The following brief description of the Shater Progressive Benevolent Association appeared in The Jewish Landsmanschaftn
of New York prepared by the Yiddish Writers' Guild of the Federal Writers' Project, Works Projects Administration, published by the I.L. Peretz Yiddish Writers' Group in 1938. It was based on a survey form sent to 2,468 New York landsmanshaftn, of which 1,942 responded.
English translation is as follows:
Shater Progressive Ben. Assn.
Meetings: The first and third Sundays, 40 East 7th Street.
Founded: 1909 with 12 members, now 170 members.
Element mixed. 15% American born, 5% not landsleit.
Language of meetings Yiddish-English.
Purpose: for mutual aid, sick and death benefits, grounds.
Secretary: Theodore Lapidus, 210 East 166th Street, Bronx.
Professor Daniel Soyer, Fordham University History Department Chair, wrote on page 51 of his book Jewish Immigrant Associations and American Identity in New York, 1880-1939 (Harvard University Press, 1997), that "The Shater Progressive Benevolent Association was organized by twelve landslayt who were accustomed to meeting at a bench in Central Park."
Sadly, after 100 years of existence the Shater Progressive Benevolent Association went into liquidation in 2009. But we can be proud that it lasted a full century and outlived many other landsmanshaftn of its day.
Copyright © 2000-2011 Ada Green
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