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The official page of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All of the info and updates about what Zeta Beta Tau is doing in the UMass-Amherst community.
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Zeta Beta Tau was founded on December 29, 1898 at the City College of New York by Richard J. H. Gottheil, a professor of languages at Columbia University and a leader in the early American Zionist movement. It was originally intended to serve as a fraternal body for Jewish students who had been excluded from joining existing fraternities due to their beliefs. Not yet a fraternity itself, the society was called Z.B.T., which referred to the first letters in the Hebrew phrase "Zion Be-mishpat Tipadeh", which translated means "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment". By 1903, the continuing need for a Greek-letter fraternity open to Jewish students prompted Z.B.T. to change its raison d'etre, structure and emphasis and to become Zeta Beta Tau.
The fraternity expanded rapidly over the next 6 years, reaching a total of 13 chapters throughout the Northeast as well as a 14th chapter in New Orleans. By 1918, Zeta Beta Tau had chapters on the west coast as well as a chapter in Montreal. In 1954, delegates of ZBT met at the National Convention to amend Zeta Beta Tau's Constitution and practices in order to eliminate sectarianism as a qualification for membership, opening up the fraternity to men of all religions. The history of mergers in the Zeta Beta Tau Brotherhood followed a pattern of linking common traditions. In 1959, Phi Alpha merged into Phi Sigma Delta, and in 1961 Kappa Nu merged into Phi Epsilon Pi. Through 1969-1970, Phi Sigma Delta and Phi Epsilon Pi merged into Zeta Beta Tau, growing the fraternity like never before.
We, the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, believe that the development of the individual as a responsible, mature member of society is the primary goal of the university today. We believe that fraternity offers to the university community a unique, desirable and successful means of achieving this goal. In fulfilling the purposes of fraternity, we dedicate ourselves to the principles of: