New AEPi: Meet the Brotherhood Boys-by-the-Bay
Posted by jlifer on October 10, 2006
If you see pledge pins on the pockets of Jewish students around the South Bay, you know it’s pledge time. The Silicon Valley Alpha Epsilon Pi, the new colony of the international Jewish fraternity, has started full storm this semester with five new pledges.
The group made an impressive debut last March when 19 men from San Jose State University, De Anza College and Foothill College joined the fraternity as founding members.
A group transitions from an interest group to a colony before AEPi International grants the charter to become a full-fledged chapter. Once they reach their membership goal of 15 members per recruitment period and hold a series of successful events, they will be considered for the title.
The group is still in the initial year of rushing and pledging, said Tomer Kagan, the group’s advisor and a former AEPi founding member at University of California-Santa Cruz.
Kagan said the group is well on its way to achieving the goal of 15 new members each semester.
There are currently five new members and 19 founding fathers this semester and activities are well under way.
In April, the founding members traveled to Santa Barbara to be initiated as an official AEPi affiliate. The members were formally added to the fraternity and received pins.
The fraternity recommenced activities after the summer break, and the brothers are already busy with social events. The group traveled to Berkeley for a fraternity event on Sept. 29 to mingle with members of the well established AEPi there, followed by a visit to the opening party at the Davis chapter.
When the group began in March, most of the events were tied to the Hillel of Silicon Valley, said Nadav Yuhjtman, president of the Silicon Valley AEPi fraternity.
Yuhjtman, an 18-year-old sophomore majoring in business and economics at De Anza College, explained this is partly because some fraternity members are involved with Hillel and the fraternity doesn’t have its own facility.
“We hope to have a more successful rush and pledge in the spring now that we know what works and what doesn’t,” Yuhjtman said.
In the coming months, the pledge process will wind down, and the group will focus on integrating the new members.
He says the fraternity holds a high moral standard, and the members have “good clean fun” at events and are optimistic about the future of the group.
“It’s something I can look back on 20 years from now and be extremely proud,” said Andrew Schwartz, a senior in political science at SJSU.
Schwartz is one of the most active members in the fraternity and serves as a mentor to some of the younger members.
Yuhjtman believes the group will serve many purposes.
“Being part of AEPi gives extended leadership and business opportunities to Jewish youth,” he said, “and will open doors for Jewish students who want to pursue philanthropy.”
Even though the group is new, some members are already making plans for organizing social, athletic and charity events. And the road trips to visit other California chapters will continue, Yuhjtman said.
The group hopes to be more integrated with Hillel of Silicon Valley and become officially affiliated with San Jose State University, which can be a lengthy process.
“They are working toward becoming a fully fledged chapter,” Kagan said, an effort he is helping with.
He helped establish the chapter at UCSC, and pushed for the Silicon Valley group.
“I saw what I thought was a need for a Jewish fraternity in the South Bay,” Kagan said, so he pulled together Jewish students who were interested in joining the fraternity.
“They organized 19 guys within two weeks,” Kagan said. The group then appealed to the national AEPi to send a consultant to the area.
“They were impressed with the potential,” he said.
Cross posted on CampusJ.