The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • The Occident -- September 10, 1886
    United Order of Honor

    The Honor B. J. David, Deputy Supreme President, organized Occidental Lodge Monday Evening, September 6 inst. in St. Georges Hall 182 E. Madison Street, with a large Charter membership, composed of many of the most learned professional and able business men in our city.

    After the election and installation of officers and appropriate speeches had been made by the various members, the Honor B. J. David replied,

    "Officers and members, it affords me great pleasure to see so much enthusiasm in my midst, which demonstrates to me that you are well pleased with the noble principles of this Order. On April 26, 1881, the first lodge was organized, and now its usefulness has reached nearly every State in the Union. (Yellow-Fever districts excepted.) It is universally accepted by the most competent Judges to be one of the most refined, useful inexpensive and progressive 2societies in existence, and endorsed by our best class of citizens. Its objects are literary, social and mutual aid, and gives its members the kind of protection they require, because it pays $1,000, $2,000, or $3,000, the full amount, to its members first should they become permanently disabled by accident or disease by which they can enjoy it while living, or second when they attain the age of seventy five years, or third at the death of a member, the amount goes to their will and this endowment is paid within thirty days after being notified of such.

    "I trust that you will ever bear in mind that charity is one of the noble principles of this order, and that you will never be guilty of withholding the hand of charity from any deserving member."

    The Honor B. J. David, Deputy Supreme President, organized Occidental Lodge Monday Evening, September 6 inst. in St. Georges Hall 182 E. Madison Street, with a large Charter membership, composed ...

    Jewish
    II B 1 d, II D 2
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- April 01, 1910
    Announcement

    The Slutsker Aid Verein wishes to announce that whoever wishes to join this large verein may do so without any payment of an entrance fee. One can receive benefits equal to those given by any of the large lodges. We provide a six week sick-benefit at five dollars a week. We have a loan fund from which you can borrow necessary sums of money without interest. We belong to a hospital where our patients are given special attentions. Every member is also entitled to an insurance policy of 400 dollars. You receive all this for merely 50 cent monthly dues. For particulars inquire - M. Solkir 640 Kramer Street or our president, Mr. Berger 641 Kramer Street and M. Cohen, 1230 Morgan Street. We meet the first and third Sunday of every month at Rosenberg's Hall, Maxwell and Halsted.

    The Slutsker Aid Verein wishes to announce that whoever wishes to join this large verein may do so without any payment of an entrance fee. One can receive benefits equal ...

    Jewish
    II D 2
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- April 29, 1910
    (No headline)

    News of the Minskers and Minsker Gubernia Landsleit (Countrymen).

    Friends, we have made a contract with the Commercial Life Insurance Co. to insure our members, We have obtained the cheapest possible rates, which our members can pay in monthly installments. Our arrangement makes it possible for everyone to carry life insurance with a reliable firm. Make your applications at our next meeting, Tuesday, May 3rd, at 8 o'clock in the evening at our very fine meeting hall, corner Taylor and Paulina streets. New members receive all benefits. Don't fail to come to our meeting. It is in your own interest.

    Morris Kohn, Pres.

    R. Hunter, Sec'y.

    News of the Minskers and Minsker Gubernia Landsleit (Countrymen). Friends, we have made a contract with the Commercial Life Insurance Co. to insure our members, We have obtained the cheapest ...

    Jewish
    V A 1, I E, II D 2
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 10, 1910
    (No headline)

    The National Arbeiter Verband, which is the name of a new Jewish worker's benefit organization, organized a short time ago, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Branches are being organized in all sections of the country.

    We have just received the declaration of principles of the National Arbeiter Verband and they are as follows: The worker's status is grave; his years are consumed in creating wealth for the world while he himself remains poor weak, and unprotected in time of need, sickness, or other troubles which so often befall him. Bad as conditions are in other trades, they are worse in dominantly Jewish trades. Employment in these trades, in densely populated Ghetto districts of our land, is replete with sickness and suffering, and it is to alleviate such suffering at all times that this organization was created.

    Our purpose is not only to lighten the immediate burden of the Jewish worker but also to strive toward the creation of a Just Social System, which will eradicate the rules of the Economic Royalists and their exploitation of the worker class.

    2

    We realize fully that the salvation of the Jewish worker will not be obtained as long as the unnatural status of the Jewish people continues. We feel that our people should engage in a wholesale movement unto the land and create a farmer group among us. We think that existing Jewish "Orders" do not represent our Jewish masses, and represent reactionary views.

    In short the National Arbeiter Verband strives for; 1. Help in time of need or sickness, 2. Education of the Jewish worker to his full social and national interests. We feel that such a program should appeal to Jewish workers and that the organization will experience much expansion in the near future, throughout the land.

    (Signed) Shochet Ben Ha-Rav.

    The National Arbeiter Verband, which is the name of a new Jewish worker's benefit organization, organized a short time ago, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Branches are being ...

    Jewish
    III B 1, II D 2
  • The Sentinel -- February 25, 1911
    (No headline)

    Mr. Leo Wolfsohn, president of the Union of the Rumanian Jews of America, was the speaker at a meeting. He is in Chicago for the purpose of establishing a branch of this organization. The purpose of this organization is to assist immigrants from Rumania upon their arrival in this country and to protest against the persecution of the Jews of Rumania.

    Mr. Leo Wolfsohn, president of the Union of the Rumanian Jews of America, was the speaker at a meeting. He is in Chicago for the purpose of establishing a branch ...

    Jewish
    III G, II D 2, I C
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- January 10, 1913
    National Workers Alliance Receives a Charter

    The Chicago branch of the Jewish National Workers Alliance is in receipt of a letter from their Central Executive Committee informing them that it finally, after much effort, succeeded in receiving final charter from the State Department. By this, the Alliance is recognized as a legal insurance body under the control of the State Insurance Department.

    The Chicago branch of the Jewish National Workers Alliance is in receipt of a letter from their Central Executive Committee informing them that it finally, after much effort, succeeded in ...

    Jewish
    II D 2
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 02, 1913
    Fraternal Organizations and Insurance

    In accordance with the constitution of the Order of the Western Star - we mention them because it is a Chicago Order and is, therefore, of greater interest to us than any other order, though all orders are the same - each brother or sister is obligated to pay at least $7.20 a year, for which he or she receives the following benefits:

    1. If a member dies the beneficiary receives $500.00, within sixty days after the death of the member, upon proving to the Grand Lodge that the member is dead.

    2. In case of death of either a sister or brother, the lodge to which the member belonged, receives the sum of $50.00 for funeral expenses.

    2

    3. If a brother or sister becomes unable to work either by permanently losing the sight of both eyes, or by losing one hand or both hands (not lower than the wrist), or by losing one foot or both feet (not lower than the ankle), he or she shall receive $500 after ninety days if he or she can furnish proof that it actually happened.

    In order to receive these benefits the brother or sister must pay at least $7.20 a year and this must be paid quarterly in advance. However, the payment of this sum to the secretary of the lodge does not entitle the sister or brother to the benefits unless the secretary submits the payments to the Grand Lodge, but if the secretary seizes the money, or if the letter which contains the money to the Grand Lodge goes lost, then the brother or sister is not entitled to any benefits. The brother or sister becomes "ipso facto" if the lodge does not submit the money to the Grand Lodge.

    3

    In order to receive these benefits each member must also buy tickets to all entertainments, raffles, or other social affairs which are sponsored by the lodges. The members must also pay all assessments which the lodge imposes upon them for whatever purpose it may be, e. g., opening sick funds, purchasing cemetaries, honoring officers with medals, contributions to charity, etc., and if he or she doesn't pay the assessed amount, he or she is expelled from the lodge and loses the right to insurance.

    An orphan of a brother or sister can lose his insurance if the brother or sister sins against the lodge, grand lodge, or the officers. The violations for which the orphans of lodge brothers lose their insurance are: if one violates the constitution, which no one ever reads; if one does not obey orders from the grand lodge, executive board or grand master; if one seeks sick benefits and the grand lodge thinks that the brother or sister is not sick enough; if the 4grand master, grand secretary, or any other grand officer is exposed for fraudulent acts; if the rituals of the order are revealed; if the truth was not stated upon entering the lodge; disorderly conduct; if one drinks more than one shot of whiskey; and for revealing the presence of a grand officer in the Sherman House. For any of these violations, the order revokes the orphans' insurance, for which the member had paid, for many years, at least $7.20 a year.

    If, however, one does not permit himself to be inveigled by the so-called "cheap" lodge insurance, and wants genuine insurance, he will get no bargain. Let us take for example the average age at which a man insures himself, twenty-five years. He takes out insurance in a lodge, that means that as long as he pays he is insured and if he doesn't pay he isn't any longer insured, but if he takes out a $500 policy with a company, he only needs to pay $8.20 a year.

    5

    Although it costs him $1 more than in a lodge, it is, however, in reality cheaper because he is not obligated to pay taxes for entertainments, raffles, theaters, and other affairs; he can not be taxed for medals, charity, etc; he can not be suspended "ipso facto"; he can not be expelled for even cursing the president of the insurance company; his morals are not considered. The orphan is always assured of his receipt of the insurance.

    If you are twenty-five years of age and you enter a lodge of the Western Star Order you must pay, for the rest of your life $7.20 a year in addition to all assessments and per capita taxes. If you pay for twenty long years, let us say, and if you are unable to make one payment due to an accident, old age, or for any other reason you are no longer a member - "ipso facto." Picture the condition of the orphans after the death of a suspended member.

    6

    If, however, you insure yourself with a regular life insurance company and pay no more than $8.20 a year for a period of twenty years and after that can no longer pay for some reason, you get $103.50 refunded, i. e. more than half of what you have paid. If you do not wish to take the money you are then insured for $500 for a period of eighteen and one-half years without making any further payments, or you are insured for life for the sum of $226.50.

    This is the difference between fraternal insurance and life insurance. With the former, it is their purpose to extort as much money from you as they possibly can, giving you for it in return as little as they possibly can. With the latter its the very opposite. To belong to any order from an insurance standpoint is to allow yourself to be swindled. The fraternal organization from an insurance standpoint is bankrupt, and sooner or later it will collapse.

    7

    The Western Star Order owes an average of $150 to each member. This means that it is short a sum of two and one-half million dollars, for which it has a reserve fund of $30,000, and there is a rumor being spread that even this fund isn't safe, which is unbelievable.

    Radical means must be adopted to place the Order on sound basis. A Chicago order should be a progressive one.

    In accordance with the constitution of the Order of the Western Star - we mention them because it is a Chicago Order and is, therefore, of greater interest to us ...

    Jewish
    II D 2
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 03, 1913
    Brotherhood in the Fraternal Organizations

    If one should speak to a lodge patriot about the unsound insurance plan of fraternal organizations and should you convince him that the life insurance of a lodge is nothing but a dream, which he interpreted by an organizer who is anxious to earn a few dollars, he turns about and usually answers, "The insurance of a fraternal organization is not the essence of the lodge system in general, but it is the social part of a lodge that counts."

    "A lodge," he continues enthusiastically, " is the cradle which adjusts the immigrant Jew who wakes up in an Americanized world, it surrounds him with many friends. The lodge unites all Jews who come from various countries and regions. The Jews, who have migrated to America from Latvia, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Roumania, Galicia, Hungary, and other 2countries, bring with them, the antipathy that citizens of one country bear toward citizens of another country. The Lithuanian Jew detests the Roumanian and Galician Jew; the Hungarian and Polish Jewsdo not want to intermingle with the Latvian Jew, until it reaches a point where the concept of Chavrim Kol Yisroel (all Israel are brethren) is a myth - a mere legend, not reality.

    "The lodge, however, is the melting pot into which Jews of all countries enter and within a short time they walk out together as brethren - children of one nation, and all geographical distinctions are abolished. One thought prevails among all, i. e., to help each other spiritually and materially, and with no questions asked as to where one spent one's life in exile. The law of the Order states that 'Every one of Jewish faith can become a member of the Order.' "

    3

    "An order like the Western Star Order," exclaims an executive member, "is the greatest thing the Jews have ever accomplished. Who ever heard of 16,757 Jews belonging to one organization, with each one prepared to respond to every Jewish cry for relief. When the call is issued by the grand master, everyone of these thousands of Jews, man or woman, extends aid to a brother or sister in distress."

    This is a great idea - if it were only true. If, however, we were to investigate diligently this declamatory rhetoric or abstract verbiage we would find that it isn't even worth a soap-bubble. The brotherhood of lodge brothers is as secure as the lodge insurance. The "ipso facto" clause is as successful in brotherhood as it is in paying endowments. Woe unto the lodge brother who is in dire need. He will surely starve to 4death and be out to shame and ridicule. Should a poor Jew approach any synagogue, regardless of where he comes from or who he is, he will always be provided with food and shelter and even money for traveling expenses.

    Should, however, the very same Jew turn to his lodge, then he would immediately discover that nine out of ten will brand him a beggar and swindler, and the best that he could hope for would be the appointment of a committee, which would spend many weeks in investigation.

    The committee would disgrace his wife and children. It would pry into his domestic life and order his life. They would criticize his home management, and after he would have endured the tortures of Gehenna, he would find himself, as in most cases refused any relief.

    5

    And what is more astonishing is that most of the lodge brothers attend the synagogue. In the synagogue they are sons of compassion. There every Jew is a brother. However, in the lodges it becomes a matter of business and in business they will not permit themselves to be deceived. Business men of principle as Jews are, will spend hundreds of dollars rather than be duped of one penny. It is therefore very tough on a lodge member who seeks aid.

    To what extent lodge brotherhood is practiced can be seen not only from the recent occurrences in the Western Star Order but also from the Constitution of that Order.

    6

    The main Constitution of the Western Star Order consists mainly of eleven articles which embrace sixty-three paragraphs on so-called brotherhood. The first paragraph of Article II reads as follows:

    "The purpose of the Independent Western Star Order is to unite healthy and socially adapted men of the Jewish faith, of a limited age to mutually protect one another; to establish lodges under the supervision of the Grand Lodge throughout the United States; to practice devout brotherhood; to disseminate enlightenment among its membership; to help those in need of help; to alleviate the wants of the suffering; to assist members morally, socially and financially; to help the family, beneficiaries, blood relatives or legal dependents of the deceased member; to provide funeral expenses for dead members; to establish all necessary funds for the advantage of the members and their families; 7and for the purpose of controlling, and carrying on the business of the order with all its money and wealth."

    In order to carry out the objectives of protecting the members, practicing brotherhood, disseminating enlightenment, helping the needy, alleviating affliction, the Constitution provided fourteen ways and means among which are found the following:

    1. To expel or suspend lodges.

    2. To bestow the executive board with power to expel or suspend lodges.

    3. To revoke charters from lodges.

    4. To impose assessments or other penalties upon individual members of the order.

    5. To collect money to pay expenses of the lodge leaders.

    8

    These are the true brotherly methods for moral, social and financial assistance.

    To what extent education is spread and to what extent aid is extended can be seen by the fifteen executive officers appointed by the Grand Lodge. Not one of them is devoted to such trivial matters.

    What the Western Star Order understands by the word education is, according to Article 10, paragraph 16, the propagation of the good qualities of fraternal organization.

    The leaders of the lodges, well aware that the organizations would finally go bankrupt, made laws which are detrimental to brotherhood.

    If one should speak to a lodge patriot about the unsound insurance plan of fraternal organizations and should you convince him that the life insurance of a lodge is nothing ...

    Jewish
    II D 2, II D 1
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 04, 1913
    How Brotherhood Is Practiced by Lodge Members

    The lodge brothers unconsciously observe all laws of the Constitution. It is worth while to see the same Jew in the synagogue where no constitution exists.

    When a Jew goes to the synagogue, he is included in the quorum of worshippers; if only he has with him his payer shawl and phylacteries; he is honored with an Aliah (called up to the scroll of the Law) without having to go through different degrees; he can immediately voice his opinion in synagogue affairs; he can seat himself comfortably at the study class after the services without any interferences; if he is hungry food will be immediately served him; in short he becomes a brother without undergoing any ceremonies. If a Jew needs to be discharged from brotherhood in a synagogue it is a very complicated matter because it means excommunication.

    2

    With the lodges the case is the very opposite. It is a complicated matter to get in, i. e., it requires initiation foolishness, but it is very easy to be expelled.

    Upon becoming a member of a synagogue one is immediately entitled to all benefits offered by the synagogue. Not only with Aliahs, food, and study classes but also with dollars and cents. Should a member of a synagogue, who can no longer pay dues, suffer from ill business effects, there is a Gemilath Chesed (a free loan association) from whose treasury he can borrow money without paying any interest. He secures vouchers from among his synagogue brethren. If he is short of food for the holidays, it is sent to him without anyone's knowledge. This is the kind of brotherhood that prevails in a synagogue.

    3

    We shall endeavor to convey the recent events of the Western Star Order, so that the masses can form a conception as to how brotherhood is practiced, by lodge members, and may the bluff of brotherhood in fraternal organizations, which confuses thousands of minds, be exposed once and for all times.

    We will give the history of the court and grand lodge records, i. e., impartial facts.

    In accordance with the court records the grand secretary of the Western Star Order discovered that, on May 2, 1912 , the grand treasurer was short in his accounts, because on that day a check, which was sent out by the grand treasurer was returned marked "Not sufficient funds."

    4

    The secretary in treating the grand treasurer like a brother violated the Constitution by concealing this fact from the grand master, the consular, and the executive board. What sacrifices are not made for a lodge brother? Especially when cooperating with him. The grand secretary immediately summoned the brother grand treasurer and asked him: "Is it true, brother?!" There upon, they began checking up the books and it was revealed that the grand treasurer was short the sum of $2,500.00. This is a lot of money, so they began to recheck and found a shortage of only $2,300.00. Again they rechecked but in vain.

    At this time the grand secretary showed true brotherhood. Instead of reporting it to the surety company, which would cause inconvenience to the brother grand treasurer, he sacrificed himself by depositing his own money in the bank in order to clear the books.

    5

    On May 8, or 9, the brother grand secretary resumed the accounts and discovered that the brother grand treasurer was not short $2,500.00 but $5,457.00. At the same time the brother grand secretary found out that he had made another error, viz. instead of helping the brother grand treasurer with his own money, he assisted him with the Order's money.

    However, this could easily be corrected by putting still another $2,500.00 in the Order's treasury, but the grand secretary thought that the 16,000 lodge brothers would feel hostile toward him if he did such a thing, so he decided to disclose it to the grand master.

    Again he showed his brotherly love to the grand treasurer. Instead of telling the truth, he said that only $2,500.00 were missing.

    6

    When the grand master became aware of the shortage he should have immediately, according to justice, sent for an accountant to investigate the books, but it would be unethical to do such a thing among brothers, so he relied upon the words of the grand secretary and treasurer.

    In the month of June the grand master had a friendly chat with the grand treasurer and learned that the shortage was $5,457.86 on the books. Then again the grand secretary came to his rescue and with the aid of the consular they made the following agreement:

    That the grand treasurer should surrender to the wife of the grand secretary his interest in a house, which is worth $2,500.00 and his share in a printing plant, which is worth $2,958.00 should be surrendered to the grand secretary, which gives a total of $5,458.00. In return the grand secretary would clear the Order's deficit of $5,457.86.

    7

    And now another slight error was detected. Instead of giving his own money the grand secretary again gave the Order's money, regardless of the grand master's personal loan to the grand secretary to enable him to clear the deficit. The result is that the sum of $5,457.86 is missing.

    If true brotherhood prevails in the Western Star Order the above would have been introduced and discussed at the convention, but it was evaded.

    After the convention, they (the leaders), started a series of trials, arrests, betrayals, trials in stations, superior courts, and at the executive committee. They expelled and suspended members. They took out injunctions and hired lawyers. Blood was shed in the lodges and all was brotherly love.

    The lodge brothers unconsciously observe all laws of the Constitution. It is worth while to see the same Jew in the synagogue where no constitution exists. When a Jew goes ...

    Jewish
    II D 2, I B 4
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 26, 1913
    Another 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).

    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. ...

    Jewish
    II D 2, II E 2