About Alpha Epsilon Pi

About Alpha Epsilon Pi

Alpha Epsilon Pi

The founders of Alpha Epsilon Pi were all young men of serious purpose, employed during the day, coming from middle class homes, who sought to get ahead by obtaining the formal training offered at New York University in the evening sessions. The catalyst for the founding of Alpha Epsilon Pi was the transfer of Charles C. Moskowitz from the College of the City of New York to New York University’s School of Commerce.

While enrolling at C.C.N.Y., Charles Moskowitz, a fine basketball player, was heavily sought after for his athletic skills. When he enrolled at New York University, his reputation had preceded him, and he was immediately rushed and given a bid by one of the fraternities. However, when Charles Moskowitz asked whether bids could also be extended to his friends, he was immediately told that the bid was for him alone.

Brother Moskowitz had a circle of close Jewish friends that met after work for dinner before going to class. Evidently, Founder Moskowitz discussed this with his friends and they decided that fraternities were good for the students. Since there was no patent on the idea, they would start one of their own. The group had its meals at a German rathskeller on Second Avenue, within walking distance of the university. The specialty was frankfurters and sauerkraut, and the price was fifteen cents. The basement was open to the public only in the evenings when business was especially brisk.

The young students talked with the owner who agreed that if six or eight men would eat there regularly every school night, he would give them a private area in the rathskeller. And that is how Alpha Epsilon Pi began.

One of the topics of conversation was fraternity: its pros and cons. Could this non-affluent group of young students, busy with their daytime jobs and nighttime studies, successfully launch a new fraternity when there were already seven well established groups at the School of Commerce, three of them national organizations? They decided to try. Brother Moskowitz is quoted as saying, “Our aim was mutual assistance in our intellectual and social life to strengthen the democratic character of student life.”

When the founding group finally jelled, there were eleven founding members: I.M. Glazer, Herman L. Kraus, Arthur M. Lipkint, Benjamin M. Meyer, Hyman Schulman, Emil J. Lustgarten, Arthur E. Leopold, Charles J. Pintel, Maurice Plager, David K. Schafer and Charles C. Moskowitz. Charles Moskowitz was chosen as the first master.

Alpha Epsilon Pi now stands as the largest formal Jewish Fraternity in the world with over 160 chapters and numerous colonies around the globe. AEPi is on 3 continents and in 5 countries with over 9,000 active undergraduate members. The vast alumni network of over 200,000 living alumni attests to the strength of the fraternity and its everlasting values that have lasted since 1913