Monmouth College fraternity hosts talk to fight against antisemitism

Jonathan Fong | November 6, 2023

The talk is one of the ways Zeta Beta Tau wants to continue its mission of inclusivity by spreading knowledge on issues.

MONMOUTH, Ill. — While conflict between Israel and Hamas has reignited talks about antisemitism, a Monmouth College fraternity is using knowledge to fight these concerns.

The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity invited guest speaker Alexander Katz to give a presentation on the history of antisemitism. “The Jewish caricatures go back to the Middle Ages — they’re not something that is new,” Katz said.

Katz also talked about the modern day presence of antisemitism, not just across the U.S. in general, but also at college campuses. “It is scary, you know, because campus is supposed to be a blending of cultures, a blending of ideas, the place to learn and the place to grow,” Katz said.

ZBT president Corey Pevitz said talks like this align with the fraternity’s mission of inclusivity, which stems back to when the chapter first came to Monmouth College in 1971. “ZBT at the time, was one of the only national fraternities that allowed African-Americans to join the fraternity at a national level. So that welcoming environment wasn’t just for the Jewish people, but it was for all minorities that had previously been discriminated against in the United States,” he said.

Students like Ethan Panganiban is part of that push at Monmouth College to say no to hate. “Having that sort of openness and being like, no matter what your creed, you know, religious belief, whatever you stand for, we’re here for you,” he said.

According to the latest study from the FBI, about 55% of religious hate crimes in the U.S. are antisemitic, despite only about 2% of the U.S. population identifying as Jewish.