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Old 01-12-2008, 07:17 PM
Deepher4Life Deepher4Life is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 62
Dphie, a Jewish Sorority

Hi ladies,

I have be looking at some posts on this website, and many people have stated that Delta Phi Epsilon was founded as a Jewish sorority. This is not something that learned through my new member orientation.

I have no problem with the organization being founded primarily for Jewish women, even though im not jewish (not that that matters in choosing a chapter to dedicate your life to) but i do think its interesting because my chapter only has a handful of jewish women and on my campus we are not known as a jewish organization. But so many Greeks who i talk to ask me if im jewish when i say im a deepher...

Any one care to enlighten me on this? I hope im not being inappropriate.
esse quam videri
I could not have dreamed of better.

Forever and Ever my love goes to Royal Purple and Pure Gold
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:37 PM
LPIDelta LPIDelta is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Texas but missing Wisconsin
Posts: 1,231
DPhiE was founded as a non-sectarian sorority--meaning that we do not discriminate based on religion and this purpose continues today. We were founded at a time when Greek organizations were more segregated, including based on religion. We were founded by five Jewish women, probably because there was not a sorority option for them at their university, and, accordingly, a majority of our early membership was Jewish. So in some circles we are considered a historically Jewish sorority.

Even some of our alumnae view us as a Jewish organization, because that it what brought some of them to DPhiE. At some campuses, DPhiE came to campus to meet the needs of Jewish women or DPhiE participated in "Jewish rush", furthering the idea that we are a historically Jewish sorority. Some of our chapters continue to fill this niche on their campuses.

This history is not something that has been taught at all campuses, because the focus has been on our non-sectarian beliefs. More recently, we have begun to talk about the Jewish aspect of our history because through it we come to understand more about why Esse Quam Videri is our motto or why our core values were selected. We need to understand the past in order to better connect to some of our older alumnae as well as better connect to our the relevancy of our organization today. Its important to note that all someone may know about any organization is what the chapter was like at their school, rather than nationally.

All told, today we are a non-sectarian sorority in the truest sense, helping meet the needs of women on college campuses across the US and Canada, regardless of religion, race, creed or background.
Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:22 PM
denitta denitta is offline
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Location: Southern NJ
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As mentioned, Delta Phi Epsilon was founded as a non-sectarian sorority in 1917 so there was no specific religious affiliation. At the time, though, the majority of sororities WERE sectarian with Christian affiliations, so in general, Jewish women were excluded.

This link is a good one, as to the history and traditions of the international sorority. Like D said, many women only really know the chapter that they were initiated into and not the sorority as a whole.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:55 AM
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I think it's awesome that our founders could have founded a jewish sorority but instead they were mature enough and intelligent enough to take what they experienced of being segregated from Christian sororities to create a sorority that was the opposite of what they were rejected from. It would have been so easy for them to say "oh, well, we can't be in those sororities so we will make one that only allows people like us." I think that is an amazing stance in 1917.

Not the bash bglos because so many of them now are open to having members of a different race, but many of them were founded for only black women and wouldn't have dreamed of accepting a white member simply because white sorority's wouldn't accept them. It's great that our founders didn't have that mentality and it makes me even more proud of being a deepher!
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