Rutgers University became home to a new fraternity recently when the national office, alumni, and new brothers of the Jewish fraternity AEPi reinitiated its chapter at the Rutgers Chabad House this semester. As the first 43 members of the new chapter of AEPi were initiated, some of the Rutgers campus Rabbis were initiated as honorary AEPi brothers. The revival of the AEPi fraternity on Rutgers campus came about because Rutgers has much potential with such a large Jewish population. “With the gaping hole that was created when AEPi was moved off campus a few years ago, the need for such an institution became very real, very fast,” said the AEPi chapter president Sam Seelenfreud. “AEPi provides an opportunity for Jewish men on campus to have a home away from home”.
As the AEPi chapter got onto its feet, its home away from home was inside the Rutgers Chabad House. The AEPi fraternity has a very strong relationship with Chabad, which has been actively involved with the fraternity for over 25 years. Until AEPi finds its new home at Rutgers, most AEPi interest groups, meetings, and induction ceremonies take place within the Chabad building. In addition, the annual AEPi alumni dinner was hosted by the Chabad House. ”The people of AEPi have a close relationship with Chabad, especially Rabbi Goodman and Rabbi Shaya”, said AEPi secretary Jacob Scott. Rabbi Goodman, Senior Rabbi of Chabad House, is an official AEPi for the past 15 years, and is currently the fraternity’s unofficial chapter rabbi. “AEPi prides itself on being a culturally Jewish fraternity,” said Seelenfreud, “We are willing to work alongside any Jewish organization that is in good standing with the University and community.” Currently, the new AEPi chapter is working alongside the Jewish Rutgers organizations of Chabad, Hillel, and Rutgers Jewish Xperience to provide the best possible Jewish experience on campus for Rutgers students.
The AEPi is unique because it is the only Jewish fraternity that has chapters in several countries, including Israel. “The AEPi Rutgers chapter serves to promote academic excellence, a thriving social life, philanthropy and many other character building activities all while maintaining a strong connection to Jewish community, brotherhood and identity,” said president Seelenfreud. Currently, the Rutgers AEPi chapter is raising money for the Save a Child’s Heart Foundation, an organization that provides heart surgeries for children around the world regardless of age, gender, religion, or economic status. To learn more about the new AEPi chapter visit their Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/rutgersaepi?ref=br_tf. When asked if there was anything else that they would like to share with the Jewish community, President Seelenfreud asked that everyone mark their calendars for AEPi’s Summer BBQ Bash.