Atlantic City, N. J (Aug. 10)
Word has just been received that a charter of incorporation has been granted to the “Grand Link of the order of the Golden Chain,” State of New Jersey.
This is the result of the break in the Order of the Eastern Star, caused by the passage of a mandatory resolution which changed the status of the organization from what formerly was non-sectarian, Masonically affiliated, to a specifically Christian organization. Herelofore, it had been generally accepted throughout the State of New Jersey, that anyone who was the wife, sister, daughter, mother or widow of a Master Mason, or any Master Mason in good standing, was eligible to membership in the Order of the Eastern Star, without regard to religious ideals and beliefs. This was the practice of this organization and under which it prospered.
At the fifty-sixth annual session, held in Newark, in May 1927, a resolution was presented and adopted which made it inconsistent for any member of the Jewish faith to remain in the New Jersey Eastern Star, but upon the persuasion of the Grand Chapter, they consented to have the issue taken up at the following sessions, which were held in Trenton and Atlantic City in 1928 and 1929 respectively. At each of these sessions, this mandatory resolution was sustained, and at the session held in Atlantic City, where, despite the pleas of the various Grand Chapter officers that this mandatory resolution be made optional with the subordinate chapters this recommendation and the arguments thercon, were jeered at by the majority of the non-Jewish members present, and it was openly and specifically declared that the Order of the Eastern Star was basically a Christian order, intended only for Christians, but that Jews, as members, would be tolerated.
Plans were shortly afterward formulated for the organization of a new body, to be independent of the O. E. S.
E. M. Biron, of Atlantic City, was elected temporary head of the new organization, which has now been incorporated as the Grand Link, Order of the Golden Chain, State of New Jersey, and the trusteees are as follows: Mrs. Ruth Stamberg, Jersey City; David Longfelder, Newark; Norman Jacoby, Atlantic City; Mrs. Sophie Schenkel, Newark; Mrs. Roselle Leopold, Union City; Mrs. Celia Goldstein, Bayonne; Mrs. Celia Workman, Passaic; Benjamin Cohen, Newark: Mrs. Gussie Feldman, Hoboken; Mrs. Irene Weiss, Perth Amboy; Mrs. Deborah Veinberg, Asbury Park; Mrs. Celia Ponger, Bradley Beach; Mrs. Ida Salls, New Brunswick; Mrs. Bertha Littauer, Union City; Mrs. Irene Greenberg, Bound Brook; Mrs. Florence Maron, West Caldwell; Mrs. Paula Burstein, Orange; Mrs. Anna Taub, Newark; Miss Lucille Jessurun, Newark; Mrs. Ruth Cohen, Bayonne; Dr. Herman Popkin, Trenton.
The Order of the Golden Chain will be, according to the charter and constitution, a specifically non-sectarian order, admitting to membership the wives, sisters, half-sisters, mothers, daughters and widows of Master Masons, and Master Masons in good standing, without reference to their religious ideals and beliefs. It is the plan of the officers and committees that there shall be nothing in the ritual or work of the Order that shall be inconsistent with this.
There will be no attempt made to prohibit membership in the O. E. S. From present indications, the board of trustees stated it will be able to report a total membership of approximately 8,000 members and twenty subordinate Links, at the first annual grand session planned in October.