Workmen's Circle

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Summary Information
Administrative Information
Collection Inventory
Series I: Records & Manuscripts

Summary Information

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Workmen's Circle
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Cubic feet
Biographical/Historical note Jewish immigrants faced many serious labor problems after their arrival in the country. They faced these challenges by developing fraternal labor organizations reminiscent of the Bunds in Europe. One of these many groups was the Workmen's Circle, or Der Arbeiter Ring, founded in New York City in 1900. In its early years, the Workmen's Circle provided extensive services for its members, including extensive medical care, burials, adult education, and children's schools and camps. As Jews became more financially secure, the Circle shifted its outlook from strident Socialism to a more moderate focus on creating a "better and more beautiful world." The first Workmen's Circle branch in Hartford, Branch #15, was founded in 1901. At least a half dozen others branches were formed during the next two decades. In 1918, the branches joined together in the purchase of 297 Windsor Avenue (formerly the Aaron Club), calling themselves the Workmen's Circle Educational Alliance. (Windsor Avenue was subsequently renamed and renumbered; the property seems to have become 2003 North Main Street.) In 1927, the Workmen's Circle Ladies' Club formed, and in 1931, the Workmen's Circle Educational Center was inaugurated at the North Main Street property. In 1953, the Circle sold the building on Windsor Avenue/North Main Street and relocated to 687 Albany Avenue, known as the Workmen's Circle Educational Center or the Labor Lyceum. This building was sold in 1965. The date of the disbanding of the local circles is unclear at this writing. In 1971, branches 22 and 936 were dissolved and the members were transferred to Branch 15.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents note Much of the material in this collection pertains to the national organization. Of the Hartford-related material, most of the records focus on Branch 15.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

333 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT, 06117

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Records & Manuscripts
Hartford/Branch 15/Anniversaries/40th and 50th Anniversaries
Hartford/Branch 15/Board of Directors/Minutes, 10-1952 to 5-1966
Hartford/Branch 15/Board of Directors/Minutes, 5-1966 to 9-1971
Hartford/Branch 184/Anniversaries/30th Anniversary Banquet, 1938
Hartford/Branch 184/Cemetery, 1950s
Hartford/Educational Center/Inauguration, 1931
Hartford/Educational Center/Meeting Programs
Hartford/Ladies' Club/Anniversaries/10th Anniversary Banquet, 1937
Hartford/Mergers/Branch 15 Absorption of Branches 22 and 936, 1971
National Organization/Anniversaries/40th Anniversary History, 1940
National Organization/Anniversaries/40th Anniversary Publications, 1940
National Organization/Conferences/48th Convention, 1948
National Organization/Historical Highlights
National Organization/Miscellaneous

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Branch 15, 40th Anniversary, 1941
Branch 15 members
Ladies' Club (auxiliary), 1937
Youth League
Theatre/ Motke the Thief [Motke Goniff]

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