Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association Records
Scope and Content Note
This collection includes financial and membership ledgers, by-laws in Yiddish and English, and membership forms and cards. Includes articles of incorporation, the constitution, official minutes (1936-1970) financial records (1963-1969), membership lists, and other material pertaining to the association's activities.
- undated, 1936-1971
- Lynn Hebrew Young Men's Aid Association (Organization)
Language of Materials
The collection is in English and Yiddish.
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In the 1880s, when Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the United States, some found their way to Lynn, Massachusetts. By the time new waves of immigrants began to arrive at the beginning of the 20th century, a Jewish community had been established in Lynn.
In 1903, local men established the Lynn Hebrew Young Men's Aid Association to help the new Jewish immigrants. This was in the form of loans to less fortunate immigrants, assisting them in finding housing, and helping to navigate the registration system.
By the 1940s, the organization began to change, as Lynn was no longer a community of immigrants. The Association set about codifying their by-laws and redirecting their efforts from helping the community at large to being more focused on its members. In Section 1, Article 2, the new by-laws stated that, "the object of this Association shall be for mutual benefits and to foster fraternal feelings."
Membership was open to "respectable" Jewish men aged 18-45 who were "in full possession of physical and mental facilities." As the by-laws stated, the two main objectives of the group were the social aspects, in the form of dinner parties and a Ladies Night, and through various benefits offered to members.
The primary benefits offered to members were sick and death benefits. The Association provided all members, their wives, and minor children with medical services for a nominal fee. The Association's members in the medical profession served as club doctors. The sick benefits were set at $5.00 per week after the first week up to six weeks, or $30.00 a year. After a member died, his wife and children would retain the organization's services until the wife remarried. In addition, a death benefit of $25.00 was given to both the member and the wife to be paid to a surviving spouse or children.
The organization offered only these services and never ventured beyond them. At its height in the early 1960s, the Association had 130 members, fifty of whom were active. The organization was not able to survive, however, because of the changing Lynn Jewish community. The town, which once had as many as 12,000 Jews, dwindled to only 3000 to 4000 members by the late 1960s.
By January 1970, the LHYMAA was down to only a handful of active members. Meetings were held to decide whether to dissolve the organization or not, and the group decided each time to try once again to raise their membership. By September, however, it was decided unanimously that the Association would disband and all benefits would end on December 31, 1970.
Two members were selected to take on the tasks of ending the Association. They set about paying all debts and deciding who would receive the benefits. The group's assets were divided among all active members with a zero balance, which came out to $110.00 each for 22 members. The remaining money was put towards a farewell party.
- Materials in the collection.
1 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes)
The Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association was founded in 1903 by a group of Lynn men who wanted to assist new Jewish immigrants. In the 1940s, Lynn was no longer a community of immigrants, and the focus of the organization began to change. Now members utilized the club for various medical and insurance benefits, as well as for socializing. By January 1970 the Jewish community in Lynn had dwindled and the organization voted to dissolve the organization. This collection includes financial and membership ledgers, by-laws in Yiddish and English, and membership forms and cards.
Located in Boston, Mass.
Donated by the Lynn Young Men's Hebrew Aid Association, unknown date.
Reprocessed by Stephanie Call, 2009
- Guide to the Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association, I-73
- Reprocessed by Stephanie Call
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Processed by Stephanie Call, Schilder Assistant Archivist, made possible by a grant from the Schilder Family Fund. This collection has been digitized, made possible by a grant from the Trustees u/w of Herman Dana.