Workmen's Circle of Montreal

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Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Workmen's Circle of Montreal

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      Other form(s) of name

      • Worker’s Circle, Montreal

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      History

      The Workmen's Circle (Arbeter Ring) of Montreal (now Worker's Circle) celebrated its 100th Anniversary in the city in 2007. The organization, which was originally founded in New York in 1892 by mainly Russian Jewish immigrants fleeing Czarist pogroms, conducted itself as an irretrievable part of the radical labour movement. An advocate for change, the Workmen's Circle also provided education, enlightenment, health benefits, open forums, a library, clubs and cemetery plots for its members. The work of the group extended to emergencies such as operating a soup kitchen during the Depression or organizing the Action Committee for Soviet Jewry in the late-1980s and early 1990s to aid immigration. Their involvement in politics saw support for the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and candidates such as A.M. Klein, David Lewis and Kalman Kaplansky. In 1940, two Workmen's Circle members from Branch 151 were elected to the Montreal municipal council, Michael Rubenstein and Albert Eaton.

      The first Workmen's Circle building was completed in 1936 after several years of planning and a hold due to the Depression. The building was located at 4848 St. Laurent and served the Workmen's Circle's business and social activities as well as one of the schools. Like most other Jewish organizations, the Workmen's Circle moved from the once-traditionally Jewish Main area and re-located to Isabella closer to the Jewish community campus.

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      Related entity

      Joint Committee for the Observance of the 20th Anniversary of the Execution of Yiddish Writers in the Soviet Union (1972-)

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      associative

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