbe’s Influence in Bringing Education and Morality to the Forefront of Public Discourse on Rebbe’s 121st Birthday
Erie County, NY — County Executive Mark Poloncarz has proclaimed April 2, 2023 to be “Education and Sharing Day, Erie County”. With a growing mental health crisis and crisis of purpose among young people, Education and Sharing Day seeks to highlight the critical need for moral and ethical education.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz presented this year’s Education and Sharing Day proclamation to representatives of Center For Jewish Life at a Pre-Passover gathering on March 27th.
Some programs encouraged nationwide on Education Day include a daily moment of silence at the beginning of a school day, when students can think and meditate about what their parents taught them, helping to focus them toward greater moral awareness; and the ARK (Acts of Random and Routine Kindness) initiative that encourages daily charitable giving and sharing.
“In order to achieve its highest goals, education must form and strengthen moral character by imparting moral and ethical values that have been the bedrock of society since the dawn of civilization,” Erie County’s Education and Sharing Day proclamation reads.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, championed education and Sharing Day. Forty years ago, Congress passed a joint resolution and President Carter signed into law a resolution to designate the Rebbe’s birthday as Education and Sharing Day. Each president since Carter, as well as numerous local legislatures, governors and mayors have annually recognized the date corresponding to the Rebbe’s birthday, celebrated four days before Passover, as Education and Sharing Day. The Rebbe was born in 1902 in present day Mykolaiv, Ukraine and this year marks 121 years since his birth.
The City of Buffalo, represented by Mayor Byron Brown and the Town of Amherst, represented by Supervisor Brian Kulpa have both signed local proclamations recognizing ‘Education and Sharing Day’, in addition to Erie County. NYS Governor Kathy Hochul marked the occasion of the Rebbe’s 121st birthday by declaring ‘121 Days of Education’ starting April 2, 2023, through Sunday, July 31, 2023, to be officially observed.
In his correspondence with President Carter, the Rebbe laid out his vision of Education Day as a time to focus on “education in a broader and deeper sense—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 this vein, in his 1982 proclamation, President Ronald Reagan stated “Education must be more than factual enlightenment—it must enrich the character as well as the mind,”
In President Biden’s 2022 proclamation, he expressed the impact such an education has on broader society. “The Rebbe’s work reminds us, in the words of the Prophet Amos, to “hate evil, 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.”
This year’s Education and Sharing Day also carries added significance as Jewish communities worldwide celebrate the Year of Hakhel or “Gathering,” a biblical event brought to modern times as a year of unity, education and spiritual growth; emphasizing how every person is crucial to perfecting the world; and marked with Jewish gatherings focused on unity, Torah learning and practice.
Everyone is encouraged to observe Education and Sharing Day through setting aside time to reflect on how to enhance the moral and ethical education of our youth and increasing in acts of goodness and kindness.
About Education Day:
Education Day, or Education and Sharing Day is a day of national commemoration that has been designated by every president beginning with Jimmy Carter in 1978 to promote and emphasize the importance of moral and ethical education. The date of its observance changes annually to correspond with the birthday of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson— observed on the Jewish calendar four days before Passover. The Rebbe advocated for a new emphasis on education to be brought to the forefront of public discourse.
About the Rebbe
The Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson—is the most influential rabbi in modern history, who engineered a Jewish renaissance in the post Holocaust era. For more information on the life and teachings of the Rebbe, visit: www.cjldowntown.com/the-rebbe/
Text of the Proclamation:
- EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION –
CELEBRATING EDUCATION & SHARING DAY
WHEREAS, the basis for the continuity of any society is education; and in the great County of Erie the education of our youth is a priority; and
WHEREAS, in order to achieve its highest goals, education must not only impart knowledge but also teach the students how to live, forming and strengthening their moral character to make a better life for themselves as individuals and for the society as a whole; imparting moral and ethical values that have been the bedrock of society since the dawn of civilization, including the values known as the Seven Noahide Laws; and
WHEREAS, a global spiritual leader and leading advocate for the advancement of education, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, stressed that a moral and ethical education empowers every individual to develop their full potential in making the world a better place; and
WHEREAS, such an education can nurture the unity of diverse peoples through encouraging increased acts of goodness and kindness, imbued with the awareness that even a single positive act of an individual can change the world and usher in an era of global peace, when there will “be peace within your walls, serenity within your mansions” (Psalms 122): and
WHEREAS, “Education & Sharing Day” is observed each year on the Rebbe’s birthday in recognition of his outstanding and lasting contributions toward the improvement of education, morality, and acts of charity around the world; a day to pause and reflect on our responsibility to ensure our youth have the foundation necessary to lead lives rich in purpose and fulfillment through service and good work; and
WHEREAS, Center for Jewish Life – Chabad has been at the vanguard of Jewish outreach in the County of Erie, bettering the lives of countless citizens, uniting a variety of faiths and religions for the common purpose of making the world a better place; and
WHEREAS, this year has added significance as a year of “Hakhel,” a biblical event of unity, education and spiritual growth emphasizing how every person is crucial to perfecting the world NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, MARK C. POLONCARZ, Erie County Executive, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2023 as Education & Sharing Day in Erie County, and I call upon all residents to work together to create a better, brighter, and more promising future for all.
Common Council Proclamation Video – 2022
Photo Gallery 2022