Zeta Beta Tau

Zeta Beta Tau

Infobox Fraternity
letters = ZBT
name = Zeta Beta Tau
crest =
motto = "A Powerhouse of Excellence"
colors = Medium blue and white with gold trim
flower = Gold Carnation (adopted 2004)
founded = December 29, 1898
birthplace = City College of New York, New York, NY
type = Social
scope = International
address = 3905 Vincennes Rd. Suite 300
city = Indianapolis
state = Indiana
country = USA
chapters = 80
free_label = Fraternity Song
free = "My Brother, Here's My Hand"
homepage = [http://www.zbt.org/ ZBT Website]

Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT, brothers of which are nicknamed Zebes) is a historically Jewish, presently nonsectarian international fraternity. Today the merged Zeta Beta Tau Brotherhood numbers over 130,000 initiated Brothers, and over 80 student chapter locations. The first verse of the fraternity song is "Here's to our fraternity..."



The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity was inspired by Dr. Richard J. H. Gottheil, a professor of languages at Columbia University and a Zionist. On December 29, 1898, he formed a Zionist youth society with a group of Jewish students from several New York City universities.

The society was called Z.B.T., the meaning of which is revealed in the fraternity's ritual. ZBT has interpreted Isaiah's prophecy to mean in its ritual that "All Men Are Brothers". At the time Jews were not allowed to join other fraternities due to anti-semitism, thus there was a need for an exclusively Jewish Greek letter fraternity. In 1903 Z.B.T. formally became Zeta Beta Tau and its purpose shifted away from that of a Zionist youth organization as other Zionist organizations grew in prominence. The original Hebrew meaning of Z.B.T. is not esoteric. It was publicly revealed in the official written history of Zeta Beta Tau, "Here's to Our Fraternity: One Hundred Years of Zeta Beta Tau, 1898-1998", by Marianne Rachel Sanua. [cite web|title=ZBT Centennial History Book|url=http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=T_8gh-akdPEC&dq=zeta+beta+tau+hundred+years&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=X1UgX6abtX&sig=ldCKaarfjZ8T9rKdkYNRDw9Afxo|accessdate=March 4|accessyear=2008] The word "judgment" is sometimes translated as "justice". [cite web|title=Bible Isaiah 1:27|url=http://bible.cc/isaiah/1-27.htm|accessdate=March 4|accessyear=2008]

Zeta Beta Tau expanded rapidly. By 1909, it had established 13 Chapters throughout the Northeast and a 14th at Tulane University at New Orleans, thereby taking on a truly national dimension. In 1913, it established its first Canadian Chapter at McGill University in Montreal. Five years later, it founded its first West Coast Chapter at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. At the 1954 National Convention, the delegates amended Zeta Beta Tau's Constitution, ritual and internal procedures both in theory and in practice to eliminate sectarianism as a qualification for membership. [cite web|title=ZBT Bax Chapter|url= http://www.zbt-bax.com/history.html|accessdate=November 19|accessyear=2007]

Today, the merged Zeta Beta Tau Brotherhood is some 130,000 Brothers strong, and ZBT Chapters and Colonies are established at over 80 campus locations. Through good times and bad, ZBT has been in the forefront in pioneering new concepts - as evidenced by its very founding, its elimination of sectarian membership practices, its acceptance of mergers, its elimination of pledging, and its ability to solve enormous problems when others abandoned the effort.

Merging with other fraternities

The Zeta Beta Tau of today is the result of a merger with four other national fraternities, more than any other North-American Interfraternity Conference fraternity. In 1959, Phi Alpha merged into Phi Sigma Delta. In 1961 Kappa Nu merged into Phi Epsilon Pi. In 1969-70, Phi Sigma Delta and Phi Epsilon Pi merged into Zeta Beta Tau.

Pledging abolished

Zeta Beta Tau was also one of the first National fraternities to abolish the institution of pledging in 1989 as a way to combat and eliminate hazing. [cite web|title=ZBT History|url= http://www.zbt.org/about_zbt|accessdate=August 11|accessyear=2006] This change was not new to the world of fraternities, as in 1971 Lambda Chi Alpha became the first North-American Interfraternity Conference (NAIC) fraternity to eliminate pledging, by replacing the process with an "Associated Membership" process. Lambda Chi Alpha paved the way for Zeta Beta Tau in taking the first steps to offer a completely equal brotherhood experience. Zeta Beta Tau's decision to get rid of pledging did not involve an associate membership process however. Once a brother joins the fraternity he will receive all rights and responsibilities as the rest of the chapter, and shall be eligible for any position within the chapter regardless of how long he has been a brother. Sigma Phi Epsilon would soon follow with a somewhat similar plan in 1991.

emi-Annual Brotherhood Review Vote

In conjunction with the 1989 abolishment of pledging, ZBT National instituted a very progressive concept in fraternities then and now, the S.B.R.V. (Semi-Annual Brotherhood Review Vote). ZBT National mandates that all Chapters, twice a year (once a semester) have a vote to see who, if anyone, should be removed from membership within a Chapter. All brothers participate in, and are subject to, the anonymous vote, which are tallied by the Brotherhood Development Director. [cite web|title=Chapter Officers Responsibilities|url=|accessdate=March 4|accessyear=2008] If a brother does not receive a simple majority of supportive votes, he is kicked out of the fraternity. What makes this policy so different from all other NAIC fraternities is that ZBT does not consider you to be a brother for life once initiated, as any brother has the possibility of being voted out during his college career. Also unique to Zeta Beta Tau is the fact that a former ZBT brother who has been voted out by the Semi-Annual Brotherhood Review Vote may request an unconditional release from ZBT National, and if granted, may join another NAIC fraternity (not accepted by most fraternities).

Notable Alumni


* Lawrence S. Bacow - President, Tufts University
* Stephen Joel Trachtenberg - President Emeritus, The George Washington University
* Richard Berman - President, Manhattanville College


* Walter Annenberg - Founder/Publisher, TV Guide; Former Ambassador to England
* Burton Baskin - Founder, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream
* Henry W. Bloch - Co-founder H & R Block
* Richard Bloch - Co-founder, H & R Block
* Michael Budman - Co-Founder of Roots Athletic Wear
* Davre Davidson - Founder, Aramark
* Harold A. Davidson - Past Owner, Aramark, Founder, Harold Davidson & Associates
* Joseph Dazansky - President, Giant Foods
* Adam R. Dell - Managing General Partner, Impact Venture Partners
* Kenny H. Dichter - Co-Founder and CEO, Marquis Jets
* Sidney Factor - Max Factor Cosmetics
* William Gaines - Publisher, MAD Magazine
* Bernard Gimbel - Chairman of the Board, Gimbels Department Stores
* Bennett J. Glazer - Chairman and CEO, Glazer's Wholesale Distributors
* Samuel Goldwyn - Film Producer, Director; MGM Productions
* Andrew Goodman - Chairman of the Board, Bergdorf-Goodman
* Alan "Ace" Greenberg - Former Chairman of the Board, Bear Stearns & Co
* Don Green - Co-Founder, Roots Athletic Wear
* Armand Hammer - Founder & President, Occidental Petroleum
* Jesse E. Itzler - Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Marquis Jets
* Bruce J. Klatsky - Former Chairman and CEO, Phillips Van Heusen
* Jack Lehmen III - Founder, Shearson Lehman Brothers
* George Macy - Founder, Macy's Department Store
* Stanley Marcus - Founder, Neiman Marcus Department Stores - served as ZBT presidentStanley Marcus. "Minding the Store: A Memoir" (1974), p. 24]
* Stanford J. Newman - Chairman, J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
* William S. Paley - Founder, Chairman of the Board CBS
* Irving Rabb - Founder, Stop and Shop supermarket chain
* Samuel Rosen - Chairman of the Board, 20th Century Fox
* Jack Warner - President, Warner Brothers
* David Yunich - President, Macy's Department Store

Civil service

* Rudy Boschwitz - Senator, Minnesota
* Steve Cooley - Los Angeles County District Attorney
* Kenneth Duberstein - former White House Chief of Staff 1988-89
* Martin Frost - Former Representative, Texas (CD24)
* Arthur Goldberg - Former Supreme Court Justice
* John Lindsay - Former Mayor of New York City
* Sam Massell - Former Mayor of Atlanta
* Newton Minow - Former FCC Chairman
* Richard Newberger - Senator, Oregon
* Abraham Ribicoff - Representative/Senator, Connecticut
* Robert Shapiro - Lawyer


* Armand "Army" Archerd - Columnist, Variety (Magazine)
* Jack Benny - TV & Radio Comedian; Actor
* Leonard Bernstein - Composer; Conductor
* Benjy Bronk - Comedian and Writer: The Howard Stern Show
* Don Dannemann - Sang lead vocals for the 1960's "frat rock" band The Cyrkle
* Keith Gale - Senior Director, National Promotion, RCA Records Nashville
* Aaron Karo - Author and Comedian
* Michael Ovitz - Former Head of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
* Jerry Herman - Playwright: Hello Dolly!, La Cage aux Folles
* Robert Klein - TV Comedian, Motion Picture Actor
* Harold Ramis - Screen Writer & Actor: Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters
* Ari Sandel - Oscar-winning short film director & writer: "West Bank Story"
* Peter Yarrow - Singer, Peter, Paul and Mary


* Mel Allen - Sports Broadcaster ("The Voice of the NY Yankees" and This Week in Baseball)
* Jerome Bruckheimer - Producer, Jerome Bruckheimer
* Jeffrey Buhai - Writer
* Howard Cosell - Sports Broadcaster
* Marty Glickman - Hall of Fame Announcer & Sports Writer
* Barry Meister - Sports Agent
* Jim Nantz - Sports Broadcaster
* Dick Schaap - Sports Broadcasting
* Mark E. Steinberg - Senior Vice President and Global Managing Director of Golf, IMG
* Mike Wallace - Reporter, 60 Minutes
* Robert Zelnick - Former World News Tonight Pentagon Correspondent and Chairman, Boston University Department of Journalism


* Alan Cohn - President, New York Knicks & New York Rangers
* Donnie Edwards - All-Pro NFL Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs
* Sid Gillman - Professional Football Coach
* Robert Kraft - Founder, Chairman & CEO of the Kraft Group; Owner, New England Patriots, New England Revolution & Gillette Stadium
* Sid Luckman - Member of College & Professional Football Hall of Fames
* Robert Nederlander - Former General Manager of New York Yankees
* Jerry Owens - Outfielder, Chicago White Sox
* Abe Pollin - Owner, Washington Wizards
* David Werblin - Founder, New York Jets


*Richard Loeb - half of infamous murder duo, Leopold and Loeb


Zeta Beta Tau currently recognizes 80 chapters and colonies across the United States. The state with the most chapters is New York.

The following is a list of campuses with chapters and colonies currently recognized by the Zeta Beta Tau national fraternity.

*Adelphi University-Gamma Kappa Chapter
*University of Alabama - Psi Chapter
*University of Arizona
*Arkansas Tech University
*Baruch College
*Binghamton University
*Boston University
*Brandeis University
*Brooklyn College
*Buffalo State College
*California State University, Long Beach - Beta Pi Colony
*California State University, Northridge - Gamma Beta Chapter
*California State University, San Marcos - Beta Tau Colony
*University of California at Los Angeles - Alpha Rho Chapter
*Carnegie Mellon University - Delta Tau Colony
*Case Western Reserve University
*University of Central Florida
*University of Colorado at Boulder - Beta Alpha Theta Chapter
*Columbia University
*University of Connecticut - Delta Beta Chapter
*Cornell University - Kappa Chapter
*University of Delaware - Epsilon Theta Colony
*University of Denver - Iota Chapter
*East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania-Zeta Pi Chapter
*Emory University - Eta Lambda Chapter
*Farleigh Dickinson University Epsilon Tau Chapter
*University of Florida - Alpha Zeta Chapter
*Florida Atlantic University
*Florida State University - Zeta Alpha Colony
*Gannon University - Zeta Xi Chapter
*Georgia Institute of Technology - Xi Colony
*The George Washington University - Phi Alpha Alpha Colony
*University of Hartford- Gamma Lambda Colony
*Hofstra University
*University of Houston
*University of Illinois
*Indiana University - Beta Gamma Chapter
*Kean University - Zeta Psi Chapter
*Lynn University
*Lyon College- Phi Theta Gamma Chapter
*University of Maryland, College Park - Beta zeta Epsilon Chapter
*University of Massachusetts Amherst - Theta Alpha Chapter
*Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*University of Memphis - Beta Tau Colony
*University of Miami
*University of Michigan - Eta Chapter
*University of Missouri - Omega Chapter
*Monmouth College - Delta Lambda Chapter
*New York University - Gamma Colony
*University of Nevada, Las Vegas - Eta Delta Chapter
*University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
*Northwestern University
*Ohio State University
*Oklahoma State University
*Pace University
*University of Pennsylvania
*Pennsylvania State University - Alpha Psi Colony
*University of Pittsburgh - Beta Phi Chapter
*Ramapo College
*University of Rhode Island - Rho Iota Chapter
*Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
*Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
*Rutgers University - Beta Delta Chapter
*St. John's University
*San Diego State University - Beta Lambda Chapter
*Seton Hall University - Zeta Tau Chapter
*University of Southern California - Alpha Delta Chapter
*University of South Florida
*Stephen F. Austin State University
*State University of New York at Oswego-Eta Gamma Chapter
*State University of New York at Plattsburgh
*State University of New York at Stony Brook
*Syracuse University
*University of Texas at Austin
*University of Texas at Dallas - Zeta Upsilon Chapter
*Towson University
*Tufts University
*Tulane University - Sigma Chapter
*Vanderbilt University - Alpha Gamma Chapter
*University of Virginia
*University of Washington - Alpha Mu Colony
*Washington University in St. Louis
*Western Connecticut State University
*University of Wisconsin-Madison
*York College (New York)


External links

* [http://www.zbt.org/ Official ZBT website]

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