www.LubavitchArchives.com - Chabad history on the web





Soul Meetings





Rabbis in the
Caucus Room?


Walter F. Mondale, Vice President of the United States, addressing the assemblage in the Caucus room

For entire picture please click here

"Education Day USA" - 1978

The scene in the imposing Caucus Room of the House of Representatives. Present are a hundred and fifty senators and congressmen, in addition to numerous men of importance from around the United States. Mingling with the august legislators of the realm is a number of young Rabbis, quite obviously not members of Congress. Scattered around the hall are many groups, comprising both legislators and Rabbis, chatting amiably together.
The date is April 17, 1978.

The occasion, a grand reception celebrating the proclamation of April 18, 1978, as "Education Day, U.S.A."

The Rabbis? Directors of Lubavitcher activities at over sixty centers and Chabad Houses, throughout the length and breadth of this land.

Their connection with the occasion? They had initiated the idea. The "need for the Nation to set aside on the calendar a day devoted to the importance of education to the lives of its citizens and to the general wellbeing of the Nation" (as the proclamation reads) was first recognized by Lubavitch, whose world leader, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, had called for a "Year of Education" two years previously and for its renewal a year later. The significance of April 18th was that it was the day of the Rebbe's birthday (11th of Nissan).

The distinguished guests present were expressing their admiration and affection for the Lubavitcher movement and its illustrious leader. They had already passed the legislation, and it was about to be signed into law by President Carter while the reception was taking place. Now they had taken time off from their busy schedules to celebrate the occasion in the House Caucus Room. Walter F. Mondale, Vice-President of the United States, chaired the event. He was introduced to each of the Lubavitcher leaders individually right at the start of the program.

At the reception, one did not have to look far to see the spontaneous reaction of the assembled towards the event that brought them together. The caliber of the congressmen and senators present and the remarks of the leading members who spoke, clearly demonstrated the recognition and affection they felt for "the movement blessed with such a leader," as Senator Kennedy expressed it. Similar sentiments were expressed by Robert J. Lipshutz, Counsel to the President, who was present as personal representative of President Carter and gave his remarks in the President's name.

Congressman Clarence D. Long of Maryland, Chairman, Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs, said in his speech that, in his opinion, the achievements of Lubavitch make them worthy of being leaders in focusing attention upon the importance of education throughout the nation.
Senator Jacob Javits of New York spoke with warm words about the great accomplishments of Lubavitch in his own state and around the world. Other distinguished legislators who spoke were Congressman Robert C. Nix, Chairman of the House Committee of Post Office and Civil Service, Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey and Congressman Benjamin Rosenthal, who was chief sponsor of the legislation.

Vice-President Mondale, in a very moving speech, praised the Rebbe's role as leader of world Jewry and his work for education, wishing him many more fruitful years at the helm of the Chabad movement. "I am delighted," he said, "to join in the two joyous occasions which bring us together today, the Lubavitcher Rebbe's 76th birthday and the resolution proclaimed officially by the Congress proclaiming Education Day, U.S.A. It is fitting that Education Day be proclaimed on the birthday of Rabbi Schneerson, who is a great Talmudic scholar dedicated to the education of Jewish people throughout the world."

He conveyed personal apologies from President Carter that he was unable to participate personally due to pressure of public work. Senator Kennedy chaired temporarily when the Vice-president was for a while called away on urgent business in connection with the Panama Canal issue. In the name of all Lubavitcher representatives present, Rabbi Zalman Posner of Nashville, Tennessee, greeted the assembled in thought provoking words. Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, Director of Lubavitch activities in Philadelphia, ended the inspiring program with words of gratitude to all participants and sponsors who had made possible "Education Day, U.S.A."

To read the Rebbe's special address in honor of "Education Day USA" click here




Previous Article

Next Article
If you have any comments or
additions please
E-mail us
© All rights reserved to
Lubavitch Archives