The mission of Alpha Epsilon Pi is to provide education, resources and training to the future leaders of the world’s Jewish communities. This mission is demonstrated every day through acts of brotherhood, Tzedakah (charity), social awareness and support for Jewish communities and Israel.
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 fraternity can be a home away from home, providing the same stabilizing and guiding values that students previously gained from their families. Jewish students search out Alpha Epsilon Pi because it is a Jewish fraternity. Since our founding in 1913, more than 102,000 men have worn the badge of Alpha Epsilon Pi and each year, thousands of undergraduates perform the Ritual of Initiation, which remains the same ritual adopted decades ago.
Perhaps of greater importance, Alpha Epsilon Pi provides education, resources and training to develop leadership for the future of the 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.
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, responsibility and 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 and brotherhood in Alpha Epsilon Pi is open to all who are willing to espouse its values and mission.
The Immortal Eleven are the original Founding Fathers of Alpha Epsilon Pi at New York University. Their vision and dedication laid the foundation for our great Fraternity. Alpha Epsilon Pi was founded on November 7, 1913.
Alpha Epsilon Pi, the international Jewish fraternity, was founded in 1913 at the New York University School of Commerce against the backdrop of the forthcoming First World War. The fraternity was initially established to provide Jewish college men an opportunity to join a brotherhood of men with similar religious backgrounds when other organizations discriminated against their beliefs.
Alpha Epsilon Pi began when a group of eleven Jewish students at NYU decided to form a new fraternity on the basis that it was good for students, and that it could strengthen the character of student life at the university. When Charles C. Moskowitz, a skilled basketball player, transferred from City College of New York to NYU in 1912, his excellence in athletics was highly sought after by one of the fraternities at NYU. Moskowitz rushed this fraternity and was given a bid to become a member, but when he asked if bids could be extended to some of his close Jewish friends, he was told that the bid was for him alone. He met with his Jewish friends, and they decided to form a new Jewish fraternity that would allow in young Jewish men who had been excluded by the other fraternities at NYU.
The eleven founding members were: Isador 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 and Charles C. Moskowitz; Moskowitz was chosen as the fraternity’s first president. Several of its founding members became distinguished citizens in the university and national communities. Most notably, Charles Moskowitz became the president and treasurer of MGM Studios.
After several months of meetings, the fraternity decided that it would obtain official recognition from the university. A letter was sent to the Dean of the School of Commerce, and on November 7, 1913, Alpha Epsilon Pi was officially established as a fraternity at NYU.
The difficult task ahead for the fledgling fraternity was the recruitment of new members to ensure its survival for generations of Jewish men to come. Alpha Epsilon Pi became a true national fraternity when contact was made with a group of men from Cornell University in 1917. The men from Cornell had created a small local fraternity there, which was incorporated into Alpha Epsilon Pi as the fraternity’s second chapter.
When the United States entered into World War I in 1917, Alpha Epsilon Pi had only initiated just over 50 members. Almost every member joined the United States military during the war, which caused the fraternity to become nearly inactive during the war. After the war, expansion continued until nearly 30 chapters nationwide had been established in 1941. The onset of World War II again halted expansion as several of its members were called to duty. At the conclusion of World War II, the fraternity regained momentum and reopened its inactive chapters while recruiting hundreds of new members.
Today, Alpha Epsilon Pi is one of the leading fraternities in the world.