Governor Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner hosted, for the fourth time, a pre-Passover Model Seder. As the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield Illinois is closed for extensive renovations (due to re-open in the summer), this year’s event did not take place in Springfield and was hosted locally at Shallots Kosher Bistro in Skokie. The Model Seder brought together community members, leaders, Rabbis and students.
This years theme was education. In addition to reading, eating and explaining the Passover story, students from around the state shared lessons that they have learned from seder.
The seder was led, once again, by Rabbi Avraham Kagan of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois who shared insight and inspiration into the educational theme of the seder. He talked about the importance of teaching each one of the ‘Four Sons’ and even the ‘Fifth Son’ – the one that doesn’t show up to the seder – so they are engaged and motivated. This year Rabbi Shlomo Soroka of Agudath Israel of Illinois joined in leading the event. He thanked the Governor for his dedication to education in our community and shared meaningful closing remarks.
In keeping with the theme of education the Governor read a proclamation that he is signed declaring March 27 “Education and Sharing Day” in Illinois. The governor joined the governors in all 50 states recognizing the day corresponding to the 11th of Nissan, the 116th anniversary of birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory.
40 years ago Congress passed a joint resolution calling upon President Carter to establish a permanent Education Day, noting “the importance of education to the lives of [the country’s] citizens and to the well-being of the Nation.” Every president since Jimmy Carter in 1978 continued to acknowledge Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., as a day of national commemoration
“Education Day is all about looking a bit deeper, finding the greater meaning that life brings,” said Rabbi Kagan. “If ever there has been a time for that type of effort, it’s now. Education Day can be the vehicle to help this meaning come to the fore. Right now, we’re seeing the start of a community conversation, from the states leadership to the rank and file.”