Alpha Epsilon Pi was founded to provide opportunities for the Jewish college man seeking the best possible college and fraternity experience. We have maintained the integrity of our purpose by strengthening our ties to the Jewish community and serving as a link between high school and career.

Our heritage stems from one source: young Jewish men banding together in allegiance. The role of Alpha Epsilon Pi has expanded since its inception in 1913 at New York University in New York City.  When Charles Moskowitz, a noted college basketball player, transfered from CCNY (College of the City of New York) to NYU, he was heavily sought by the fraternities on campus at the time and was given a bid to at least one of them.  Moskowitz had a close circle of Jewish friends, and Moskowitz asked if bids could be extended to his friends as well.  He was told that the offer was for him alone.  Moskowitz decided not to join,  he and his friends instead electing to start their own fraternity.  They met at a German rathskeller on Second Avenue, within walking distance of the university.  The young students talked with the owner who agreed that if six or eight men would eat their regularly every school night, he would give them a private area in the rathskeller.  And that is how Alpha Epsilon Pi began.

Initially, the Jewish fraternity served as a brotherhood of young men who came from similar religious backgrounds and who had experienced the same prejudices against their religious beliefs. Alpha Epsilon Pi soon broadened its role to include serving as the living quarters for some of its members. The fraternity became a home away from home, providing the same stabilizing and guiding values that students previously gained from their families. Armed with these values, Alpha Epsilon Pi faced changing conditions on the college campus and survived. Today, Jewish students search out Alpha Epsilon Pi because it is a Jewish Fraternity. In the fraternity's 88 year history, over 72,000 men have worn the badge of Alpha Epsilon Pi and each year, over 1,500 undergraduates perform the Ritual of Initiation, which remains the same ritual adopted decades ago.

Perhaps of greater importance, Alpha Epsilon Pi develops leadership for the future of the American Jewish community. Tomorrow's Jewish leaders are in our chapters today. These are the young men who must be counted upon to support Jewish causes and to prepare to be one of tomorrow's Jewish leaders, so that they may aid themselves, their family, their community, and their people. Those students who enter the mainstream of non-Jewish life on the campus are far more likely to assimilate and to forsake their heritage. Working together with the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life/International Hillel, Alpha Epsilon Pi can play a vital role in helping reverse the growing trend among our young people to abandon Judaism at this critical time.

Throughout our history, the fraternity setting has served as a "learning laboratory", a testing ground for young men who later become leaders in business, education, government, religion, and science. A goal of our fraternity is to help each student to develop character, to learn responsibility, and to develop a proper set of values through living together in brotherhood. Alpha Epsilon Pi prepares young men for their role in life as responsible citizens.

Therefore, our basic purpose is to provide the opportunity for a Jewish man to be able to join a Jewish organization whose purpose is not specifically religious, but rather social and cultural in nature. Alpha Epsilon Pi is a Jewish fraternity, though non-discriminatory and open to all who are willing to espouse its purpose and values.
 

The "Immortal Eleven" Founding Fathers:

Charles C. Moskowitz
I.M. Glazer
Herman L. Kraus
Arthur M. Lipkint
Benjamin M. Meyer
Hyman Schulman
Emil J. Lustgarten
Arthur E. Leopold
Charles J. Pintel
Maurice Plager
David K. Schafer
 
 

Moskowitz was elected the first Master (President).  Alpha Epsilon Pi officially became a fraternity on November 7, 1913, when Dean Joseph Johnson of the School of Commerce approved the mens' request for recognition.
 
 

The First Twenty Chapters

1913    Alpha                  New York University
1917    Beta                    Cornell University
1919    Gamma               University of Pennsylvania
1920    Delta                   University of Illinois
1920    Epsilon                Emory University
1920    Zeta                    Georgia Institute of Technology
1921    Eta                      Ohio State University
1921    Theta                  Auburn University
1921    Pi Deuteron         Penn State University
1923    Iota                     Columbia University
1924    Kappa                 Ohio Northern University
1924    Lambda               University of Chicago (transferred to Illinois Institute of Technology in 1948)
1925    Mu                      University of Virginia
1925    Nu                      Marquette University
1925    Rho Deuteron      University of Delaware
1926    Omicron              University of Georgia
1927    Pi                        University of Wisconsin
1928    Rho                     University of Rhode Island
1928    Sigma                  Washington University
1929    Tau                      Vanderbilt University
 

Sources (with permission)
http://www.aepi.org
The Alpha Epsilon Pi Blue Book

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