Phi Delta Brothers at Allegheny County Council

Since October 7, and the subsequent tidal wave of antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment in the U.S. and across the world, a contingent of the Jewish community has had to step outside of its comfort zone to advocate on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

On college campuses, where the antisemitic rhetoric has been especially virulent and the actions against the Jewish community often bordering on violent, displaying that leadership for the Jewish community has been even more daunting.

Earlier this week, four AEPi Brothers from the Phi Delta chapter at the University of Pittsburgh stepped outside of their comfort zone – and off their campus – to advocate against a ceasefire resolution at the Alleghany County (PA) legislature. Brother Caleb Unterlack (Pittsburgh, 2026), Eli Cohen (Pittsburgh, 2025), chapter president Sam Rivillis (Pittsburgh, 2025), and Ben Fisher (Pittsburgh, 2025) attended the meeting, which had hundreds in attendance with many, if not most, of the people being anti-Israel.

“We were all very shaken up, hearing so much misinformation and straight-up lies about Israel,” said Brother Unterlack. “It was very hard to speak on behalf of what we know is right, especially with the crowd that was there.”

After more than five hours – after each of the four spoke on behalf of Israel and against the resolution – the Brothers were advised to leave the meeting for their safety. The rhetoric became more inflammatory as the night wore on and the threat of violence was in the air. But, their work was done. They – and the other 67 pro-Israel speakers – convinced the legislature to reject the proposal by a resounding vote.

“I wasn’t able to attend because I had to work, but I followed along and I’m very proud of my Brothers for sticking with it. I’m very proud to be Jewish and very proud to be a Brother of AEPi,” said Brother Doug Newell (Pittsburgh, 2025).

This group of Phi Delta Brothers were not alone, as 448 petitions were sent earlier that week from AEPi alumni, parents, and undergrads to the Allegheny Council members as part of an initiative of the AEPi Antisemitism Response Center(ARC). One of the council members acknowledged this by saying, “National organizations have been bombarding our inbox against this ceasefire.”

“While we were waiting to speak, a woman was in our holding room and kept looking at us and being very threatening. Finally, at one point, she pointed at me and said, ‘I’ve got my eye on you, AEPi. I know who you are. I’m watching you,” said Brother Unterlack.

Keep watching.