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Community Service Project Creates Disaster Preparedness Kits

The Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) honored B’nai B’rith International on Aug. 9 for its ongoing support and partnership.

During a luncheon celebration as part of the 99th anniversary AEPi convention in Phoenix, AEPi thanked B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, himself an AEPi brother, for B’nai B’rith’s commitment to community service activities and its support of Israel. B’nai B’rith Chairman of the Executive Committee Gary Saltzman also attended the luncheon. Saltzman will be initiated as an honorary brother in AEPi on Aug. 10.

Mariaschin also spoke at the luncheon about the impact community service can make to an individual and a community and how partnerships in the Jewish community can expand the reach of remarkable programming.

Such outreach was on display during the 2012 joint service project, where about 450 brothers created activity kits to occupy children during a disaster evacuation. The participants also created art materials to make disaster shelters more child-friendly.

B’nai B’rith co-sponsored an Aug. 7 Jewish enrichment conference—Hineni—that preceded the full AEPi convention.  AEPi brothers joined children from the Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale, Ariz., playing board games and doing arts and crafts projects. The AEPi brothers also brought to life the book A Dragon of  Inn, this year’s winning book in the B’nai B’rith International Diverse Minds book writing contest that challenges teens to write books about tolerance and diversity.

B’nai B’rith and AEPi teamed up in 2007 to provide community service, educational and advocacy programming to encourage fraternity brothers to stay active in the Jewish community after graduating college.

Mariaschin is a recipient of the AEPi Gitelson Silver Medallion, an award which honors AEPi alumni who have committed to practice Jewish community service.