(JNS.org) A recent report on Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) has found that the fraternity has a substantial impact in influencing alumni to be more engaged in Jewish life and more supportive of Israel at a time when many young Jews are shifting away their faith.
The report shows that AEPi alumni have lower rates of intermarriage, are raising their children Jewish and are more likely to have Jewish friends than Jews who were not involved with AEPI.
“Nearly nine of every ten alumni who are raising children are raising their children Jewish,” the report said.
The report also found that nearly 60 percent of alumni have credited AEPi with “enhancing their pride in or support for Israel,” with about 80 percent of alumni having visited Israel at least once.
Additionally, the report found that AEPi alumni also exceed their Jewish male counterparts in charitable giving to both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and non-profits, with many alumni crediting AEPi for influencing their inclination to donate to Jewish organizations.
The results are from a survey conducted among 1,137 AEPi alumni who graduated college between the years 1995 and 2010 in order to “investigate the enduring effects of the AEPi experience on Jewish identity.”
The findings of the report come as Jewish leaders are grappling with the rising rates of assimilation and intermarriage among younger Jews. The Pew Research Center’s 2013 “Portrait of Jewish Americans” found that intermarriage among Jews has risen to 58 percent from 43 percent in 1990, while one-in-five Jews (22 percent) describe themselves as having no religion.
"This study confirmed what we've known all along. Our brothers are more engaged in Jewish life and more supportive of Israel than other Jewish men their age,” Andy Borans, executive director of AEPi, told JNS.org.
“I am so proud to be a part of this fraternity, and so grateful to see that our alumni credit AEPi with helping to shape their Jewish involvement long after they graduate from college," he said.
Founded in 1913, Alpha Epsilon Pi or AEPi currently has 180 chapters spread across the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom and France, with about 98,000 initiated members.