CLINTON — The village is gearing up to join citizens worldwide in recognizing the crucial importance of ethical and moral education on Wednesday, March 24 as Mayor Steven Bellona and the village board proclaim Education Day as a day of increased focus on education in a time of increasing concern over moral standards.
Education and Sharing Day will bring to the forefront the importance of morality in education, a cause championed by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of Righteous Memory.
For the past 40 years, presidents, houses of Congress, and local governments have recognized the date corresponding to the Rebbe’s birthday on the Jewish calendar as Education and Sharing Day, honoring an individual who brought education to the forefront of public discourse.
Mayor Bellona said Rabbi Didy Waks, co-director and student advisor of the Chabad of Clinton, which serves the Chabad Student Group at Hamilton College, had approached the village board with the idea of making the proclamation, and trustees unanimously felt it was important for the village to recognize how education and service go hand-in-hand, and to pass on that message to area youth. The proclamation was read into the minutes of the March 1 Village Board meeting.
The Rebbe emphasized the importance of paying more attention to the building of character and emphasizing moral and ethical values, accentuating the values of personal rights and responsibilities and principled, just behavior.
“Education must be more than factual enlightenment — it must enrich the character as well as the mind,” said President Ronald Reagan in his 1982 proclamation for the day, echoing the Rebbe’s sentiments.
In commemoration of the anniversary, Clinton Mayor Bellona has proclaimed March 24, 2021 as “Education Day” in the village, and called on Clinton residents to “embrace the values represented by this day.”
In keeping with the Rebbe’s lifetime goals and teachings, local, state and federal governments are issuing proclamations recognizing the need to teach moral and ethical values to youths.
“Having lived in Clinton since 2015, I have always found it to be a welcoming and accepting place. People are exceptional,” said Rabbi Waks. “There’s an amazing college here with faculty and students who follow the Rebbe’s directive to not just learn facts and information, but to try to become better people and make the world a better place for all of humanity.”
“The Rebbe is considered to be the most influential rabbi in modern history,” he said. “Having him recognized by our local community means a lot.” Rabbi Waks further explained that the Rebbe spoke out about and was active in large public issues like public school education, moral education, a universal moral code for all, providing the vision to create/bolster the Food Stamp/WIC system for America’s needy and the responsibility of government.
The Rebbe is the only rabbi to receive the Congressional Gold Medal and to have a national day (Education and Sharing Day) proclaimed in his honor annually.
“Today, the Rebbe’s teachings and ideals have become ingrained in our society and inspire millions of Jews and non-Jews,” said Waks. “People of all walks of life flock to his resting place to pray to God for blessing, guidance and inspiration.”
The rabbi said the Chabad of Clinton will likely host a special session about the Rebbe’s life at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24 online, via Zoom. More details are forthcoming.
For more about the Rebbe visit: www.therebbe.org.
About the Rebbe
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory, the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of the time. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was and still is “the Rebbe.” For more information on the life and teachings of the Rebbe, visit; www.TheRebbe.org.
About Education Day:
Education Day, or Education and Sharing Day is a day of national commemoration designated by every president since Jimmy Carter in 1978. The date of its observance changes annually to correspond with the birthday of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, who brought a new emphasis on education to the forefront of public discourse. The day is a time to recognize and reaffirm the importance of education in society.