In March, Marana, Oro Valley, Prescott and Scottsdale were among other Arizona towns and cities that proclaimed Education and Sharing Day for the first time.
The day recognizes the work of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who emphasized the crucial importance of ethical and moral education as well as the importance of giving. Every president since Jimmy Carter in 1978 has made an Education and Sharing Day proclamation.
“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 Schneerson’s sentiments.
Gov. Doug Ducey proclaimed March 24, 2021 to be Education and Sharing Day as he has done in the past, but the Chabad Lubavitch movement made a point this year to have local jurisdictions recognize Education and Sharing Day as well. Chabad rabbis worked with mayors to make it happen.
In a first for the city, Chabad of Scottsdale Rabbi Mendel Vaisfiche worked with Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega to proclaim March 24, 2021 “Education and Sharing Day.”
“It’s an important thing, especially with this past year being not the best year for education. Schools have been closed and it’s been quite a challenge,” said Vaisfiche.
Schneerson encouraged the widespread adoption of a moment of silence in schools for observing Education and Sharing Day. He hoped children would ask their parents what they should be thinking about during that moment and open a conversation about values and choices in behavior.
Observance can take many forms for an individual.
“Anything is a win,” Vaisfiche said. “Whether it’s teachers putting in more effort, parents putting in more effort — even a thought about it.”
Chabad of Oro Valley Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman worked with Marana Town Clerk Cherry Lawson and Oro Valley Mayor Joseph Winfield for Education and Sharing Day proclamations on March 16 and March 17, respectively.
“To me the difference between local and just state or federal is that’s where something really gets relevant,” Zimmerman said.
Chabad of Prescott Rabbi Elie Filler worked with Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli to proclaim the day on March 24.
“We live in a time that education is very available, but a lot of time it is focused on academics and not ethics,” Filler said. “And that’s something that has to be passed on to the next generation.” JN