Jim’s Journal: One Year Later

It’s impossible to comprehend that it’s been a year since lockdown began and the pandemic changed our lives in such a way. It has been a year since many of our Brothers have been on campus and celebrating Brotherhood together.

We’ve had to change the way we do everything: how we take classes, hold chapter meetings, find potential rushees for our chapters, etc. It’s amazing to see how quickly the AEPi International team was able to pivot to create AEPiConnect and more amazing to watch over the last 12 months as we have held virtual programming from chapter retreats to conclaves to our International Conclave. It’s even more amazing to see how our undergraduate Brothers have made the most out of an impossible situation and really shown what AEPi is made of as they have worked hard to succeed throughout the year.

We’ve also suffered. Brothers have entered Chapter Eternal due to COVID-19 and many more loved ones, friends and neighbors have been taken from us over the last year. May their memories be a blessing.

The pandemic has forced us to refocus on AEPi’s goals and mission and that focus will make us stronger moving into the future. Even today, with more and more of us getting vaccinated, we are looking at what will happen to our fraternity in the coming months. I believe our chapters are going to emerge – hopefully next fall – with a renewed commitment to Brotherhood and building the future leaders of the world’s Jewish communities.

Once we’re together we can celebrate our Brotherhood and our shared values and commitment to Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Now, more than ever, our world needs repairing. AEPi’s Repair the World Fund raises money each year for Jewish and Israeli causes. Our undergraduate chapters raise money throughout the year to provide beneficiaries with up to $100,000. More information is available here.

AEPi Brothers from across the world are committing to Repairing the World through two key programs this month and I urge you to participate in both:

Mensch Madness – AEPi’s unique and philanthropic twist on the famous basketball tournament raises money for AEPi’s Repair the World Fund. This year, our partners at Hillel International have joined with us. Get online, buy a few brackets and fill them out to benefit your favorite chapter or university and have a chance to win real prizes…while helping some worthwhile organizations.

The Kotel Project – As you probably know, AEPi is the only fraternity with chapters in Israel. Our Israeli Brothers, knowing that no one has had the opportunity to visit Israel for the last year, have put together a fundraiser (all proceeds also got to the AEPi Repair the World Fund) where anyone can send them a note to place in The Kotel (the Western Wall in Jerusalem). For centuries, people have visited this holy site and slipped scraps of paper in between the bricks as a way of expressing their wishes and prayers for the future. Click here to learn more and help our Brothers to Repair the World.

I hope you all continue to stay healthy, get vaccinated and are safe!