W.E.B. Du Bois


March 1, 1915

If the Negroes of the United States want to know what organization is and what it can accomplish along racial lines they should buy the American Jewish Year Book. This publication has courteously been sent to this office and a glance at its pages is most informing.

The organization of the 3,000,000 Jews in America is little less than marvelous. To name a few of these organizations; there is the Alliance Israelite Universelle, over fifty years old with eight branches; there is the American Jewish Committee, a great federation of individuals and organizations “to prevent the infraction of the civil and religious rights of Jews in any part of the world.” Its fourteen districts cover the United States and beside the large sums which it handles annually it has an Emergency Trust Fund of nearly $200,000; the American Jewish Historical Society is twenty-two years old and has 373 members; twenty-four periodicals belong to the American Jewish Press Association; the Workmen’s Circle has 509 branches with 45,000 members; the Baron De Hirsch Fund has millions tor agricultural and industrial education; the Council of Jewish Women is seven years old with 78 sections covering the whole country; the Federation of American Zionists is seventeen years old with 14,000 members; the Roumanian Jews are organized with 40,000 members, and the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society has 29,000 members. There are endless secret and semi-secret orders: the B’nai B’rith with 34,000 members; the two branches of Brith Abraham with over 250,000 members; the Brith Sholom with 46,000 members; the Free Sons of Judah with 23,000 members, and so on. There are agricultural and colonial associations, agricultural aid societies, a Jewish chatauqua, a consumptives’ relief society, beside colleges, theological seminaries and last but not least a great national conference of Jewish charities with its 115 constituent societies.

The Jewish Publication Society sends out the American Jewish Year Book annually and a number of other carefully selected publications. It is supported by 12,000 members and has total assets of over $100,000. There have been 26 Jews in Congress and there are five in the present Congress.

This is the great net work of organization which makes the Jewish people the tremendous force for good and for uplift which they are in this country. Let black men look at them with admiration and emulate them. Only in our secret orders can we approach them from afar, while in voluntary organizations and philanthropic activity we can see from the record of these 3,000,000 what our 10,000,000 have to learn.


For attribution, please cite this work as:
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1915. “Organization.” The Crisis 9 (5): 235.