Founded in New York City in 1892, the Workmen's Circle is a Jewish fraternal organization dedicated to preserving Yiddish language and culture in the United States. Its early members were Yiddish-speaking working-class immigrants with strong Socialist, trade-union, and secular Jewish identification. Its Philadelphia branch was opened about 1904.
Organized in local branches, which often followed hometown or workplace affiliations, the Workmen's Circle provided insurance benefits and a variety of cultural activities. Over the years, the organization offered life insurance, sick benefits, funeral and burial benefits, local medical services, homes for the aged, and sanitarium facilities for tubercular members. It also organized adult lecture programs, secular Jewish children's schools and camp programs, and dramatic and choral organizations.