In the past, the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, or AEPi, has been the sole representative of Judaism within the greek life scene, but, as any fraternity, it is only open to male members. That’s all about to change with the up and coming Rutgers chapter of Sigma AEPi Colony, a Jewish interest sorority. This is an outstanding opportunity for female students looking to get involved, and is open to students of all backgrounds. In an interview with Vice President Meredith Brooks, the purpose of this establishment was. made clear. The first priority is to focus on Judaism, and the second is Greek Life. Furthermore, Meredith also emphasized, “Our goal is develop a strong sisterhood.”
Indeed, Meredith’s interactions with the other members of Sigma AEPi Colony reflected this strong sisterhood. I had met the girls when they made their visit to Chabad’s Thursday night Challah baking event with Rebbetzin Sarah Goodman as part of their outreach to Jewish life on campus. Together, they had entered the room, happily chatting with one another. As we braided and shaped the challah, the girls naturally helped one another. “Definitely the sisters of Sigma are great people,” Hallel Yadin, a freshman at Rutgers, mentioned, “I can definitely see great friendships coming out of this.” What more, the Sigma AEPi Colony members had come as part of their mission to get more involved on Jewish campus life. Especially for a freshman like Hallel, integrating oneself within the community is an integral part of getting the full value of being a student at Rutgers University. Sigma AEPi Colony not only welcomes members of all years, but also provides the proper opportunity to achieve that essential high level involvement.
What was even more intriguing about these sisters was that their friendship seemed to extend beyond the sorority. In other words, they did not associate only within Sigma AEPi Colony events, but also in their spare time – just like true friends. This became evident when I noticed the girls beautiful henna patterns, a type of temporary dye for the skin, decorating their hands. When I asked what the purpose of that was, one member named Rachel Edelman, who is a Junior at Rutgers University, replied, “We bonded over getting Henna together.” Clearly, Sigma AEPi Colony is a sure way to make close friendships.
It is even more surprising to consider all of this under the fact that Sigma AEPi Colony was only founded at Rutgers University in March of 2015. Although this is a short time, the organization’s broader history dates back over a decade. The first chapter was established on October 1, 1998 by a group of girls who wanted develop a Jewish sisterhood on campus. With the help of partners from the fraternity AEPi, the sorority became official. Today, there are fifteen active chapters across the nation. In the future, Meredith asserts that sorority intends to expand. “We are growing,” she confidently stated, “Gradually, but steadily.” Already, they have forged connections with Chabad and Hillel, two of the largest Jewish organizations on campus.
With this in mind, Sigma AEPi wishes to warmly welcome potential members to apply this upcoming spring. Additionally, they also wish to encourage Rutgers students involved in Jewish life on campus to keep an eye open for their upcoming events. For more information, Meredith can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Chabad House at Rutgers, visit us on the web at chabadrutgers.com, chabadnj.org, or call 732-296-1800.