Jim’s Journal: Bringing Convention To You

This week is normally one of my favorite weeks of the year. Our AEPi International office is usually buzzing as our entire staff is working day and night to prepare for our annual convention. This year, like many other things, the energy is still there but the actual event will be much different.

We made the decision a few months ago not to hold our international convention in our traditional manner as we were unsure if we could conduct a full-scale meeting safely and appropriately in this COVID time. And, while things have continued to open up throughout the country, we are still unsure of the wisdom of asking Brothers from around the country to attend our meetings and interact with each other day and night.

So, we made another pivot and came up with an innovative solution to bring convention to nine cities across the United States and ask our undergraduate Brothers to join with us from where they are this summer. Our hope is that we can still reach our chapter leaders and discuss with them how to best operate our chapters safely in the coming year as we look forward to continuing to meet our mission of developing the future leaders of the world’s Jewish communities.

So, we won’t have all of the pomp and circumstances of our normal convention weekend but we will be able to be together – in some way – and we will be able to reconnect and continue to build (and, after the last year, rebuild) our fraternity.

Later this summer, we’ll also be holding a board meeting and our annual Supreme Council (Supreme Council will be available to view and participate in online. Stay tuned for more information on that).

And, while our AEPi Roadshows will continue over the next two Sundays, this weekend also marks the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av. Tisha B’av is the major day of communal mourning in the Jewish calendar commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. But, in more modern times, we also use the day to commemorate more modern tragedies including the Crusades and the Holocaust.

So, while some of our more observant Brothers won’t be able to join us this weekend, other Brothers will gather to discuss important issues and none more important than what we can do as Jewish leaders to prevent another tragedy being brought upon our people and Israel. Standing up and fighting back against the rising tide of antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses is a central part of our mission.

I promise you that Alpha Epsilon Pi will be on the front lines of proactively preventing future tragedies from befalling our community and Israel.

I hope to see my undergraduate Brothers at our road shows and look forward to getting back to normal in the very near future and meeting with everyone in person!