Jim’s Journal: Fighting Antisemitism

This won’t be one of my normal articles (look for one next week discussing our upcoming summer convention plans). Today, I have to address the concerning rise in antisemitism both here in the United States and around the world and the role that our fraternity can and should play in combatting this scourge.

In the last week, antisemitic incidents have risen nearly 500% in the United States and across the globe. A lot of that has been “justified” by saying that “people” are angry with Israel and taking it out on Jews around the world.

There is no justification for hate or antisemitism. Those assaulting Jews – either physically or verbally – are anti-Semites. There is no room for distinction.

Let me be clear about one point: We encourage our Brothers to be loud and proud about being Jewish, being members of AEPi, and supporting the state of Israel.

Those people who are attacking Jews in in the streets in the name of “Liberating Palestine” are only proving the point that anti-Zionism is simply a dressed-up form of antisemitism, and violence is never the answer.  This is why our Brothers fight so strongly against BDS and antisemitism on their campuses.

We are the Jewish fraternity. We are developing the leaders of the world’s Jewish communities. Our undergraduates are the Jewish leaders on their campuses. Our alumni are the leaders in their communities.

As Brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi, it is again time to lead. Now is NOT the time to try to hide our pride in our Jewish heritage and community. Now is the time to proudly make sure everyone knows who we are and to stand up and fight against hate and antisemitism.

I will make sure that Alpha Epsilon Pi International does its part in this effort by supporting our Brothers in their fight against antisemistim in their local communities and on our campuses and encouraging our Brothers to have pride in our heritage and in AEPi. We will move even more aggressively to counter the increasing efforts on college campuses to promote BDS, to denigrate Israel, and make Jews uncomfortable or unsafe.

My staff will also be reaching out to campus officials and local authorities to make sure they are on notice that our Brothers should be protected against vandalism and violence.

Anyone can make statements decrying antisemistim. Leaders take action. Now is the time for action.

To that end, Alpha Epsilon Pi International is a co-sponsor, along with many other national organizations, of “A Day of Action Against Antisemitism,” taking place on Thursday, May 27 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. This program will provide tools to help our Brothers amplify their voices to demand action. Prominent government officials as well as leaders from the Jewish community and civil rights organizations will join to speak out against Jew-hatred. By standing together, we demonstrate our unity and our rejection of the hate that is targeting our community. Click here to register for this important virtual program.

I’m also urging all of our Brothers – undergraduate and alumni – to show their pride in Alpha Epsilon Pi and our Jewish community by wearing their letters on Thursday, May 27. Please send us a picture of yourself (to [email protected]) wearing your letters and/or post that picture on social media and tag AEPi.

Only by standing together and showing our pride in our Jewish heritage will we be able to fight back.

Am Yisreal Chai!