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Jewish fraternal order organized in 1892 to protect working immigrants in the U.S. and assist them in times of illness or unemployment. These arrivals, mainly in New York‘s East Side, who became needle workers, carpenters, painters, laundryman, and cleaners, were immediate beneficiaries of the new order. In 1984, there was a membership throughout the U.S. and Canada of 50,000, in more than 280 functioning branches. The Circle operated a system of medical aid, hospitalization, and various forms of insurance and direct benefits. It had summer camps, women’s clubs, homes for the aged, burial grounds, high schools and teachers’ seminaries, educational publications, and other periodicals in English and Yiddish. Aid has been extended to Yiddish schools in South America and other centers. Notably, the Circle supported Jewish and non-Jewish victims of need and discrimination in the Americas and abroad.

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