Fonds 1050 - Workmen's Circle Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Workmen's Circle Fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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Worker's Circle Fonds

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA JPL-A 1050

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1908 - ? (Creation)
    Creator
    Workmen's Circle of Montreal

Physical description area

Physical description

4 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative 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.

Custodial history

Transferred directly from the Workmen's Circle, first date of transfer unknown, accural of new materials in November 2007.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of 11 series containing the operating records of the Workmen's Circle, its committees, branches, choir and school program.
Series 1 – Committees
Series 2 – Branches
Series 3 – History and Organizational Papers
Series 4 – Publications
Series 5 – Abraham Reisen Schools
Series 6 – Workmen’s Circle Loan Syndicate
Series 7 – Workmen’s Circle Choir
Series 8 – Workmen’s Circle, New York
Series 9 – Correspondence
Series 10 – Scrapbooks and Artefacts
Series 11 – Photographs

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Current arrangement based on an older system of description used by the JPL-A during the 1970s and 1980s. The finding aid was up-dated to RAD standards in March 2008.Arrangement and description redone according to RAD by Jessica Z and Eiran H in 2019.|Arrangement and description redone in 2021 by Maya P and Erica J to include the fonds' photographs and reduce confusion of duplicate file numbers per series.

Language of material

  • English
  • Russian
  • Yiddish

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