Jewish fraternity/sorority gathering. Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA, 1949
Jewish fraternity/sorority gathering. Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, USA, 1949

This is a list of historically Jewish fraternities and sororities in the United States and Canada.[1][2] These organizations exemplify (or exemplified) a range of "Jewishness"; some are historically Jewish in origin but later became strictly secular. Some remain more celebratory of their Jewish roots from a historic perspective only, and some actively promote Jewish culture and religious traditions within their current program.[3]

The terms "fraternity" and "sorority" are used somewhat interchangeably, with men's and co-ed groups always using "fraternity", and women's groups using either "fraternity" or "sorority". For convenience, the term "Greek letter society" is a generic substitute. The word "Greek" in this case refers to the use of Greek letters for each society's name, and not to Greek ethnicity.

Collegiate

These are the large groups. There were many Jewish local chapters formed at universities around the US, most of which affiliated into one of these entities, becoming chapters. Bold indicates active groups. Italic indicates dormant groups, or those which merged into another, larger society.

Social fraternities

Fraternities which merged into another

Social sororities

^ - Although their founders were Jewish, Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Sigma Sigma are historically nonsectarian sororities.

Professional

Information on the continuing activity of some of these societies may be missing. Those without Wikipedia pages may be dormant or decreased to a single chapter. Where a group has had activity within the past two decades it is listed as active (bold). Italics indicate dormant groups. Updates welcome.

High school

Information on the continuing activity of some of these societies may be missing. Those without Wikipedia pages may have gone dormant, or decreased to a single chapter. Known active groups are listed in bold; dormant groups are listed in italics. Where a group has had activity within the past two decades it is listed as active. Updates welcome.

ΙΦ- Iota Phi, sorority, high school, dormant.[27]
ΦΒ- Phi Beta, fraternity, high school and preparatory schools for boys, founded 1920, dormant?[11][28]
ΦΣΒ- Phi Sigma Beta, high school fraternity, 1910, became ΤΔΦ collegiate fraternity.[29]
ΠΥΦ - Pi Upsilon Phi, high school fraternity, dormant?[30][31]
ΣΘΠ - Sigma Theta Pi, Jewish high school girls, founded circa 1909 or earlier, dormant?[32][30][33][34][35]
ΥΛΦ - Upsilon Lambda Phi, founded April 5, 1916, dormant? Publication was The Hour Glass.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) [1879]. Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. ISBN 978-0963715906. Baird's Manual is also available online here: The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  2. ^ a b Sanua, Marianne Rachel (2003), Going Greek: Jewish College Fraternities in the United States, 1895–1945, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0-8143-2857-1
  3. ^ An example of the former is Tau Delta Phi, a Jewish heritage fraternity that became non-sectarian in 1932. Tau Delta Phi was ethnically Jewish, but not religiously Jewish when it was founded in 1910. Its earliest members were ethnically Jewish but were from all different religious backgrounds. That Fraternity is therefore often grouped with other Jewish fraternities but has long shifted toward a primary identification as "secular".
  4. ^ "Beta Samach Changed to Beta Sigma Rho", The Cornell Daily Sun, vol. 40, no. 146, p. 6, April 22, 1920
  5. ^ The second symbol in the name, rather than being a Greek Omicron, is instead the Hebrew Samach.
  6. ^ Beta Samach changed its name with the chartering of its third chapter, becoming Beta Sigma Rho.
  7. ^ a b c d Listed in Baird's Archive online, accessed 24 Jan 2021.
  8. ^ Per Baird's, the Alpha chapter of this four-chapter fraternity joined Tau Kappa Epsilon at Eastern Michigan; the others appear to have scattered.
  9. ^ One chapter of Sigma Lambda Pi, at Rider University retained the former national's name as a local, later adding a second chapter. Both are dormant.
  10. ^ This merger brought three active chapters into AEPi
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Noted in a 1941 list of national Jewish organizations, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  12. ^ Noted in Baird's archive of inactive fraternal groups, accessed 10 Jan 2021.
  13. ^ First chapter was at CCNY. Cornell's Zeta chapter merged into Phi Beta Delta in 1935.
  14. ^ The organization may have existed beyond 1935. In addition to the CCNY and Cornell chapters, this article references chapters in Lewiston and Portland, Maine, in 1940. Were these at campuses of the University of Southern Maine? Article accessed 26 Jan 2020. From a cursory Google search there appears to have been a chapter at Columbia. Unaffiliated: There may have been a similarly-named but unaffiliated sorority at Drexel University, and a high school sorority of the same name.
  15. ^ Jewish National organizations in the United States, 1941-42 edition, accessed 27 Jan 2020 had this: Phi Delta Mu Fraternity, Inc. Org. 1920. OFFICE: New York City. Nineteenth Annual Convention, Dec. 1939, New York City. Members, 220. PURPOSE: TO promote the intellectual, social and spiritual status of Jewish students at colleges in the United States and Canada. OFFICERS: Chancellor, S. Walter Pokart, 225 W. 34th; Chancellor of the Exchequer, Arthur S. Bruckman, N. Y. C; Sec, Harry Kisver, 280 B'way, N. Y. C. P
  16. ^ Alpha Kappa Pi notes a chapter of Phi Delta Mu at Newark College of Engineering in their magazine, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  17. ^ See Delta Pi's national website, accessed 29 Jan 2020.
  18. ^ Zeta Beta Omega's website provides more information about this new organization, accessed 29 Jan 2020.
  19. ^ Noted in the Minnesota Gopher yearbooks for 1938-'52, with scattered reference to alumni from other schools.
  20. ^ As noted in The Jewish Press the following year (p.5). Local?
  21. ^ Not to be confused with the fictional fraternity of the same name, from the movie G.O.A.T.
  22. ^ Journal of the American Dental Association 1932-1933
  23. ^ Baird's 1923 edition has this as a local at Penn; may have expanded to multiple chapters.
  24. ^ Originally known as the Dead Men's Club.
  25. ^ Archive notes from the University of Minnesota library note the group's founding as the Minnesota Business Club, and soon chartering clubs in Ohio and in Michigan. Minnesota's was the Alpha chapter of the fraternity. Accessed 3 Feb 2020.
  26. ^ Chapter at Alfred University founded in 1930, became Kappa Nu in 1933. Chapter at Ohio State founded in 1935 lasted two years. No info in Baird's.
  27. ^ Their 1960 convention program lists several chapters in the New England area. Accessed 3 Feb 2020.
  28. ^ Not to be confused with the professional fraternity for the creative and performing arts.
  29. ^ ΤΔΦ's online history notes the fraternity's origin as a high school fraternity on 22 June 1910, in New York. The fraternity re-established as a collegiate organization in 1914. Accessed 9 Jun 2020.
  30. ^ a b The Jewish Daily Bulletin of 26 June 1934, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  31. ^ Its Sigma chapter was at Syracuse.
  32. ^ Noted in the American Jewish Year book, vol22, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  33. ^ Upsilon chapter was in the Twin Cities.
  34. ^ This source notes the high school focus, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  35. ^ Not to be confused with the international sorority with a similar name, Sigma Thêta Pi, founded in 2003, nor the local Christian fraternity at Howard Payne University, founded in 2004.