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Founders Day

Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity was inspired by Richard J. H. Gottheil, a professor of languages at Columbia University and a leader in the early American Zionist movement. On December 29, 1898, Professor Gottheil gathered together a group of Jewish students from several New York City universities to form a Zionist youth society. The society was called Z.B.T.

The Founders of ZBT: Rabbi Herman Abramowitz, Bernhard Bloch, Isidore Delson, Aaron P. Drucker, Rabbi Bernard C. Ehrenreich, Rabbi Menachim M. Eichler, Rabbi Aaron Eiseman, Rabbi David Levine, Aaron W. Levy, David Liknaitz, Louis S. Posner, Bernhard D. Saxe, Dr. Herman B. Sheffield, Dr. David Swick and Maurice L. Zellermayer. Learn more about these men and the lives they led.

Today, brothers celebrate this historic moment in many ways.

Appropriate events include an alumni reception or dinner, a special initiation, honoring brothers’ academic successes or hosting the graduation ritual. Events may include a moment of silence for all brothers who have passed into the Chapter Eternal since the last memorial, as well as a recitation of the names of any brothers from the chapter who have died. That list is available through the ZBT International Headquarters.

Due to the December 29 date when most universities out for the holidays, the Supreme Council passed a motion that ZBT’s Founders Day should be celebrated the first Saturday of March.