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Jewish Research and Education - Cuba Family Archives, Finding Aids

Dates:  1960-1975

Creator:  Savannah Graduate Club, Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity.

Summary/Abstract:  The records of the Savannah Graduate Club of the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity.

Quantity/Physical Description: .4 linear feet

Language(s):  English

Repository:  The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Restrictions on Access:  There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use:  Copyright restrictions may apply.  Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.  Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation:  Box #, Folder #, Mss 390, Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity (Savannah, Ga.) Records, The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Acquisition: Michael Zoller, November 1999.

Custodial History:  The Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity (Savannah, Ga.) Records are part of the Savannah Jewish Archives that were transferred from the Georgia Historical Society to the Breman Museum in 2015.

Separated Material:  Oversize Materials

Processed by:  Lindsay B. Resnick, 2017.

Arrangement:  The records are arranged in alphabetical order by folder title. Within each folder, the records are arranged in chronological order.

Biographical/Historical Note: The Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity (ΦΔΕ) was founded by Aaron Brown (ca. 1885-1945) and eight other Jewish students at Cornell University Medical College in 1904. The formation was in response to the discriminatory practices of other fraternities, which would not allow membership to Jews and people of other backgrounds. The founding principles of Phi Delta Epsilon are philanthropy, deity, and equity.

The success of the first chapter later led to the formation of new chapters across the country, culminating with the absorption of a similar fraternity, Alpha Phi Sigma, and continued geographical expansion. The first Canadian chapter, at McGill University, opened in 1926, officially making Phi Delta Epsilon an international fraternity. By 1930, enough members had graduated from medical school and started professional practice to form graduate chapters.

In the late 1960s, membership was opened to female medical students and those of non-Jewish backgrounds, leading to increasing diversity in the Fraternity’s ranks. Today, the demographic characteristics of the Fraternity closely align those of the medical profession itself. In 1994, an undergraduate premedical chapter opened at Binghamton University, allowing the Fraternity to “span an entire lifetime of medical education and practice.”

The mission statement of the Fraternity is: “Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity creates physicians of integrity with a lifelong commitment to our guiding principles of philanthropy, deity, and education through fellowship, service, mentoring, and formal training in leadership, science, and ethics.”[1]

Once a year, each chapter conducts an Aaron Brown Memorial Lecture, which “promote[s] the highest scientific and educational standards in the practice of medicine, medical teaching, and research.” It “also promote[s] the discussion of current social and economic issues related to medicine as well as promote the art and humanity of medicine.”

Phi Delta Epsilon’s graduate club in Savannah was founded in 1960 by Dr. Leonard J. Rabhan (1907-2003) and other graduates of the Beta Iota Chapter at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA, although graduates of any chapter were eligible to join. It is unknown what became of the Club after 1975.

Scope and Content: This collection is composed of correspondence regarding the Savannah Graduate Club of the Phi Delta Epsilon Fraternity. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Dr. Leonard J. Rabhan, who founded the club in 1960. The records are dated from 1954 to 1975. There is also correspondence relating to Aaron Brown Memorial Lectures as well as the death of one of the Club’s members, Dr. Jacob “Jake” Rubin, in 1970. Notably, the collection includes the entire notebook kept by Dr. Rabhan in relation to the establishment of the Savannah Graduate Club in 1960 and 1961.

Subject Terms


            Rabhan, Leonard J., 1907-2003.

Organizations/Corporate Names

             Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity (Savannah Graduate Club).


             Savannah, Ga.

Subjects (General)

            Fraternal organizations.


Material Types



            Meeting minutes.





Collection Inventory








Aaron Brown Memorial Lectures

1960-ca. 1971







Constitution & Bylaws

1954, 1969



Correspondence from National Office




Correspondence re: Jacob Rubin




Installation notebook




Phi Delta Epsilon News




Officer’s Handbook




Rosters and minutes



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