Guide to the Records of Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association, undated, 1936-1971 (bulk 1936-1964)

Reprocessed by Stephanie Call

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116



© 2019  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Collection originally processed by Noah A. Duke, December 14, 1992. Machine-readable finding aid created by Stephanie Call as MS Word document, October 27, 2008. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on February 4, 2009. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association
Title: Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association, records
Dates:undated, 1936-1971 (bulk 1936-1964)
Abstract: 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.
Languages: The collection is in English and Yiddish.
Quantity: 1 linear foot (2 manuscript boxes)
Identification: I-73
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located at AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Historical Note1

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.

1 Historical Note based on documents in the Lynn Hebrew Young Men's Aid Association collection.

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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.

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The collection is arranged in two series, as described below:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Collections and Engagement of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Lynn Hebrew Young Men’s Aid Association, records; I-73; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Gift of the Association, unknown date.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.


Series I: Financial Records, 1963-1969

The Series is in English.
1 folder. Box 1.

Chronological within ledger books.

Scope and Content:

This series contains 3 ledger books with financial information, including membership dues, bills and income.

1 1 Ledgers 1963-1969 request_box
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Series II: Governance, undated, 1936-1970

The Series is in English and Yiddish.
.75 linear feet. Boxes 1-2.

Alphabetical by type of material in chronological order.

Scope and Content:

This series includes the founding documents of the organization, including the constitution and a copy of the incorporation document. Although the majority of the by-laws documentation is in English, a booklet with by-laws written in Yiddish is of particular interest. Minutes to officer meetings and papers relating to the dissolution of the organization provide context and historical background. In addition, the series also includes index cards with membership information, specifically demographics and remarks for each member. Membership forms, including oaths and doctor’s testimonies, are contained in this series as well.

1 2 Constitution undated, 1940 request_box
1 3 Dissolution 1970 request_box
1 4 Forms and Stationary undated request_box
1 5 Incorporation (copy) 1945 request_box
1 6 Membership undated request_box
1 7 Minutes 1936-1943 request_box
2 1-4 Minutes 1943-1970 request_box
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