Ten Years of Mensch Madness Pay Off For Jewish Philanthropy

Mensch Madness Sets Record!

As every good AEPi Brother knows, our founder, Brother Charles C. Moskowitz, was an excellent basketball player during his days as an undergraduate student at NYU. So, it seems fitting that the fraternity he founded bases its biggest annual international philanthropy event around that pastime.

Over the years, Mensch Madness, AEPi’s philanthropic take on the college basketball tournament has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for AEPi philanthropy partners. This year’s challenge raised funds for the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF).

Despite our historical connection to basketball, Mensch Madness began just 10 short years ago as the brainchild of Brother Cody Karlin (Oregon, 2014) who then served as AEPi International’s Director of Philanthropy. “The idea of Mensch Madness came to me in college for a completely unrelated event that had nothing to do with basketball. It was always stuck in my mind,” said Brother Karlin. “We knew chapters were already doing their own bracket challenge, so why not make it one international effort that was bigger?”

In 2014, Mensch Madness raised more than $2,500 and had 200 brackets registered.

In just 10 short years, Mensch Madness has exploded. During this year’s challenge, more than 1,200 brackets were submitted and raised an astounding $66,811!

This year’s Mensch Madness was spearheaded by Ethan White, AEPi’s Howard M. Lorber Director of Jewish and Leadership Programming. Corporate sponsor of this year’s Mensch Madness tournament was College Fresh.

AEPi at Indiana University won this year’s competition, raising $14,273, the most ever by a single chapter. Other top finishers were American University, Elon University, California State University – Northridge, University of Pittsburgh and The Ohio State University. The undergraduate raising the most money was Brother Harrison Berg from Kansas University.

“During these most difficult of times for Jewish students on college campuses, demonstrating the importance of Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World – to our communities, has never been more crucial,” said Rob Derdiger, AEPi International’s CEO. “Our Brothers are standing up to antisemitism and anti-Israel hate by doing what we, as a community, do best: doing good for the world. I’m very proud of the effort our students put in this year to raise these funds and I congratulate our Brothers at Indiana University for their winning effort.”

“I think the chapters that get excited about this will get the most out of it. They’re the ones who put in the most work to spread the word about what they’re doing and why. In AEPi, you’re going to get as much out of the organization as you put in. Plus, it’s so easy to get someone to submit a bracket. No one is really losing by doing Mensch Madness,” said Brother Karlin.

We’re already looking forward to Mensch Madness 2025!