The event commemorates the Hebrew-calendar birthday of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, who led Chabad throughout the second half of the 20th century. Trump will be the fifth consecutive president to sign a proclamation on this day, following his predecessors Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
The U.S. president is expected to host a delegation of Chabad leaders from different parts of the U.S. for the event Tuesday afternoon. The movement has ties to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who both began attending a Chabad synagogue upon relocating to Washington last year to serve as top advisers to the president. Kushner's family foundation has donated to Chabad in the past, and Kushner himself was involved in the movements activities as a student at Harvard University.
“Education and Sharing Day” was first marked in 1978, when the U.S. Congress passed a resolution in honor of Rabbi Schneerson and the Chabad movement. The resolution stated that Chabad “conducts educational activities at more than sixty centers in twenty-eight states as well as around the world,” adding that the movement “is especially committed to the advancement of education.” Since then, the movement's outreach has expanded to many more states and countries.
Trump already signed such a proclamation last year, noting that, “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.”
When Obama signed the proclamation recognizing the day in 2009, he wrote that, “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.”