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Not Written in Stone

Daniel J. Elazar
Michael Brown
Ira Robinson

Part III: Selected Documents (Excerpts)

Secular Organizations

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United Jewish Peoples Order Mutual Benefit League Formerly Known as the Labour League1

  • 1 A fraternal organization of the far left.

1Consolidation of All the By-Laws

2As adopted at the 14th National Convention March 23-24-25,1990


Section 1

3The U.J.P.O. (short form), was formed on the 4th of October, 1945, succeeding the LABOUR LEAGUE MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETY, which was established in April of 1926. The U.J.RO. is a secular Jewish cultural and fraternal organization. Throughout its history the organization has made a significant mark on the life of the Canadian Jewish Community. It has served its membership, years ago [sic] with medical benefits, and in recent years it continued to provide sick benefits (for members participating in the sick benefit fund), as well as providing cemetery facilities in the various centres. The U.J.RO. has always provided, and still provides all of its members and the community with cultural sustenance through secular schools, camps, choirs, libraries and by actively promoting a wide variety of other cultural activity in both YIDDISH and ENGLISH. As in all of its years of activity, the U.J.P.O. now continues to strive actively to preserve and further enhance the rich secular heritage of the Jewish people.

4The U.J.P.O. is deeply imbued with the humanitarian concepts of true democratic freedom and justice for all. Our membership is dedicated to striving for a world without exploitation of one person by another, a world without war, disease, poverty, oppression, and the destruction of the environment.

Section 2

5The U.J.P.O. has 9 branches or lodges in Canada, located in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver; it also has ‘members at large,’ individuals not directly affiliated with any existing branch or lodge.

  • 2 Now incorporated into Toronto.

6The Head Office is located in the city of North York2 at 585 Cranbrooke Avenue (The Winchevsky Center). The U.J.P.O. is licensed by the Department of Insurance of the Province of Ontario.


Section 1

7Any Jew, regardless of religious or political affiliation, who is over the age of 18, may be admitted to the Society, providing HE OR SHE conforms and complies with the organization’s Aims and Purposes and rules and regulations and truthfully completes any form required by the society.

Section 2

8While the U.J.P.O. is a Jewish organization, membership in the organization shall be open to individuals who support the aims and purposes of the organization and who have demonstrated a commitment to the preservation and development of a secular, progressive Jewish culture through the Yiddish and English languages and other languages where applicable.

Section 3

9All candidates for membership shall pay an INITIATION FEE of $3.00....

Section 6

10In the event of sickness of any member, the Branch or Lodge should make certain that the member is visited.

Section 7

11Any member who was in arrears for six months, and after a six week period from the date of the mailing of a registered letter to the member, may, by a resolution adopted by a majority of his or her branch or lodge, have the membership revoked.

Section 8

12The National Resident Board may, by resolution, at any time grant exemption to new members from payment of any amount owed in dues or assessment.


13The National Board is the coordinating body of the organization. As such, it responds to national and international issues and sets general policy for the organization.

Section 1

14The U.J.P.O., comprising all its lodges or branches, which it may form from time to time, shall be administered by a body known as the National Board.

Section 2

15The Board shall be composed of 10 representatives from Toronto, two from Montreal, two from Winnipeg and two from Vancouver, a number which may be altered as necessity arises.

16This Board to be elected at National Conventions and shall serve for the period between such Conventions.

Section 3

17All members of the U.J.P.O. qualify for election to the National Board at any time after the expiration of six months from the date of their becoming a member. In cases of a new branch being formed this limitation shall not apply.

Section 4

18The National Board may, by resolution, declare vacant the seat of any member who has died, has resigned or who fails to attend three consecutive meetings without reasons acceptable to the Board. Once a seat is declared vacant, the city represented by the former Board member shall elect a replacement. In the case of an officer, the National Board shall elect a replacement to serve the unexpired period.

Section 5

19The National Board shall transact and conduct all affairs of the organization which are not of a purely local character and subject to action by a local committee, branch or lodge.

Section 6

20The President, Toronto Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall constitute the Executive Committee of the National Board, and shall meet at least once a month. The National Board as a whole shall meet in plenary session at least once a year between conventions. The Toronto members of the National Board may be called together from time to time, and individual members of the Board from Toronto may take part in the deliberations of the Executive Committee as required, and may also be assigned specific tasks by that body. National Board members outside Toronto may also take on national assignments as required....


1 A fraternal organization of the far left.

2 Now incorporated into Toronto.

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