Israel-Hamas war creates shockwave

ZBTs have continued to unite in Brotherly Love, for each other and for Israel, since October 7. ZBT was founded 125 years ago as a Zionist student organization and remains committed to supporting Israel, particularly at this moment in history. The Fraternity stands steadfast in our support of the right of the State of Israel and its people to live in peace and security with its neighbors and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historic homeland.

Since the declaration of war, the past few months have held particular challenges for Jewish students on campus in many places. Widespread protests of Israel, antisemitic incidents and even violence, interpersonal bullying and outright threats have been reported. ZBT brothers (Jewish or not) have been targeted for just for belonging to the world’s first Jewish fraternity.

  • 84% of Jewish students say the situation in Israel and Gaza is affecting them and creating challenges on campus
  • 56% of Jewish students say they are scared
  • 1 in 3 Jewish students say they feel the need to hide their identity
  • 40% of Jewish students say it is harder to share their views in the classroom and in campus organizations since the war
  • 1 in 4 Jewish students say there has been an act of violence or hate on their campus in the last 10 days
  • 58% of Jewish students feel unsupported by their college or university

Source: Hillel International

ZBT chapters, specifically, are facing these threats. There have been instances of anti-Israel or anti-Zionist protesters very near chapter properties, particularly at The George Washington University, University of Wisconsin, Tulane University and Syracuse University. The FBI was involved after a kosher dining hall was threatened at Cornell University. Hillel properties, where our brothers are frequent guests, have been under protest at Arizona State University, Tufts University and The Ohio State University. Protesters have created antisemitic messaging in public spaces at the University of Maryland College Park, University of Florida, University of Texas, Quinnipiac University, GWU and others.

Fraternity leadership meets regularly with security agencies and community groups, as well as partner organizations that support students like Hillel and Chabad. Staff has created an emergency response plan specific to this type of antisemitic situation that allows additional security and related needs to be placed immediately.  ZBT is working with many university administrations to ensure student safety and well-being. As part of the emergency response, the Fraternity and Zeta Beta Tau Foundation opened a joint crisis appeal to raise funds to support safety updates and protocols at chapter properties. Learn more on how you can support this urgent need here.


ZBT’s annual Israel Now! program was coincidentally scheduled for Oct. 12. Fraternity educators were able to pivot and grow the programming offered in the immediate aftermath of the attacks and the war to expand the support offered to brothers. Two dialogue-based educational webinars were offered, and a mental health session with a licensed counselor benefitted dozens of brothers. Hundreds of brothers took advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow their knowledge of Israel and support each other in this time.

A peer program that ZBT offers annually, the Summit Against Hate, had a strong educational component for antisemitism awareness. This panel discussion hosted by ZBT, Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority and Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity featured expert campus life panelists who were able to pivot the program in a direction to support education on the war and its effects.

ZBT also offers a Combatting Campus Antisemitism workshop that we take to our chapters (pictured left at Delta Lambda at Monmouth College). This program is more important than ever, and we are proud to share that six chapters received this session this fall and a special presentation was made to leaders of additional fraternal organizations through the Fraternity Executives Association.

The Fraternity is thankful to the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation for generously supporting the Summit Against Hate, Israel Now! and Combatting Campus Antisemitism. Learn more about how the Foundation supports brothers at zbtfoundation.org.

The Fraternity also has been growing its educational partnership with the Anti-Defamation League through this fall.

Chapters Take Action

The Fraternity leadership is proud of the way our chapters have responded to the war and the way brothers are rallying behind Israel and the Israeli people. Here are some highlights from chapters and campuses.

  • Brothers from the Lambda Chapter at the University of Texas founded Yalla for Israel in the days after the attacks. Yalla is a peer fundraising effort specifically for college students. Since early October, these ZBT student leaders have raised over $175,000 for Friends Of The Israel Defense Forces.
  • Dozens of brothers and their families and friends participated in the March for Israel on Nov. 14 in Washington, D.C. (pictured top)
  • Athletes for Israel has partnered with campus Jewish agencies to loop in brothers on service opportunities at Kansas, Syracuse, Arizona, Maryland, Binghamton and others.
  • Many chapters paired with the other Jewish fraternities and sororities on campus for fundraisers or pro-Israel, including Alpha Delta Chapter (USC), Beta Phi Chapter at Pitt, Psi Chapter at Alabama, Kappa Chapter at Cornell University, Beta Alpha Theta at University of Colorado Boulder, Sigma Chapter at Tulane (pictured above), Eta Omicron at Quinnipiac, Rho at University of Illinois, Gamma Psi at Northeastern University and Lambda Chapter at Texas. These events have been ongoing since Oct. 7 and additional were planned through the time of this publication. For questions about a specific chapter, contact ZBT.
  • University of Miami students rally in support of Israel featuring Brother Jonathan Lonstein, Alpha Omega (Miami) 2025, interview with NBC 6
  • Northeastern University brothers among group that assembles an empty Shabbat table memorial for 229 Hamas hostages, via student media
  • KU students, including ZBT brothers, work to support people in Israel this event, article from KSNT
  • David G. Brenner, Gamma (Northwestern University) 1989, made Aliyah in 2014 and lives in Efrat. He recorded a message for ZBT undergraduates regarding the situation, sharing what it’s been like living in Israel recently and looping in his ZBT ties.
  • Evan Hendel, Kappa (Cornell University) 2017, moved to Israel after graduating from Cornell. Brother Hendel returned to Edgecliff Place on November 1 to speak to students about his experiences.
  • Jeremy Cole, Psi (Alabama) 2019, is assisting in raising funds for United Hatzalah, community-based EMS services, as part of his role employed with the organization in the U.S.

As shared with ZBT International Headquarters. If you have additional information or events to share with ZBT, please email zbt@zbtnational.org.


About two-thirds of current chapters made a public statement on social media in support of Israel. Here is a selection of what our brothers are saying:

Many more chapters and brothers have supported the cause in varying ways. If you have questions about a specific chapter, contact ZBT.