Jewish Fraternal Organizations of the early 20th Century


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Date(s) - January 9, 2017
7:30 pm

American Jewish University, Burton Sperber Jewish Community Library

Hal Bookbinder

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Monday, January 9, 2017
7:30 p.m.

Jewish Fraternal Organizations of the early 20th Century

Our Jewish ancestors created a wide variety of organizations to provide mutual support, from religious to social, educational, bookbinderhal-2016insurance and burial services. Many of these organizations brought together individuals who came from the same town in member-badge-grand-lodge-bookbinderEurope and are commonly known as “Landsmanshaften”. Sometimes these Landsmanshaften were formed as lodges of a fraternal organization, like the Independent Order, Sons of Jacob. These organizations in many ways paralleled existing American ones incorporating the pomp and secrecy of Masonry, Pythians, Odd Fellows and other existing orders. They provided a safety net through life and health insurance and offered social opportunities to lead and to be recognized. Hundreds of thousands of our immigrant ancestors participated during the heyday of these organizations in the first half of the 20th century. While most of these organizations were male-focused, women participated through auxiliaries and occasionally fully independent orders. Understanding the activities and records of these organizations provides important insights into the experiences of our immigrant ancestors.  Lecture handout material: Jewish Fraternal Organizations

Our speaker, Hal Bookbinder has identified over 4,000 relatives and has traced two lines to the late 1700s. He has written and lectured widely and led genealogical organizations Los Angeles and internationally. Hal is especially interested in providing the historical context for our ancestors’ experiences speaking on the changing borders in Europe, the Pale of Jewish settlement, migration of our ancestors to America, and citizenship and naturalization. He also speaks on such diverse topics as the Khazars, genealogical brick walls, finding living persons and practicing safe computing. He writes a monthly article on practicing safe computing for “Venturing into our Past”, the Newsletter of the Jewish Genealogy Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (freely available Hal is an information technology professional working for UCLA Health and an educator instructing in math, business and information technology for the University of Phoenix. He and his wife, Marci, have four children and four grandchildren.            Members free,  guests $5