James “Jim” Fleischer, 52, passed away on Saturday, October 9, 2021, after a three-year battle against cancer. At the end, he was where he was always happiest, surrounded by his loving family and friends.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of nearly 26 years, Alison Braun Fleischer; his sons, Ethan and Spencer, his daughter, Madison “Madi”; his father, Frank Fleischer of Canton, OH; his brother, Richard “Rick” of South Euclid, OH; and his in-laws, Roberta and Shepherd Casden of Saugerties, NY and Robert and Ruth Braun of Coram, NY; his brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Andrea Braun of Great Neck, NY; and his loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother, Barbara and brother, Randy.
A Canton, Ohio native, Jim was an avid JCC basketball player and a member of the marching band. He matriculated at Kent State University and, after experiencing antisemitism in his freshman dorm, walked down the street and joined Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), the Jewish fraternity. This began a lifelong passion which inspired and shaped him, both personally and professionally.
Following his 1993 graduation from Kent State, Jim began his career as a chapter consultant for AEPi, traveling the country to strengthen the Fraternity he had grown to love. It was during those travels, while starting an AEPi chapter at Washington University in St. Louis, that he met his true love, Alison (Ali) Braun.
The love story that Jim and Ali wrote together was one of mutual respect and adoration. Their love for each other was apparent in every shared look, private joke, or hand held. After marrying in 1995, Jim and Ali began a life together in Long Island where they owned a successful printing business while Jim continued his involvement in AEPi as a volunteer. He was elected to the fraternity’s board of directors in 2006.
Jim’s passion for Ali and AEPi was only matched by his love for his children, Ethan, Spencer and Madi. No matter how busy he was or how sick he felt, he always had time for them and showered them with his love. If you wanted to make Jim smile (and that was rarely difficult to do), all you had to do was to get him to talk about his children.
In 2013, Jim fully committed to AEPi’s executive staff as its Assistant Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. Jim and Ali moved their family to the Indianapolis area where they were beyond fortunate to make many great and special lifelong friends, Linda and Todd Maurer and Aimee and Aaron Carroll who, along with their children, quickly became their family.
In 2018, Jim was named AEPi’s Chief Executive Officer and assumed the responsibility of leading the world’s leading Jewish fraternity. His calm demeanor, welcoming personality, and strong vision for the future were immediately apparent, and the fraternity flourished under his leadership, even during the COVID pandemic. If you asked Jim, though, what accomplishments he was most proud of during his tenure as CEO, he would tell you that it was a tie between seeing his daughter Madi at her Bat Mitzvah and being present at the initiation into AEPi of his sons, Ethan and Spencer.
Even while fighting a three-year battle against cancer and dealing with unimaginable pain, Jim’s commitment to his family and fraternity never wavered. His biggest fear was never death; it was letting those he loved down. He never needed to worry, of course.
It is said that the ones who love us never really leave us, and Jim’s legacy will last for generations. And though our hearts are broken, and we will miss his presence terribly, we are comforted in the knowledge that Jim Fleischer made a difference in his life and in ours. HE WAS THE BEST!
Donations to support Jim’s family can be made to the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation: https://www.aepi.org/jim-memorial/.
A service will be held in the Sanctuary at Congregation Beth El Zedeck, 600 West 70th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260 which will also be available via livestream on Beth El’s website at www.bez613.org. For those wishing to attend in person, proof of vaccination and face masks will be required. Shiva will be observed at Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Executive offices, 8815 Wesleyan Road in Indianapolis following the burial service at the cemetery and on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5-9pm, with minyan at 5:30pm at the Fleischer residence, 12049 Eagleview Drive in Zionsville, IN.
May his memory be a blessing.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Clark Fleischer, please visit our floral store.