Black, Jewish frats run joint programs


A black and a Jewish fraternity are running joint programs to promote tolerance on U.S. campuses.

Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Psi, a historically black fraternity, will honor past members who made outstanding contributions to civil rights.

They include Michael Schwermer, a young Jewish man who was murdered during the voting rights drive of the 1960s, and Ralph Abernathy, a former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who was an outspoken supporter of Israel.

B’nai B’rith International, which announced the joint effort Wednesday, is a sponsor.

“Reopening the dialogue between these groups is the first step for a successful new partnership between these communities,” B’nai B’rith said in a statement.

The program, launched in February, has included a talk at the University of Florida by LaVon Mercer, an African American who played for Israel’s national basketball team in the 1980s and served in the Israeli army, and a New York University program on the crisis in Darfur.

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