Past Foundation Presidents
Harry Steiner, Delta (Columbia University) 1918, followed his brother, Leo Steiner, Delta (Columbia University) 1916 in ZBT. “Service” was Harry’s theme in life. On graduation, he deferred law school to enlist in the Army. When the United States entered WWII, being too old for the Army, Brother Steiner joined the War Production Board in Washington, helping coordinate the conversion of civilian manufacturers to making military equipment (i.e. automobiles to tanks). Harry served on Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity’s Supreme Council for several years and was President of Zeta Beta Tau in 1926. Brother Steiner and the other members of the Supreme Council recognized the benefits that could be achieved if funds were available to provide financial support to both chapters and individual brothers when circumstances warranted, giving birth to the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation in 1950. Known by his ZBT brothers as a natural leader and ceaseless worker on behalf of the Fraternity, Brother Steiner was the obvious choice to father the new Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. As an attorney, based in Newark, NJ, Harry’s formula was to provide legal assistance to any person or organization that needed it, regardless of ability to pay, occasionally accepting barter or other services instead of cash. Harry was continuously active in community affairs, serving as attorney for the Orange Planning Board and other civic groups, heading up the new AJC chapter in Essex County NJ, and performing legal services for community, Jewish, interfaith and charitable organizations, and occasionally giving classes on the law to the Orange NJ police and other organizations. Harry’s son, James (Jim) Steiner, Delta (Columbia University) 1953 was also initiated into ZBT.
Harold E. Grotta, Esq., Chi (University of Virginia) 1931, a past Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity International President, followed Harry Steiner as President of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. His years of service witnessed rapid growth in the Foundation’s ability to fulfill its scholarships mission. He served for many years as the senior partner of the distinguished New Jersey law firm that bears his name.
Stanley I. Fishel, Delta (Columbia University) 1934 served as Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity’s International President in the mid to late 1950’s, a time when states were greatly expanding their university systems to accommodate, among other things, veterans using their G.I. Bill’s educational benefits. It was therefore a time of great ZBT chapter growth. Brother Fishel was partners with his brother, James W. Fishel, Alpha Epsilon (Washington and Lee) 1939 in the NYC advertising firm of Fairfax, Inc. They specialized in real estate display advertising.
Jack London, Alpha (City College of New York) 1938 served as Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity’s International President in the early 1960s, as the country was beginning to question the relevance of college fraternities. The re-examination of traditional organizations took place when Americans were becoming engaged in the Civil Rights movement, the initial stages of the Viet Nam War and the emergence of a new generation of national leadership. Brother London’s steady hand during a shaky time produced among other things, The ZBT Credo and the notion that ZBT remains relevant and important because it’s a Powerhouse of Excellence. The phrase, first heard in Brother London’s inaugural address to his electing convention, became both a statement and a call to action among ZBT’s chapters. Later Brother London served as President of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation, building on the success of his predecessors. Brother London lead the NYC law firm of London and Becker, specializing in entertainment law and representing many well-known persons in the arts and show business.
Richard S. Simon, Phi (University of Michigan) 1943 is a past Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity International President, a past North-American Interfraternity Conference President and one of four ZBT recipients of the Conference’s coveted Gold Medal. Following his tenure as Foundation President and the passing of Professor Emanuel Saxe, the long-time chairman of the Foundation’s Scholarship Selections Committee, Simon took over the job, streamlined the process and chaired the committee for several years. He also co-chaired the Fraternity's Special Awards Committee for more than 20 years. Brother Simon had a 58-yearcareer in manufacturing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brother Simon’s son, Kenneth L. Simon, Beta Phi (University of Pittsburgh) 1975 also served as International President of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. Two of Brother Simon’s four grandchildren are brothers of ZBT, Chad D. Simon Gamma Lambda (University of Hartford) 2003 and Wesley C. Dunlap, Zeta Alpha (Florida State University) 2014.
Saul A. Fern, Pi (Boston University) 1954, is a past Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity International President and served during the early rebuilding years of the mid-1970s. Fern was the second International President initially a brother of one of Zeta Beta Tau’s antecedent fraternities. He was initiated a Phi Alpha then became a Phi Sigma Delta on the mergers of those two brotherhoods and then a ZBT upon its merger with Phi Sigma Delta. In addition to his continual strong presence in Fraternity events, Fern served as the principal chapter advisor to Rho Iota Chapter at the University of Road Island for decades. Professionally Brother Fern enjoyed a 40-year career in Rhode Island where he and partners owned an advertising, public relations and marketing agency from which he retired in 1994. He then became a sales and marketing director at AAA/SNE for 6 years. Saul’s biological brother, Sanford Fern, Pi Chapter of Phi Alpha Fraternity (Boston University) 1948 is also a brother of ZBT. Saul has three children and eight grandchildren. Brother Fern and his fiancée, Phyllis Barmak (his college sweetheart) live in Cranford, NJ.
Bernard S. Kaplan, Esq., Mu (University of Chicago) 1947, a past Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity International President, originally initiated into Phi Sigma Delta continued ZBT’s steady return to normalcy from merger turbulence and the anti-war dislocations. In his term, however, the Fraternity was drawn into the sometimes new and other times renewed challenges of substance abuse and hazing. Risk management programming and mandatory chapter liability insurance coverage became critical for the Fraternity’s good and welfare. His Fraternity and later his Zeta Beta Tau Foundation presidencies were marked by his unfailing belief in the fundamentals of Brotherhood and its power to provide lasting value for its brothers and to the wider community. Brother Kaplan was senior partner in the Chicago Law firm of Komie and Kaplan. Brother Kaplan’s family has several ZBT brothers spanning a few generations including son-in-law, Neil M. Yaris, Alpha Xi (Washington University – St. Louis) 1985 and grandsons, Jeffrey M. Kaplan, Beta Gamma (Indiana University Bloomington) 2009 and Robert I. Gottlieb, Alpha Xi (Washington University – St. Louis) 2014
Harold R. Oseff. Eta (University of Michigan) 1968 is a Michigan licensed attorney who has been practicing with private law practices for the past 45 years, specializing in estate and charitable planning, probate, tax law and employee benefits. Harold is married to Patricia Gordon, and they are the parents of Garon, Beta Gamma (Indiana) 2001. Garon is employed by MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, and Garon and his wife, Erica Rubin, are the parents of Carson, Harold a and Patricia’s grandson.
Irving M. Chase, Alpha Rho (UCLA) 1974 is a California licensed attorney who manages a private real estate company that owns and manages properties throughout the United States. Irv is married to Nancy, his college sweetheart, who he met at a ZBT event. They are the parents of Ryan, Alpha Delta (Southern California) 2005 and Catie. Ryan is Irv’s business partner and Catie is a high school athletic director and soccer coach. Ryan and Brooke, his wife, are the parents of Sadie, Irv a and Nancy’s granddaughter.
Barry M. Aarons, Gamma Tau (Arizona State University) 1971 is the owner of the Aarons Company LLC, a public policy consulting firm specializing in legislative representation, coalition building, business management, seminar and strategic planning facilitation and grass roots advocacy. Brother Aarons has over forty-seven years’ experience in policy development, public affairs implementation and lobbying in the Arizona Legislature, other state legislatures and the US Congress. Barry and his wife, Jody, live in Phoenix, Arizona. They have four children and four grandchildren.
James B. Drotman, Zeta Lambda (Stephen F. Austin State University) 1993 has worked for Ford Motor Credit Company over 20 years and is currently serving in Ford Smart Mobility as the Director of Fleet Solutions. Most recently he was vice president, Marketing at Ford Motor Credit with global responsibility for consumer insights, corporate training, planning, reporting and analysis, sales technology, consumer digital strategy and managing Ford Credit's product suite and brand marketing programs. Brother Drotman has served in numerous operational, central staff and sales positions of increasing responsibility in Asia, Europe and North America. Jim and his wife, Shannon, live in metro Detroit with their two children Blythe and Benjamin.
Bruce H. Weinstein, Psi (University of Alabama) 1970, is a principal of Your Wealth Partners, a division of AXA/Equitable Financial Services. He specializes in Estate, Retirement, Charitable, and Insurance Planning. He is consistently in the top tier of AXA's representatives and frequently speaks at National Industry meetings. He is on the board of and past officer of numerous civic organizations, including the Atlanta Jewish Federation, Atlanta, Jewish Community Center, Hillels of Georgia, and JF&CS; he has been honored by many of these organizations for his volunteer work as being their "Man of the Year".
His latest honor was being named one of the 10 inductees into ZBT's Psi Chapter Hall of Fame at their Centennial Celebration in March 2016. Bruce is married to Germaine. They have 3 children (who are all attorneys); Harris (Rachel), Brooke (Matt), Michael (Gail). They currently have two grandchildren, Georgia and Max.