Major leader of AEPi, historically Jewish fraternity, must cut ties with far-right Turning Point USA

The crowd that descended upon the nation’s legislative branch last week was made up of violent right- wing extremists, white supremacists, antisemites and conspiracy theorists.

Among the sponsors of the Jan. 6 rally was Turning Point USA (TPUSA). Charlie Kirk, who founded the organization in 2012, claimed in a since-deleted post on Twitter that the group brought “80 busloads of Patriots” to the event. While the veracity of Kirk’s claim is in doubt, TPUSA’s support of the event is not.

Scribe | Major leader of AEPi, historically Jewish fraternity, must cut ties with far-right Turning Point USA

TPUSA is a far-right student organization that, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, has numerous connections to alt-right activists and white supremacists. Candace Owens, when serving as the group’s communication’s director, once said “if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine.”

Given this history, I was shocked to learn that the leader of one of the largest Jewish fraternities in the country, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), sits on TPUSA’s advisory council.

Andrew S. Borans, CEO of the AEPi Foundation, has been a member of Turning Point’s advisory group for years, and on their website touts his years of “leadership” in the Jewish community. As a Jew and as an AEPi member, I was disappointed and dejected to learn that Borans was associated with such a vile group.

AEPi is a family affair for me. I spent four years at Pennsylvania State University as a member of AEPi. My older brother was a founding member of that same chapter, and worked personally with Borans to secure the charter. For both of us, our four years at AEPi were formative, deepening our appreciation for Judaism and showing us how to carry that appreciation into our lives post-graduation. As the grandsons of a Holocaust survivor, commitment to Jewish life has always been second nature to us.

AEPi as organization is dedicated to helping young men become pillars of their communities and lead with integrity. I struggle to reconcile how the leader of AEPi can also be so closely connected to an organization that affiliates with individuals and movements with proven records of antisemitism.

I sent an email to AEPi alerting them to my concern, asking for Mr. Borans’ to step down from his advisory role with Turning Point USA. Borans personally replied in a snide tone, retorting that I should be the one to “to leave every organization I’m not happy with.”

Scribe | Major leader of AEPi, historically Jewish fraternity, must cut ties with far-right Turning Point USA

His response left me frustrated. AEPi, which was founded in the face of exclusion of Jewish students who wished to join fraternities, cannot uphold its Jewish values with Borans at the helm. One cannot support the development of young Jewish leaders while being complicit in the hate of Turning Point USA.

Borans has a choice: AEPi’s century-old mission or the bigotry of TPUSA.

If he can’t choose, I call on AEPi to do so for him and remove him from his position, as he does not reflect the values and mission of our brotherhood.

Fraternally submitted,
Joshua M. Freeman Pennsylvania State University ‘18

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

AEPi leader must cut ties with Turning Point USA

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