Student Leaders in Greek Life Honored at MSU’s Giant Menorah Lighting

Brian Goldsmith | Special to the Jewish News Jan 7, 2024

Jewish Spartans light the way.

MSU Chabad honored four Jewish student leaders on the fourth night of Chanukah during its annual Giant Menorah Lighting at the Spartan Statue. The four students — leaders in Greek life — were honored for their commitment to standing in solidarity with Israel and promoting a safe Jewish campus. Each honoree lit one oil lamp to commemorate their commitment to bringing light to MSU in a time of darkness.

“This Chanukah, we celebrated and honored our lamplighters at MSU. Our remarkable students, true lamplighters, were the ones who lit the candles. Guided by our Shamash, President Teresa Woodruff, their light and leadership continuously brighten Michigan State,” said MSU Chabad Rebbetzin Simi Shemtov.

The MSU Chabad honorees included sophomore Alpha Epsilon Pi President Benjamin Garfield, junior Sigma Delta Tau President Ellie Weiss, and seniors Sigma Alpha Mu (“Sammy”) Graham Schulte and Andrew Shulman.

Since the Hamas Oct. 7 attack at the Gaza-Israel border, college campuses like Michigan State University have become a confusing and difficult place for Jewish students fighting an uphill battle against antisemitism.

Garfield and MSU AEPi are taking a public stand against hate on campus. He said the Israeli flag has been ripped down countless times at the MSU AEPi house but “we proudly raised it again.”

Garfield said following the Hamas attacks, the brothers of MSU AEPi successfully raised $20,000 for United Hatzalah during their annual Pi Bowl Flag football philanthropy in October.

“As the president of the only Jewish fraternity on campus, I’m proud to say that our 135 brothers, whether Jewish or not, stand for peace for the Jewish people and all. Our fraternity stands in solidarity with Israel and is committed to promoting a positive atmosphere for our community.”