On December 29, 1898 at Columbia University in New York, Professor of Languages, Richard J. H. Gottheil, was inspired to gather together a group of Jewish students from several area universities to form a Zionist youth organization known as Z.B.T. During its early days, Z.B.T. served as a fraternity of sorts for the many Jewish students who were excluded from Greek-letter organizations because of their faith. Based on this desire for social fellowship, Z.B.T. saw the need to change its purpose, structure, emphasis, and name, to become in 1903, Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT).