Why Is Sheldon Adelson’s Jewish Fraternity AEPI Expanding To Israel? by the Forward

Why Is Sheldon Adelson’s Jewish Fraternity AEPI Expanding To Israel?

Image by Nikki Casey

AEPi, known as the “Jewish” fraternity,” is expanding to Israel, and it’s not an obvious move.

The group which recently chartered its third full fledged branch in Israel, is trying to establish a role for fraternities in a country where Greek Life is not part of the Israeli students’ experience and where fraternities and sororities are virtually unknown.

Haaretz reported that the third and newest AEPi branch will be located at the Tel Aviv University, Israel’s largest academic institution. Others are already active at the Interdisciplinary Center in Hertzeliya, known for its significant English-speaking student body, and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“I’ve had people telling me for years that we couldn’t make this happen in Israel,” AEPi executive director Andrew Borans told Haaretz. “It turns out they were all 100 percent wrong. The kids starting university in Israel need to feel that they belong just as much as kids in the United States.”

While officially apolitical, AEPi relies on donations from mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and other Jewish Republican contributors. The fraternity also played a role in blocking the liberal lobby J Street from joining the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations. Recently, AEPi was hit with financial turmoil that led to the resignation of two senior officers in the group.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman


Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sheldon Adelson’s Fraternity AEPI Expanding To Israel

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Why Is Sheldon Adelson’s Jewish Fraternity AEPI Expanding To Israel?

Thank you!

This article has been sent!