Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot
The coat of arms of Alpha Epsilon Pi

Alpha Epsilon Pi, a college fraternity based on Jewish principles that was founded in New York University in 1913, last Thursday suspended its University of Michigan at Ann Arbor chapter for five years over a video showing hazing of pledging members.

The hazing incident included a cohort of pledgers who sat on the ground, enduring blows and kicks from fraternity members.


Like I said, based on ancient Jewish principles, the Bible is full of these events.

UM Spokeswoman Colleen Mastony issued a statement saying, “The University of Michigan condemns hazing practices and supports the use of strong responsive action, including notification to chapter headquarters, university sanctions, and possible legal action.”

She added, “Given that this is an ongoing investigation, we have nothing more to share.”

According to its website, “Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) is the world’s Jewish college fraternity, operating chapters on more than 150 college campuses in four countries. Founded in 1913, AEPi has more than 100,000 living alumni. The fraternity’s mission – developing the future leaders of the Jewish communities – is demonstrated every day through acts of brotherhood, Tzedakah, social awareness, and support for Jewish communities, and Israel.”

The coat of arms of Alpha Epsilon Pi contains several symbolic objects, “the true meaning of which is only revealed to brothers during their initiation into the fraternity.” But it doesn’t appear too hard to crack: the crest of the arms contains a menorah intertwined with the star of David. Also, the top of the arms has a lion, probably the Lion of Judah. Then there’s a menorah, the French monarch’s Fleur-de-lis, and an open book with a diamond and a skull.

Brother Josh May from Michigan State is quoted on the fraternity’s website as saying he liked “hearing from some alumni about how they have learned to balance a successful life in business while staying involved in the Jewish community. I’ve been trying to find my plan for staying involved in pro-Israel and Jewish organizations while staying on my chosen career path in hospitality.”

But, please, no hitting and kicking your Jewish brothers!

Jonathan Pierce, a spokesman for the fraternity’s national office, said in an email that the Jewish fraternity “does not condone hazing in any way, shape or form.” However, “Despite our best efforts to educate our undergraduates, it appears that these men decided to take on this aberrant behavior.”

“We hope that anyone found to have engaged in this behavior will be fully prosecuted under the laws of the state of Michigan and that the University of Michigan will take action against them for violations of its student code of conduct,” Pierce said. “Anyone found guilty of these activities, in any way condoning it, or failing to intervene, will be suspended from AEPi pending their expulsion from membership in accordance with our internal procedures.”

Makes sense.

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