Slovene National Benefit Society
Slovenska narodna podporna jednota, the Slovene National Benefit Society, is an ethnic fraternal benefit and social organization for Slovene immigrants and their descendants in the United States. Founded in 1904, it is headquartered in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA near Imperial. SNPJ publishes a newspaper, Prosveta.
Formation and growth 
The SNPJ was formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1904 when delegates from nine independent Slovenian-American lodges met to consolidate into one larger organization with a total membership of 276. In 1905 membership had grown to over 1,500 in 27 lodges. By only 1907 there were almost 4,300 members in 60 lodges. In 1917 the SNPJ, with 16,700 members in 360 lodges, had become the largest Slovene fraternal benefit society in the United States. In 1921, the SNPJ merged with the Slovene Workmen's Benefit Society, or SDPZ, (which had previously absorbed the St. Barbara Lodge and the Slovene Labor Benefit and Pension Union). This merger gave the SNPJ over 36,000 members in 374 lodges. In 1941 the Slovenian Progressive Benefit Society (SSPZ) merged with the SNPJ. The Lily Alliance merged with SNPJ in 1947. Just over twenty years later, in 1969, the Slovene Independent Benefit Society merged with SNPJ. Thirty-two years after that merger, in 2001, the Workingmen's Benefit Society merged with SNPJ.
The first English speaking lodge, Pioneer Lodge 559 of Chicago, was chartered in 1925.
The high point of individual memberships appears to have been in 1950, when SNPJ had 71,554 members. The high point of lodge membership appears to have been in 1946, when SNPJ was composed of 614 active lodges. As of 2002 there were 42,299 members in 170 lodges.
See also 
- Sedmak, J. 2004. An Inspired Journey. The SNPJ Story: The First One Hundred Years of the Slovene National Benefit Society. Slovene National Benefit Society, Imperial, PA. ISBN 0-9749462-0-6.
|This article about an organization in the United States is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|