Jim’s Journal: Looking Back on 2019

As AEPi International charges into 2020, I thought this might be a good opportunity to take a step back and look at everything that has happened in 2019 and how it impacted our fraternity.

I’ve written about this before but it’s definitely worth mentioning again: the two biggest trends facing AEPi today are the changing nature of the University/Greek relationship and the rise in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities on college campuses. I want to dive in on the latter issue today.

If you know me, you know that I am not consumed by politics. Between my job, my family and my health, I don’t have the time or energy to get passionate about political issues. I have my own opinions and I work hard to keep them to myself. Even my closest friends might not know how I voted or why. I like to keep it like that.

But, this isn’t a political issue. Supporting Israel and fighting back the rising tide of anti-Semitism are not single party issues. They’re all of our issues … Jewish issues…AEPi’s issues…Greek issues…campus issues.

Alpha Epsilon Pi supports the state of Israel. That doesn’t mean that we specifically support (or oppose) any officials or policies in Israel or any of the other countries in which we operate but we do vehemently oppose any and all efforts to cause harm to the State of Israel or its residents, to question the right of Israel to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people and any efforts to limit Israel’s seat at the table of nations. Again, AEPi supports the state of Israel, period!

The Supreme Board of Governors has repeatedly and strongly made this clear. We view BDS as an attempt to delegitimize Israel and we equate anti-Israel activity with anti-Semitism. Our Brothers cannot let this continue. Our Brothers will always stand with Israel, and fight against anti-Semitism on campus and around the world.

This past year, on dozens of college campuses, AEPi Brothers and others in the Jewish community have been intimidated, harassed and attacked for their support of Israel and for just being Jewish. We know that that anti-Israel behavior is just a sham cover-up of the instigator’s true motives: anti-Semitism. We know that blatant anti-Jewish events on campus are just ignorant hatred without merit.

AEPi’s mission is to develop the future leaders of the world’s Jewish communities and, as we head into 2020, it is clear that our campuses and communities need strong Jewish leaders who will stand up to the bigots among us and fight for the Jewish people and the state of Israel. I’m proud to tell you that our Brothers are doing just that and our job at AEPi International is to support them, train them and assist them on their campuses.

It is time to be brave, to speak up and to lead. AEPi is here to do just that.

This is not political. This is our future.

My best wishes to all of my AEPi Brothers, friends and families for a healthy, safe and prosperous 2020.