ZBT Stands Against Hate

By Sheri Rosenberg —

As the world’s first Jewish Fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau remains in the unique position to serve as a convener on college campuses to address one of the deepest issues facing our brothers and their peers today: anti-Semitism and hate. Anti-Semitism can be defined as the mistreatment and discrimination of the Jewish people.

ZBT strives to help brothers understand the realities of anti-Semitism and guide them to become influencers in their community in the fight to eradicate anti-Semitism and other forms of hate. Our Hate Against One is Hate Against All campaign strives to end hate, whether it be anti-Semitism, racism or other forms of hate. ZBT believes that hate unchecked against one community can lead to hate against other communities. Hate has no place in our world, and ZBT seeks to create a more inclusive world through this multifaceted endeavor.

The Fraternity currently partners with two entities which share ZBT’s passion to combat hate, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). When collaborating with the ADL, ZBT brings their Words to Action workshop to chapters. Words to Action is a personalized program which discusses anti-Semitism, participants’ own experiences with this form of hate, and how to respond to this type of discrimination. Approximately 20 chapters receive this workshop annually, thanks to the commitment and generous support of this effort by the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. As Brother Matthew D. Rupe, Gamma Chi (University of South Florida) 2022 said after his Chapter concluded their Words to Action workshop, “the session was very informative on anti-Semitism as a whole and was very helpful in providing ways of combating and preventing the further spread of anti-Semitism.” Following a chapter’s participation in a Words to Action workshop, brothers coordinate a post-workshop impact program to implement the workshop’s skills and techniques to educate non-ZBT brothers about hate. Omicron Chapter at Tufts University welcomed a local Holocaust survivor to share his story with the broader campus community. Over 90 students came to hear Dr. Ludwik Szymanski talk about his experience. Omicron Chapter President Omar M. Badr (2021) said “Dr. Szymanski shared a powerful story about survival and moving forward, as well as speaking against hate and bigotry.”

ZBT values the diversity of its brothers, and to address other forms of hate which may be relevant to brothers of various backgrounds, the Fraternity entered a partnership with NCBI. In July 2019, nearly 20 undergraduate and alumni brothers and staff were trained by NCBI professionals to be facilitators of diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops. This cohort of trained individuals lead workshops within their chapters as well as other chapters in their region to address specific forms of hate and empower brothers with the skills to address incidents of hate and bigotry. Beta Alpha Theta Chapter at the University of Colorado at Boulder recently participated in a NCBI workshop led by ZBT’s Director of Hate Prevention and Jewish Enrichment, Sheri Rosenberg, and William C. Rader, Iota (University of Denver) 2020. Beta Alpha Theta Chapter President John R. Ochoa (2022) viewed the program as “an interesting and fun way to get to know [his] brothers. [He] got to know a lot of new things about people that [he] thought [he] knew really well. Thinking about people and their different identities was pretty eye-opening, and [he] would definitely recommend this program to other chapters.”

Most recently, ZBT joined the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement to try to encourage as many people as possible to raise awareness about the rise of anti-Semitism on campus and around the world. Brothers, undergraduate and alumni alike, are able to sign a pledge to combat anti-Semitism and encourage other students, family, friends and community members to sign the pledge as well. Anyone interested in signing this pledge can do so at: http://combatantisemitism.org/zbt.

Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity is fully and firmly committed to fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and discrimination plaguing society today. ZBT stands up for what is right and to protect the rights of all people. If you are interested in learning more about any of our hate prevention programs, please reach out to Sheri Rosenberg, ZBT’s Director of Hate Prevention and Jewish Enrichment.