Description: The Gottscheer Vereinigung von Gross New York,
Inc. is a fraternal sick benefit society which assists members with benefits when ill and death benefits to the beneficiary
when a member dies.
History: The Gottscheer Vereinigung dates back to
the summer of 1935, when signs of the depression were highly visible – work was scarce, jobs were few, benefits nonexistent,
and the struggle to provide for oneself and one’s family was great.
A small group of
young Gottscheer men gathered informally every Sunday afternoon at Menahan Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Ridgewood to reminisce about
their homeland and talk about their economic plight, thus forming a bond of friendship that would last a lifetime. They were proud, honest, hardworking, and thrifty men who were willing and happy to work for their existence
without seeking any public assistance or charity.
The following year,
in 1936, the membership group decided to formally organize a sick benefit organization whose purpose would be to provide financial
assistance to its members in case of illness. The organization came to be known
as the “Gottscheer Vereinigung von Gross New York, Inc.” Bylaws and
regulations were drawn up with the assistance and guidance of Mr. Adolf Schauer, whose legal knowledge made it possible. A New York State charter was obtained and the organization was incorporated. The charter was signed on May 28, 1936 by John E. Loser, Josef Erker, Ferdinand Darowitsch, Frank Widmer
and Louis Krisch.
Through the membership’s
dedication and combined efforts, the Vereinigung became more prosperous with each passing year. In order to raise funds to meet the Vereinigung’s sick benefit payments, the members organized dances,
picnics, and raffles. They also cooperated with other Gottscheer societies. In addition, they continued to maintain the longstanding customs, songs, and dances
of their native homeland, which are still being practiced today. The Gottscheer
dialect is commonly spoken at the monthly meetings.
To this day, the
Gottscheer Vereinigung remains in a healthy financial condition, with sufficient funds set aside to guarantee sick and death
benefit payments to each member according to the bylaws. The Vereinigung hopes
to continue this worthwhile tradition of assisting its members with sick and death benefits in the future.