When transferring from Indiana University in 2015, Brett Stolberg (Central Florida, 2018) never planned to be involved with Jewish life on campus. It wasn’t until he joined the Nu Delta chapter that he would find himself highly engaged in the campus Jewish community by helping UCF Hillel recruit for Taglit-Birthright Israel, which offers free, 10-day trips to Israel for Jews between 18 and 26. Brother Stolberg’s hard work paid off and earned Nu Delta the Highest Recruitment Award for Birthright at AEPi’s 104th International Convention last month.
“When I came to UCF, I didn’t know anyone. My experience as an AEPi has been unbelievably fun and really helped my maturation process. I’ve had countless opportunities to grow through leadership, teaching and delegation. You can put me in any situation and I’m comfortable working through it now.” Brother Stolberg has held many positions in the chapter including Exchequer, Rush Chairman and Brother at Large.
Growing up with a mother heavily involved in the family’s temple and federation, Brother Stolberg was eager to help when Andrew Max (Cal Poly – SLO, 2012), director of Jewish student life at UCF Hillel, asked for assistance with Birthright recruitment. “Andrew explained what was going on at Hillel and all of the opportunities I had available to me. I thought back on all of the things my mom has done for the Jewish community growing up and decided this was a great way to gain experience while giving back.”
Taking up the challenge, Brother Stolberg set out to recruit as many people as he could. He was able to sign up 43 people. “It was all about individualizing it and personalizing the situation for each person I spoke with. I always had an open mind and played off their interests.” While he is proud of this number, he has a lofty goal for the next recruitment chair — 100 people!
With Birthright registration opening next Tuesday, Sept. 5, Brother Stolberg encourages everyone to register. “Birthright is an important experience that less than one percent of the world gets to have. I can’t understand why people wouldn’t want to go; there’s just so much to learn.”
After going on Birthright last winter, Brother Stolberg
“understand[s] why people find a religious and cultural connection to Israel. Having the opportunity to go on Birthright opens your eyes to the world. It was my first time out of the country and I was mind blown by the beautiful things Israel has to offer. It’s hard not to fall in love.”
Although he is graduating, Brother Stolberg cannot wait to continue helping his chapter and Hillel. “AEPi is the only reason I’ve been able to accomplish what I have at UCF. Without them and Hillel, I don’t know where I would be. IT’s impossible to realize opportunity when you’re in it, so always try.”
Starting next Tuesday, Sept. 5, you can register for Birthright, but don’t forget to use the code: aepi!