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Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Delta Tau.png
FoundedMarch 25, 1917; 105 years ago (1917-03-25)
Cornell University
(Ithaca, NY)
ScopeNational with International Affiliates
MottoPatriae Multae Spes Una
One Hope of Many People
Colors  Cafe au Lait and   Old Blue
FlowerGolden Tea Rose
JewelLapis lazuli
PublicationThe Torch
PhilanthropyPrevent Child Abuse America, SDT Foundation, Jewish Women International
Members70,000+ lifetime
Headquarters714 Adams Street
Carmel, IN 46032

Sigma Delta Tau (ΣΔΤ) is a national sorority and member of the National Panhellenic Conference. The original name, Sigma Delta Phi, was changed after the women discovered a sorority with the same name already existed.

Sigma Delta Tau was founded on March 25, 1917 by seven Jewish women: Dora Bloom Turteltaub, Amy Apfel Tishman, Marian Gerber Greenberg, Grace Srenco Grossman, Inez Dane Ross, Regene Freund Cohane and Lenore Rubinow. There is no religious requirement for membership to the sorority, and it prides itself on being inclusive of all, as well as being historically Jewish.[1]

Today, Sigma Delta Tau has over 70,000 initiates from 105 chapters[2] around the United States. The current national philanthropies of Sigma Delta Tau are Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), the Sigma Delta Tau Foundation, and Jewish Women International (JWI).[1]


The official flower is the golden tea rose and the sorority jewel is the lapis lazuli. The sorority coat of arms combines all the elements of Sigma Delta Tau. The colors of Sigma Delta Tau are cafe au lait and old blue. The sorority's symbol is the torch, which is also the name of its national publication.

The current badge is a jeweled gold torch. On the front of the torch are the Greek letters ΣΔΤ, with 6 pearls and a diamond. The badge is worn strictly as an emblem of membership and only by initiated members. Uninitiated members wear a different badge, a gold torch enameled in old blue, which represents the colors of the sorority, cafe au lait and old blue.


Prevent Child Abuse America was selected as Sigma Delta Tau's National Philanthropy in 1982. Prevent Child Abuse America is a volunteer organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse through citizen action. Each Sigma Delta Tau chapter conducts an annual service project, educational program, or major fund raiser for the benefit of Prevent Child Abuse America. Since 1982, Sigma Delta Tau has donated more than $3 million to PCAA.

Sigma Delta Tau is also partnered with Jewish Women International (JWI), an organization that works to ensure that all women and girls thrive in healthy relationships, control their financial futures and realize the full potential of their personal strength. JWI is a leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls of all backgrounds through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships, and the proliferation of women's leadership.

The Sigma Delta Tau Foundation was chosen as an official philanthropic partner in 2017. The Sigma Delta Tau Foundation is committed to empowering SDT sisters to grow personally and professionally through annual scholarship opportunities, essential funding of Sigma Delta Tau educational programs, and influential charitable giving from alumnae, collegians, and friends of Sigma Delta Tau.


Dora Bloom Turteltaub was “the leader.” She was the first chapter president and was calm and placid throughout the hectic first year of Sigma Delta Tau. Dora married John Turteltaub and at the time of her death, in March 1970, lived in West Orange, New Jersey. She was a community-minded woman, an extensive world traveler, and a mother and grandmother. Dora served as President of the Theresa Grotta Home for many years and was Secretary of the Conference of Jewish Women's Organizations.

Amy Apfel was the “personality-plus coed.” She married Alexander Tishman and made New York City her home for many years. Amy was a member of many worthy charitable organizations and a devoted mother and grandmother. Upon her death, in 1982, the Tishman family bequeathed to the Sigma Delta Tau Foundation a scholarship in Amy's name to be awarded to deserving members of the Alpha chapter of Sigma Delta Tau.

Marian Gerber was considered “the brain” and was more interested in her studies than campus activities. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in History. Marian married David B. Greenberg and they co-authored two books on travel: What to Buy in Europe and What to Buy in South America. Marian earned international recognition for her volunteer work as the first American Chairman of Hadassah's Youth Aliyah. Marian taught courses at the University of Massachusetts in the Judaic Studies Department.

Grace Srenco was the “campus queen.” Grace was a freshman, assigned to a dormitory with a sophomore roommate. This roommate was Dora Bloom. Grace said, “This chance meeting led to many happy events in my life: the founding of Sigma Delta Tau and my marriage to a Philadelphia lawyer.” She helped found the Beta chapter and met her future husband, J. Grossman, at their installation banquet. Grace devoted much of her time to the American Red Cross and to her hobby, painting. Grace had two sons and a daughter, Nancy, who joined SDT at the University of Pennsylvania.

Inez Ross was considered “the sophisticate” and helped Dora Bloom get the idea of Sigma Delta Tau rolling. Inez became a prominent social worker in New York City. During the Depression era of the 1930s, she was associated with several state and federal relief agencies where her outstanding efforts came to the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, who honored her at the White House. It was Inez who designed our National crest and selected the colors of “cafè au lait and old blue.”

Regene Freund called herself “the activity girl.” She balanced her work in campus organizations and her pre-law studies very well. After graduating from law school, she married Louis Cohane. They maintained law offices in Detroit the entire period of their marriage. In 1924, they earned the distinction of being the first married couple to try a case before the United States Supreme Court. Regene served as Sigma Delta Tau's first National President from 1918–1922. She continued to serve as SDT's National Counselor, a volunteer position she held for 35 years. Regene has been honored many times over the years for her leadership roles in civic and social welfare organizations, as well as for her contributions to Sigma Delta Tau. Regene was chosen one of Detroit's “Women of Achievement” and her portrait has been placed in the Detroit Historical Museum. Sigma Delta Tau honored Regene in 1991 by establishing the Regene Freund Cohane Outstanding President Award.

Lenore Rubinow was known as “the idealist.” She studied dance during college and dreamed of a career on the stage. Lenore studied sociology in graduate school at Columbia University. She became a successful social worker in Newark, New Jersey. She organized and directed the Department of Social Service of the Neward Beth Israel Hospital. In connection with her profession, she spent three years in Germany after World War II as part of the displaced persons’ program.

The services of an idealist and poet were sought to write a ritual worthy of the philosophy of Sigma Delta Tau. The boyfriend of Dora Bloom at the time, Nathan House was such a person and he wrote the ritual keeping in mind the personalities of the seven young women as an act of love for Dora. A love that was lost however when Dora married John Turtletaub. After leaving Cornell, Brother Nat was “lost.” In a chance look through the New York City phone book, by Jean Marie Schwartz Burke, of Tau chapter, University of Texas, Nat was “found” and brought as a surprise to the 1958 National Convention. From that time until his death, Brother Nat attended almost every biennial Convention and maintained correspondence and visits with many alumnae and collegiate chapters. Brother Nat was the only man to wear the Sigma Delta Tau gold Torch pin.[3]


National Presidents

The National President of Sigma Delta Tau is voted on by the chapters and National Council Members every two years. Below is a list of Past National Presidents:

Chapter List

Main article: List of Sigma Delta Tau chapters

Sigma Delta Tau currently has a total of 64 active collegiate chapters across North America.[4][1]

Notable alumnae

See also


  1. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), section listing Sigma Delta Tau chapters". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 30 December 2021. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  2. ^ "Chapter List".
  3. ^ "Sigma Delta Tau".
  4. ^ "Sigma Delta Tau | Empowering Women".
  5. ^ a b "Sigma Delta Tau – Notable SDT Alumnae". Sigma Delta Tau. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  6. ^ "College Lifestyles Interviews Broadway Actress, Remy Zaken!". College Lifestyles. Retrieved 2012-08-11.