Jim’s Journal: New AEPi Staff & Israel Chapter Visits

It’s really busy here at AEPi International HQ in Indianapolis right now. Our office is stuffed to the brim with the latest class of Educational Leadership Consultants (ELCs) and Jewish Programming Associates. They spend the summer getting trained to prepare them to hit the road in August to help our undergraduate chapters continue to grow and expand. Although I love my job, most of us who worked as an ELC (or a chapter consultant or field secretary as the position was once known) would tell you that it is still the best job we ever had. For now, though, the whole staff is in Indianapolis and getting ready for AEPi’s 106th International Convention—#AEPi106—being held in the Washington, D.C. area.

Just before things started to get really crazy with convention preparations, I was able to take some time to go visit our chapters in Israel. Only AEPi has chapters in Israel because only AEPi has the support and advocacy for Israel as a central part of its mission.

The late spring is a great time to be in Israel. Our Israeli undergraduates are working hard and their chapters are in full swing and, of course, there are literally thousands of college students from all over the world visiting on Birthright. I had a great time meeting our Israeli Brothers, our Brothers studying abroad and those visiting on Birthright. If you have a chance to get to Israel at that time of year, wear some AEPi apparel. I promise you that you won’t be lonely for long!

I often get asked why AEPi has chapters in Israel. After all, it seems kind of redundant. But, its not. AEPi’s mission is to develop leadership for the world’s Jewish communities. Helping Israeli men to learn lessons of leadership, community-building and, of course, Brotherhood, is just as much a part of our mission as it is to impart those same lessons to undergraduates in Alabama, Sydney, London or Toronto.

In a couple of weeks, some of those Israeli Brothers will be coming to AEPi 106 in Washington, D.C., along with about 500 other young men from around the world to reaffirm our commitment to our mission, to learn more lessons about building a better AEPi and, of course, to meet their Brothers from around the world and enjoy everything that is great about our fraternity. If you come to convention and just watch our undergraduates from throughout the world interact with each other and our alumni, you will know why we’re in Israel. Our Brothers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Canada and the United States will welcome them with open arms, greet them as Brothers and show them that they are not alone. AEPi stands with our Brothers. AEPi stands with Israel.

I can’t wait to see some of you next month in D.C. and hope that someday soon, I’ll be walking down Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem and see you in an AEPi t-shirt and greet you as my Brother.