In 1843, Henry Jones and 11 other German-Jewish immigrants gathered in Sinsheimer's Café (right) on New York's Lower East Side to confront what Isaac Rosenbourg, one of B'nai B'rith's founders, called "the deplorable condition of Jews in this, our newly adopted country."
Thus, B'nai B'rith (children of the covenant) was born.
The original members' first concrete action was creating an insurance policy that awarded members' widows $30 toward funeral expenses, and a stipend of one dollar a week for the rest of their lives. Each child would also receive a stipend and, for male children, assurance he would be taught a trade.
It is from this basis of humanitarian aid and service that a system of fraternal lodges and chapters grew in the United States and, eventually, around the world.