Daily Jewish Courier -- May 26, 1913Another Order Goes Bankrupt
With the discovery that the general secretary of the Workmen's Circle is several thousand dollars short in his accounts, the list of embezzlement within Jewish orders was made more complete. There is practically no one Jewish order of national repute and devoted to insurance, from which the "big officials" did not commit theft. The only exceptions are small local organizations at whose head are men having a good reputation in their city and whose finances are not large enough to arouse one's temptation.2
It is absurd to say that one order is better and more honest than another. It occasionally happens that a highly respectable and honest man is at the head of an order and this probably insures better management for a short time - but for a short time only. If this good man wants to keep his office he must compromise with the leaders; at times he must overlook things and put the affairs of the order into the hands of the leaders and ask no questions. He is slowly dragged into the spider's web of dishonesty, and like the fly, he has no power to disentangle himself.
A great number of good and honest persons entered into the ranks of lodge members with the sole object of reforming and placing the lodges on solid sound basis. Those of stronger character, to whom honesty is of more importance than public office and dictatorship, were forced to drop out 3and those possessing weaker characters joined the crowd and are the most dangerous of those trying to improve conditions.
It is also erroneous to think that improvement can be brought about by changing the rules of the lodges. It is the system - the basic condition of the lodge system - which is rotten. The insurance offered by lodges is, what is called in America, a "wild cat scheme." It is somewhat like selling shares of gold mines that do not exist. They promise to pay as high as $500 for the purchase of each $100 share.
The grand master comes to his order and speaks about compassion, about helping the orphans and the widows. He prates about Judaism, honesty, and justice, whereas the real system of the lodge is to rob the widows and orphans. Very few who are entitled to insurance from lodges receive the full sum. A large percentage must be deducted for a lawyer, deputy, or secretary and therefore the widow and orphan are bound to be robbed.4
There is not one Jewish order that is not several months in arrears with its insurance payments. All difficulties are placed in the path of the widow and orphan. Many months elapse before the orphan and widow receive their due sum. They must resort to law in order to secure their full amount of their insurance.
Another order has gone bankrupt and another order will go bankrupt until the masses will become wise and put a stop to it.
(Editor's note: The Workmen's Circle never entered bankruptcy).
II D 2, II E 2
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