Jewish fraternity celebrates 60 years at Rutgers
When Josh Blackman was a first-year student, he was able to ease his transition to college life by forming bonds with fellow fraternity brothers in Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Earlier this month, the Jewish fraternity celebrated 60 years of bonds formed at Rutgers during a Nov. 12 event in Somerset where alumni and current members gathered to share stories.
“The event was meant to signify not only 60 years at Rutgers University but also our collaboration with Rutgers,” said Blackman, a Rutgers Business School junior.
The anniversary, which took place at Double Tree Hotel, featured a raffle, speeches from alumni and current fraternity members and a performance from the Rutgers glee club, Blackman said.
“Not only (were we) connecting with alumni, but alumni were connecting with other alumni as well. People who didn’t even graduate within 10 years of each other still were able to connect and have a great time,” he said.
Although 60 years have passed since the conception of Alpha Epsilon Pi at Rutgers, Blackman said the high standards of the fraternity are largely unchanged.
At the event, Blackman said he noticed an environment of honor and respect between fraternity members of different ages.
“We’re all very respectful people, we have respect for our elders. Nothing major has changed in the past 60 years, and I think that is a good note rather than not,” Blackman said.
Despite societal differences between generations, the current brothers are still able to bond with alumni over the same beliefs and values, said Jacob Scott, President of Alpha Epsilon Pi.
“The fact we are a Jewish brotherhood has remained throughout the years. I think that’s what keeps us strong and keeps us aligned with the goal of the organization,” the Rutgers Business School senior said.
More than 20 alumni, including one brother who graduated in 1962, came from across the country to attend the event, Scott said.
“It was a really great turnout, and I’m really happy with the support we have received from our alumni,” Scott said.
Alumni of Alpha Epsilon Pi are proud of the new chapter at Rutgers and are very passionate about the progress that it has made, Scott said.
Scott was a founding father of the chapter when it was re-chartered in Spring 2014.
He said he helped to found the chapter because he believed it would be a great experience to be involved in shaping the future of the organization.
“We provide leadership experience and personal development for future Jewish leaders, and I think that’s what really makes us different, is our focus on service, on personal development, on philanthropy and on just enhancing our members,” Scott said.
Chloe Dopico is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science and journalism and media studies. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.