The day would have been Schneerson’s 116th birthday. He died in 1994 and is buried in Queens.
“I was in contact with her office in arranging this special proclamation, and with God’s help it came to fruition,” said Rabbi Mendy Hecht, founder of Chabad of Forest Hills North. “The rebbe established centers worldwide to provide better education through his Chabad emissaries, and we are proud to be one of them.”
In 1978, Congress requested that President Jimmy Carter proclaim March 27 as national Education and Sharing Day in recognition of the rebbe’s efforts to secure a better education for all children.
“What makes this year even more unique is that for the first time all 50 governors proclaimed the day Education and Sharing Day in honor of the rebbe, as well as many towns and cities,” said Hecht. “The rebbe cared very much for the education of children, and especially bringing more morals and ethics into the public school system.”
At the event, Katz discussed the importance of education with rabbis from all over the borough, and offered to assist them with various initiatives to further Schneerson’s vision.
Schneerson advocated for a “moment of silence” in schools at the start of the day to reflect on something more meaningful and spiritual.
“We hope to pursue more in this matter to implement it in schools that still don't have it,” said Hecht.
Chabad of Forest Hills North lives up to the rebbe’s mission by offering programs for children and their families, including the Kids Shabbat Experience, Bagel Babies Mommy & Me, Storytime, and holiday events.
Hecht has fond recollections of Schneerson from his childhood.
“I passed by the rebbe for blessings on a number of occasions, and was greeted with smiles and the waving of his hand,” he said. “This is another expression of how the rebbe saw children as having the most potential for greatness, with a love and need for a better education for them.”