ALPHA EPSILON PI BROTHERS REACH MILESTONE 613TH GIFT OF LIFE MATCH SINCE LAUNCH OF PARTNERSHIP
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – In 2004, Alpha Epsilon Pi International Fraternity (AEPi), the world’s largest and leading Jewish college fraternity, launched a partnership with Gift of Life to raise awareness among college students about the life-saving potential of bone marrow transplants. The program has now resulted in more than 16,000 swabs, 613 matches and 80 transplants.
“The number 613 has great significance for Jews. There are 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah but, certainly, one of the most crucial is to help to those in need,” said Rob Derdiger, AEPi’s Chief Executive Officer. “The value of Tikkun Olam – healing the world – is at the forefront of AEPi’s mission to develop the future leaders of the Jewish community. Reaching this milestone is symbolic in our efforts to make the world a better place.”
Over the years, AEPi undergraduates have promoted Gift of Life with on-campus events, meeting with fellow students to discuss bone marrow transplants and the need to get swabbed and asking fellow students to get swabbed and enter the bone marrow donation database. Of the more than 16,000 students who have entered the database as a result of AEPi Brothers’ efforts, 613 have matched with those who are serious ill and in need. Of those 613 matches, 80 lives have been saved as a result of AEPi’s swabbing and awareness programs.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this meaningful milestone with AEPi,” said Jay Feinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Gift of Life and AEPi Brother. “Since 2004, we have partnered to educate Brothers on the incredible mitzvot of saving a life. I am extremely proud of their efforts and very thankful to the hundreds of Brothers who have organized events on campus with us through the years. I am also thankful to the 613 Brothers who were inspired to swab their cheek and give a patient hope for a second chance at life. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership, which will soon embark on its 20th year.”
“In the Talmud, it is said that ‘Whoever saves a single life is considered to have saved the whole world.’ We are exceptionally proud of our undergraduate members who have taken on this challenge and had the opportunity to save 613 lives. This is leadership in action,” said Derdiger.
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Alpha Epsilon Pi is the world’s leading Jewish college fraternity, operating chapters on more than 150 college campuses in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Israel. Founded in 1913, AEPi has more than 110,000 living alumni. The fraternity’s mission – developing the future leaders of the Jewish communities – is demonstrated every day through acts of brotherhood, Tzedakah (charity), social awareness and support for Jewish communities and Israel.